Bolton Valley, VT 29MAR2008


Pictures are embedded in this report, and also available at:


On Friday, a storm cycle had made its way through Vermont, dropping snow throughout the state.  The heavier snow accumulations were off toward the southern Vermont ski resorts, but our local mountains still managed a modest dump of snow and I’d headed up to Bolton on Friday morning for a few fresh turns.  The snowfall wound down during the overnight on Friday, and on Saturday morning I took my final observations for the event and made a list of the most recent accumulations reported by the Vermont ski areas:


Saturday, March 29th, 2008:  6:00 A.M. update from Waterbury, VT


New Snow: 0.9 inches

Liquid Equivalent:  0.02 inches

Ratio:  45.0 to 1

Snow Density:  2.2% H2O

Temperature:  18.7 F

Humidity:  70%

Barometer:  30.33 in Hg

Wind:  Calm

Sky:  Clear

Cumulative storm snow total:  4.2 inches

Cumulative storm liquid total:  0.28 inches

Current snow at the stake:  26 inches

Season snowfall total:  199.7 inches


“We got a little more ultra fluffy Champlain™ Powder to top off this event, but the sky has cleared out now and really cooled off as well.  The lowest temperature recorded on the thermometer for the overnight was 13.5 F, and it seems to be rising now.  I’ve updated the storm totals for the ski areas with the latest information I’ve seen.  Some had not updated this morning but I’ve indicated the ones that had”:


Jay Peak:  3 inches

Burke:  2 inches

Smuggler’s Notch:  5 inches (3/29)

Stowe:  6 inches (3/29)

Bolton Valley:  4 inches

Mad River Glen:  3 inches (3/29)

Sugarbush:  5 inches

Middlebury:  3 inches

Suicide Six:  8 inches

Pico:  8 inches

Killington:  8 inches

Ascutney:  4 inches

Okemo:  6 inches

Bromley:  4 inches

Magic Mountain:  5 inches

Stratton:  10 inches (3/29)

Mount Snow:  8 inches


Although we would have easily been past the 200-inch accumulation mark for snowfall on the season if I’d been able to take six hour measurements religiously, my back yard observations as they were stood at 199.7 inches of snowfall after that 4.2-inch event.  We still had a couple months of potential snowfall left, even in the valley, so I knew that the next winter weather event could be the one that pushed us over 200 inches.  However, one never knows how April snow is going to fly, so we’d have to wait and see what Mother Nature had in store.  Since we had picked up at least the bit of additional snowfall overnight, the mountain would have gotten some as well, and that meant there was the opportunity to ski some fresh snow.  In the afternoon we had plans to head up to my cousin Steve’s sugarhouse in Barton, but Ty and I decided to pop up to the hill for a couple runs together in the morning.  Based on my observations I knew that the latest snow was incredibly fluffy and might not coat the slopes too substantially, but the sky was blue and I expected we’d find some good turns up there somewhere.


We hit the mountain at around 8:30 A.M., and might have tried skiing at Timberline, but the quad was down for repairs.  When we reached the village (2,150’) the temperature was still in the teens.  There was some wind in the parking lot, but at that top of the Vista Quad (3,150’) it was probably in the 25-30 MPH range.  Even though it was the end of March, it felt very much like mid winter at all elevations and I found about 5 to 6 inches of new powder on the upper half of the mountain.  Like I’d observed down at the house, with my measurements revealing snow in the 2 to 3% H2O range, the powder was extremely dry.  Aside from those areas where it was being blasted by the wind, it was also quite fluffy.  It was a very quiet scene on the mountain in terms of people, and Ty commented on how it seemed like we were the first ones there.  I suspect many people were anxious for spring temperatures by that point in the season, not the teens F with wind.  The spooky feel of the mountain was enhanced by winter-like light in the sky, even though we were past the spring equinox by that point.  It was quite sunny, but the sun just felt so weak due to the temperatures.  We only stayed up top at Vista for one run because of the strong wind, but we scored some great powder on Lower Show Off, which I’d found had been collecting good snow throughout the season.


After a break in the lodge for some warming and food, I decided that we’d switch to the Snowflake lift where it was warmer and more sheltered.  Even though it was at a much lower elevation, due to the winter-like temperatures the Snowflake area offered up the same great snow as the upper mountain, with only about an inch or two less of accumulation.  Descending in the Snowflake area, it was immediately obvious how well the fluff was preserved due to the protection from the wind.  Ty and I got to make a bunch of turns on some of our favorite Snowflake slopes, but we only had room for one run before it was time to head back down to the house and get ready for our trip to Barton.  My altimeters recorded two runs, with 1,525’ of descent on the Avocet and 1,516’ on the Suunto for a difference of 0.6%.  When we left the mountain at around 10:00 A.M., the temperature was still only 15 F, and even back down at the house we were still well below freezing at 25.5 F.







Pictures from the day are also available at:




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