Bolton Valley, VT 30JAN2016

An image of the Wilderness Chairlift at Bolton Valley Resort in Vermont
Catching some powder beneath Bolton Valley’s Wilderness Chair today

The local ski resorts along the Green Mountain Spine from Stowe to Middlebury were reporting 3-5” inches of new this morning thanks to an Alberta Clipper that moved through the area. The snow was reasonably dense based on my analyses here at the house, and early reports from the slopes indicated that the skiing was quite good with the infusion of the new snowfall. I was busy much of the day, but by midafternoon I decided that I could head up to Bolton Valley for a few turns.

The Village was looking pretty wintry when I arrived, with some fresh snow and rime covering all the trees. The temperature was around 30 F at the base as I hopped on the Vista Quad and headed to the summit. There was a slight breeze up there, but it was another one those generally comfortable days of which we’ve been having a lot this season. I started my run down Alta Vista and found the snow pretty tired as one might expect at the end of a weekend day. The center 80% of the trail was pretty scratchy, and the skier’s left that usually holds the best snow was reasonably soft, but certainly not up to the level that I often find it. I made my way over to Wilderness to see how the powder was faring, and on the traverse over found 16”-17” in protected areas in the 2,600’-2,700’ range. Aside from the areas that had been hit by the wind, I found some sweet bottomless turns on the Wilderness Liftline. I wanted to explore around the mountain a bit more, but that was definitely worth coming back to depending on what else was available. The available powder lessened a bit as I descended to areas where traffic increased and less snow had fallen, but I still found some good untracked snow in spots along the skier;s left of Lower Turnpike.

An image of the snow depth at Bolton Valley Resort in Vermont

Snow depths seemed decent for some exploration in some of modest-angle off piste areas, so I set my sights on the Village Trees area for the next run. Unfortunately patrol had already closed off the Cobrass area as they were switching over to night skiing mode, so I couldn’t head that way. I checked out some options as I continued on Sherman’s Pass, but any thoughts of Hard Luck had pretty much passed by the time I’d made my first lift ride – I could hear the sound of skis scraping across the icy surface there all the way from the lift, and that’s never a good sign. Not spotting any other obvious routes that seemed to be able to top what I’d already skied, I found my way over to Wilderness again and scored another great run with powder. This time I stayed on the Wilderness Liftline and worked the snow along the edges; the powder tapered down as on the previous run on Lower Turnpike, but it was available up to the point where I merged back toward the Vista trails.

I grabbed a couple of Fireside Flatbread pies for E and the boys, and slowed a bit to check out the snow down at Timberline on my way home. Coverage looked decent, and it would probably be worth a look to see what the powder was like. They did have the shuttle bus running and I saw a few skiers descending, but I’ll have to wait until my next visit if I want to get over there. Hopefully we’ll get some decent storms as we head into February to finally get the base depths at Timberline up to where they need to be.

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