Stowe, VT 29NOV2009
We headed up to Stowe yesterday to do a little skiing with the boys and check out the snow from the big holiday weekend storm. Once we had Stowe’s trails in sight, we got some impressive views. Even though Mt. Mansfield picked up a couple feet of snow at the stake, this storm was so elevation-dependent that the valleys were totally devoid of snow. This made for some strong contrast of the white trails above the rather stark valley hues. We saw the first traces of snow at the Toll House elevation (~1,300’) right about the same elevation at which we’d first seen snow at Bolton Valley on Saturday. We took a quick swing through the Mansfield lot for a look at the coverage, but ultimately headed over toward Spruce and drove up to ~1,830’ near the top of the Easy Street Double where it looked like a good combination of sun and snow. The snow depth was about 4 inches at that elevation. For the ascent, E and I skinned with our CMH fats, and the boys used their snowshoes with their ski boots while I carried their skis. The snow in the sun was spring like, not exactly corn of course, but not actually too mushy since it started out so dense. We headed over toward Lower Smuggler’s for turns, stopping our ascent at the top of the first steep pitch at around 2,100’ or so. The snow depth up at that elevation seems to be in the 6 to 8 inch range. There was plenty of untracked snow on Lower Smuggler’s, and although it was rather soft in the sun, some good turns were made. E and Dylan headed down through the tunnel back towards the Meadows area, while Ty and I traversed across to the top of the Alpine Double Lift and took the steeper shot off to skier’s left. The skier’s right of that terrain was shaded when we came down, and I’d say that turns in that shaded snow were probably my favorite of the day. The snow was still very soft, but it was a little less sticky that what was directly in the sun. Our skiing was done around midday, and temperatures were in the mid 40s F in the lower valleys, and in the upper 30 s F where we were on the hill. Some pictures from the day have been added below:
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