Bolton Valley started running their lifts yesterday, and E and I took the boys out for some turns this morning, so hereís a conditions update.  The snow report indicated that they had 17 trails open, and that they would even have part of the Wilderness area open on natural snow.  We took a run off the Vista quad for our first run in the morning (8:30 Ė 9:00 A.M. range) and Shermanís Pass was really nice man made packed powder.  We ventured over to Wilderness on that run, and while there is sufficient natural coverage over there, they hadnít really done much grooming.  It seems like they perhaps took one pass, or maybe they just rolled it, because the snow was very chopped up.  The best skiing we found over there was actually in the couple inches of powder over the snow that they hadnít groomed.  There is a crusty base below the powder, but it is unbreakable and the low-angle terrain skied very nicely.  However, unless youíre going to check out some of that stuff, Iíd stay away from Wilderness until they groom it more.  We spent the rest of the morning on the Mid Mountain Lift doing the Bear Run route, and some areas of snow gradually became slicker simply due to traffic.  It was holding up reasonably well however, and there was still plenty of soft snow when we were done around noon.  Thereís enough natural base (probably a foot or more of very durable stuff) to open some more terrain if they wanted to, but it appears to be more an issue of snow quality, not quantity.  The natural terrain just has that couple inches of powder over a slick base, so unless they hit it hard with the groomers, options other than low angle terrain arenít very safe.




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