Bolton Valley, VT 03MAR2024

An image of the Timberline Quad Chairlift and the lower slopes of the Timberline area in early March at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
Today we found a quiet afternoon with spring snow at Bolton Valley’s Timberline area.

I didn’t expect yesterday’s cloudy conditions and temperatures in the 30s F to do much in terms of softening up the snowpack, but with today’s forecast calling for temperatures in the 40s F, there seemed to be much more potential for softening the slopes. Temperatures looked optimal in the afternoon, so E and I headed up to Timberline for some runs. The weather for our session started out with a mix of foggy and cloudy conditions, and even a light mist of rain, but that quickly dissipated and moved on to produce mostly sunny conditions by the end.

An image of Jay making a Telemark turn as he drops into a run in spring snow on the slopes of the Timberline area at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
Jay dropping into some Telemark turns in Timberline’s soft spring snow.

When I checked the snow report earlier today, I saw that some of the natural snow trails were closed down at the Timberline elevations, and that initially had me worried about the available coverage. When we got to the mountain though, coverage was actually much better than the trail report had led me to believe. Twice as Nice was indeed closed, but it wasn’t as if it was devoid of snow – there were bare spots on the back sides of some of the rolls that would have made the skiing challenging, so I can see why they had it closed. I though Spell Binder was going to be closed, but it wasn’t – they’d made snow on the steep headwall section at some point, so it had an incredible amount of snow. The lower parts of the trail that have not seen any snowmaking were under a sort of “soft” closure – they had signs suggesting it was closed, but no rope and most people were skiing it. From the Timberline Summit, Intro was open with wall-to-wall coverage, and they blew in so much snow in the gap above the Timberline Mid Station that the ledges aren’t even visible.

Conditions were definitely soft enough to get in some nice corn snow turns, but it wasn’t really warm enough to soften the snow too deeply into the snowpack. We found that terrain that had not been touched by other skiers was the best, because you could peel away a couple inches of snow without encountering the firm subsurface too much. Areas that had seen higher traffic revealed more of the firm subsurface and resulted in louder turns that were much less spring-like.

An image of Jay making a Telemark turn on the slopes of the Timberline area at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
Stretching out for another Tele turn in the soft March snow
An image of a Rome snowboard in the snow from within the Timberline Base Lodge at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Vermont
A view from inside the Timberline Base Lodge today during a break from afternoon skiing

It looks like the coming week will feature some warmer spring-like days in the first half, which should be enough to get the snow softened more than today. Later in the week, the weather cools a bit and becomes more unsettled with snow chances. There’s nothing in the modeling yet that indicates a slam dunk March storm with solid mountain snows, but some runs show the potential. We’d need a decent shot of liquid equivalent to get much of a resurfacing, but the base is ready if we do get enough, and the more that falls as snow, the more terrain that would be in play for quality turns.