The snow flew, but I'm already in vacation debt so busting out of work was looking unlikely. My only option was an early morning or early evening tour at a close mountain. Bolton seemed to fit the bill. I was hoping that they received close to the amounts of snow I had heard that Stowe got.
Driving up the mountain road, my clutch slipping like a clown on a banana peel, there was not much snow. I pulled into the Timberline lot to look up at the trails. A quick glance told me that I wanted more snow. Sure, there was enough to junkboard on, but I had higher hopes. Continuing on to the upper lots, I found 8-10 cars with 4 snowboarders gearing up for a jib session. There was more snow up here, but not a lot. Maybe 6", blowing around enough that some spots were thin and others were deeper.
Foregoing skins, I ascended up Beach Seal and took a left onto Glades. It seemed that trails running right-to-left were holding snow better, so I wanted to cross as many as I could to look up them. I ran into a father/son duo starting down the first good looking patch of snow on Glades and said hello. I continued up, bearing left onto a trail I didn't know existed. Eventually I popped out onto Sherman's Pass, looking directly up Hard Luck. The lookers right-side had collected snow nicely, so up I went. On the way up, I encountered a half dozen folks descending on XC gear, making it look as difficult as I would imagine it is. The snow, however, proved quite nice. 8-10" in many spots, 1-2" in a few.
I switched over just below a particularly wind-scoured spot and began my descent. I had dinner plans for the evening, so topping out was not in the cards, nor did I think it would provide much better snow than I had in front of me. My first turns were wobbly, as they always are on my early season hikes. Start centered, fall in to the back seat to cover for sudden application of nature's e-brakes. After a dozen turns or so, I felt more comfortable and started smiling. I continued down the same way I went up, skiing all the way to my car.
I didn't check my skis for damage, but I doubt there was anything significant. Stowe definitely got more snow, but Bolton got enough! No photos, I left the camera at home. I had intended to take a few snaps with my phone, but that ended up staying in the car, too.
(felt I had to post this to counter my copyright emails after a long period of little activity on the list.)
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