Bolton Valley, VT 06JAN2024

An image of fluffy snow on evergreens near the mid station of the Wilderness Double Chairlift in early January at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
Fresh snow from the frequent smaller storms that have come through the area this January adorns some the evergreens near the Wilderness mid station.

With the additional snow that was falling during yesterday’s afternoon/evening ski tour, plus another round of snowfall that came through this afternoon, today seemed like another good opportunity to head up to the mountain for a quick ski tour. Snow was falling all the way down in the bottom of the Winooski Valley, and it intensified as I headed up the Bolton Valley Access Road. Today was another snowy day, and although none of these past few systems have been huge, the continued accumulations day after day have definitely been having an impact on the quality of the conditions.

Compared to yesterday, I started my tour earlier today, and running out of light wasn’t an issue, so I was able to tour up to about 2,700’ instead of just 2,500’. Relative to the accumulations I saw yesterday, the combination of new snow and settling didn’t appear to change the new snow depths too much in the lower elevations as of this afternoon, but I definitely noticed an increase starting at around 2,500’, and the depth continued to increase above that level as well. Here’s the comparative new snow depth profiles between yesterday and today:

320’: 0-1” –> 0-1”
1,000’: 1-2” –> 1-2”
1,500’: 2-3” –> 2-3”
2,000’: 2-3” –> 2-3”
2.500’: 2-3” –> 3″
2,700’: 3-4”

With the available daylight and more time to tour today, I was able to choose some alternate areas of Wilderness that had mostly untracked snow. Getting into the untracked snow made for dramatically better skiing, and I was starting to even get into some bottomless turns on the lower angle slopes.

From my tours yesterday and today, I found that the water bars on the lower slopes of Wilderness were generally in good shape with respect to coverage, so there shouldn’t be any issues there if they decide to open that are for lift-served skiing. Based on what I’ve seen over these couple days of ski touring at Wilderness, the skiing is already quite decent there and it’s really going to take off with even a few additional inches of snow.

An image of a "Lift Closed" sign coated with a bit of fresh snow in early January at the base of the Wilderness Double Chairlift at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
Fresh snow coats a sign at the base of the Wilderness Chair, which is currently the domain of only those who are ski touring via the Wilderness Uphill Route.

Next in the storm parade we’ve got Winter Storm Ember moving into the area, and it looks poised to put down a couple inches of liquid equivalent in the mountains and valleys.  That should make for a dramatic increase in snowpack depths, and there should be a lot of additional terrain opening. Dylan has a number of college friends staying over at the house for a ski vacation during winter break, and we’ll all likely be heading out tomorrow to ski the new snow. I’ll put together an update of what we find!