Bolton Valley, VT 17FEB2008


Some pictures from the day are embedded in this message, and also available at the following link:


After a ski outing in the Waterbury backcountry with James and Chris on Saturday, the family headed up to Bolton Valley on Sunday to get the boys some lift-served turns.  There hadn’t been any additional snowfall since the moderate system that had passed through the area around midweek and a small clipper that hit the area on Friday, so we knew that the trails were going to be mostly tracked out.  But, temperatures had remained well below freezing since the storms so we were expecting at least the usual packed powder on the trails and some powder in the trees.  We didn’t get up to the mountain until late morning, and we were confronted with quite a crowd at the Timberline area.  It turned out that there was a race taking place on Showtime, and Timberline was filled with people from the various race teams.  It was also a holiday weekend, so the Timberline parking lots were packed with all the visitors and I had to invent a parking space.  I dropped E and the boys off at the lodge so they could get ready, and then hit the lots to see if anything was available.  There were a few unused parking spots near what I believe are some of the snowmaking compressors in the lower lot.  The reason the spots hadn’t been taken was that they hadn’t been plowed, so they had a foot or two of snow in them.  A lot of the snow was powder, and it didn’t seem like the spot would be much of an issue for the Subaru, so I parked, made sure I could get out, and voila!  A parking spot was born.


We headed to the Timberline quad at some point after 11:30 A.M., and as it was sunny and warm it looked like it would be a pleasant day on the slopes.  Part of the warmth was due to the fact that we were on the front end of yet another February storm cycle, and clouds were going to be coming in later in the day.  Ty and Dylan were both confused by all the people standing around due to the holiday and race visitors.  Not having much exposure to lift queues, they kept trying to walk past everyone to get on the lift until we explained it to them.  The four of us headed up to the Timberline summit, where we opted for the Villager/Timberline Run combo.  That was still the best bet for Dylan in Timberline area, and since E had decided to take her Telemark skis out for the day, it would be a good route for her as well.  Despite the fact that I’d had a little more difficulty managing Dylan on the slopes the previous week with my Telemark skis, I felt confident that I’d be able to handle him again.  I told E that I’d be happy to work with Dylan for as long as she needed to get comfortable with her turns.  We found the groomed snow on the trails to be quite good as expected, and there was plenty of powder off the trails and in the trees.  Ty was having a lot of fun playing off in the little chutes to the skier’s right on Villager.  He also got himself atop an impressive rock in that area that was about 10 feet high, and then he straight-lined the steep track straight back down onto the trail.  It seemed like a good challenge for him.




After that run, Ty and Dylan’s lunch clock alarms must have gone off because they were ready for lunch.  I guess it was technically lunch time after all, even if we’d taken only one run.  With all the extra people around due to the race, the lodge was quite full, so we decided to just eat outside so we could spread out and enjoy the beautiful day.  We established ourselves an area just outside one of the back doors to the lodge, and fashioned some makeshift seats in the snow.  The boys seemed to enjoy the change of pace with the different lunch venue.  They got to play around in the snow between bites, or perhaps between sips since it seems that we had our staple of tomato bisque soup.





Once we were back on the slopes we made a repeat of the first run.  Dylan was doing a great job of turning with the aid of the leash, but by the time we got to the bottom after that run he indicated that he was done for the day.  We didn’t want to push him any harder, especially since he had done really well up to that point and we wanted to let all those good muscle memories soak in.  I headed into the lodge with Dylan, and E stayed out with Ty so she could work on her Telemark turns.  The route we’d been doing was still the best choice for E on here Telemark skis so they hit it once again.  She’d been really getting into a groove with her Telemark turns however, so letting her continue with her practice was really beneficial.  When they got back to the lodge, E offered to sit with Dylan so it was time for Ty and Dad to make a run together.  We mixed things up and headed straight down below the Timberline quad on Intro, perhaps connecting to Brandy Wine although my memory (and notes) are a bit foggy on that one.  I enjoyed the change of pace as I got to make some turns on steeper terrain, and hopefully Ty had enjoyed the chance to mix it up as well.


We decided to head home after that, and it turned out to be a decent afternoon for Ty as he got in four runs for about 4,000 vertical, more than Erica and I who only had the chance to ski three runs each.  My Avocet altimeter recorded 3,160’ of descent while my Suunto recorded 3,070’ of descent for a difference of 2.9%.  It was about 3:00 P.M. when we were leaving, and with the races finished up many of the racers were also on their way out.  The lodge was a bit of a zoo compared to normal, but we’d had a good day with Ty enjoying himself a lot, Dylan doing some nice work on his turns with the aid of the leash, and E showing some refinement in her Telemark turns.


The pictures from the day are also available at the address below:



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