Stowe, VT 14MAR2010

Today we were back at Stowe for our weekly program, and the afternoon began with similar conditions to what we’d experienced at Bolton yesterday.  There wasn’t any significant precipitation; it was just mostly cloudy with a couple holes of blue sky and temperatures in the 40s F.  My group stayed on Spruce Peak for the entire afternoon, where surfaces were spring corn and the skiing was excellent.  There were certainly a few spots of ground opening up on steep, south-facing trails with natural snow.  One example would be Freddie’s Chute, which had essentially complete coverage when we’d skied it last week.  The ledges there on the skier’s left showed a lot of exposed spots today, although the right side still had full coverage and skiable lines.  We weren’t actually going to be skiing it with the group we had today, but I noticed that patrol had roped off the entrance corral anyway.  We didn’t head to the upper parts of Spruce, although it sounded like some ground was showing through up there as well.  We skied all the usual terrain on the lower half of Spruce, and there were no coverage concerns on any of that.  Toward the end of the afternoon it started spitting rain showers, and then for the final few runs the precipitation intensified over in the Spruce Peak area.  Fortunately, the skiing was winding down by that point.  It’s going to be sunny and warm for the coming week, so I’m sure that some of the more sensitive south-facing terrain on Spruce will lose additional coverage.  But, it should be clear with most nights going below freezing, so the corn cycling should go well.  Mansfield looked great in terms of coverage when we were there, although I’d imagine a few of the lower-elevation spots in the sun could start having some open spots and the snowpack at the stake will probably drop some this week.  The big storm that brought inches of rain to southern parts of New England didn’t seem to be much of an event in this area, as I only recorded 0.15 inches of liquid in my rain gauge for the entire system.

I had an intermediate group today, with a couple of students that were working on transitioning fully over to parallel, so we did a lot of drills to get them on their way.  After yesterday’s experience, Ty decided to ride his Telemark skis again to work on his Tele turns, so instead of going with one of the more advanced groups, he came with us and tried to focus on that.  I was on my Telemark skis to enable working with Ty, but it was nice to be able to use that Telemark versatility and work just as smoothly on alpine turns with the other students.

I’ve attached a couple of scenic shots below that I captured around noontime today: