Bolton Valley, VT 16FEB2024 (Night)

An image of the Valley Road terrain and the Vista Quad Chairlift during a night skiing session in  February after an Alberta Clipper system at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
The Alberta Clipper system from this morning had departed, but we were back up on the hill tonight for some night skiing with friends.

E wanted to catch up with some friends who were doing some night skiing at Bolton Valley tonight, so on top of my morning session of ski touring followed by riding the lifts with Stephen and Johannes, I ended up right back up at the mountain in the evening. It was very busy for a Bolton night skiing session, and we wound up parking in the lower tennis court lot because the others were so full. It’s very dark down there, but it does provide some neat views of the resort at night. It’s also right along the Nordic trails, so it makes for a fun evening ski to get back to the car. With so many visitors at the resort tonight, I assume all the new snow and the kickoff to the holiday weekend came together to really ramp up people’s interest for getting out for turns.

An image of a snowboard in the snow with the text "YES." on its base during a night skiing session at the main base area of Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
Combining fresh snow from earlier today and the start of school vacation week meant that the resort was really hoppin’ with visitors tonight. People and their equipment were all around the base area, including this fun snowboard that we came across.

I doubt I would have headed up for this evening’s session were in not for getting out to make some turns with friends, because I would only have expected the on piste conditions to deteriorate further after a full day of traffic. And at night, only the most popular trails are open, so that means extra traffic in the high-traffic areas. One thing about the end of a long day though, especially when there’s been new snow, is that you do get those terrain areas where the snow collects due to skier traffic. Directly under the Mid Mountain Chair was one of those spots tonight. Patrol has set up marking poles right beneath the chair because the snowpack is deep enough that you might run into people’s skis, and even after that caution area, people never return to skiing the center near the lift towers and they just push a lot of snow there. So, that held some of the best snow we found in the Beech Seal area.

Areas with those skier traffic-related accumulations and low-angle terrain were definitely the best bets when we were out there this evening, but when possible, I’d recommend just heading out in the day and venturing off piste if you can. The off piste conditions are just so much better right now, especially on moderate-angle terrain and anywhere that is untracked. The subsurface is definitely firm, so do watch out for places where the wind has scoured the powder or evergreens are dense enough that they’ve reduced accumulations – those areas can leave you bottoming out on some unforgiving snow.