Bolton Valley, VT 29DEC2009


I wasn’t overly enthused about doing a lot of lift riding in the 0 F temperatures and wind yesterday, but I did want to check out the new snow, so earning some turns sounded like a good way to go.  When I finally checked on the Bolton Valley snow report at around 2:00 P.M., my decision was made anyway, since their last update at 11:00 A.M. said that no lifts were running due to the wind.  From temperatures in the 10 F range down at the house, I ascended to temperatures hovering around 0 F in the Bolton Valley Village.  I took a look at the slopes of Timberline on the way up, and could see that the coverage on the lower slopes wasn’t bad, but windswept areas were showing some grass etc.  Up at the main base I ran into Adam Sherman, who had recently done some skiing.  He gave me the lowdown on what he’d found, which was that most trails had been absolutely blasted by the wind.  He recommended the Fanny Hill Glades, since they were protected, and said that there were just a very few tracks in there.  After our chat, I skinned up Fanny Hill, finding that it had really been hit hard by the wind.  Even with the new foot plus of snow, I wouldn’t plan on heading to Bolton for extraordinary on-trail skiing until at least the next storm if what I saw on Fanny Hill was any indication.  Fortunately, things are much better in the trees.  Traversing through the trees toward the glades, I found anywhere from 7 to 18 inches of fresh snow due to some drifting, but once in the glades there was a more consistent and unaffected accumulation of about a foot.  It was nice and calm in there aside from a few puffs of wind, and there were just a few tracks.  In terms of coverage, there are still some twigs sticking out here and there, and some stumps etc. to watch out for, but it’s certainly decent.  The Mt. Mansfield stake did hit 40 inches yesterday, so on average most stuff should be getting close to ready anyway.  I’d argue that the foot of snow we received (where it settled evenly) was a bit too light and dry for the steeper pitches I found, but perhaps this next storm will set up the steeper terrain better.  It was getting dark during my run, but I still managed to snap a few pictures of the snow in the glades and attached a couple below:





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