Bolton Valley Alpine/Nordic 13FEB2010
On Saturday I headed up to Bolton for a combination tour in the alpine and Nordic areas. After a couple days of clear weather, the low pressure system over in the Maritimes finally started to drop a little snow on us. We didnít get any accumulation down at the house, but when I arrived up at the Bolton Valley village area at about 11:00 A.M., I found about a half inch of new fluff on the ground. Light snow was still falling, and that continued fairly steadily for the first hour or so that I was on the mountain before tapering off to more intermittent flakes.
I started off my tour with a ride on the Wilderness lift, and then connected onto Heavenly Highway where I put on my skins. As usual, the trip along Heavenly Highway wound up being somewhat of a snow-lovers sightseeing tour, as the high-elevation, sheltered route revealed numerous snow formations derived from depositions powder. I eventually took the second option for Stowe View, and made my way up to the viewpoint at around 3,200í. I could see across the top of the Cotton Brook drainage, but beyond that views were generally obscured by the light snow and clouds.
I headed back from the viewpoint and began my descent through some of the trees down to Heavenly Highway. I stuck with the trail for a bit, and then skied part of Devilís Drop and the trees around there. In general, untouched areas of snow revealed 10-20 inches of powder and easily bottomless turns, although there was the occasional exposed area where wind or sun had deteriorated the snow. I contemplated continuing my tour with a loop out toward Ravenís Wind, but decided to head back to the alpine area and see if I could catch up with Stephen for some turns. I returned to the alpine trails via Gardinerís Lane, and instead of dropping off into the glades, I stuck with the trail and skied some of the surrounding trees. The terrain was mellower than dropping back to Bryant, but there were some nice low-angle trees with untouched snow and I was delivered right back to the bottom of Wilderness. That evening, the Bolton Valley Nordic Newsletter had a blurb about the new glades theyíve made off the North Slope trail with the help of Jay Appleton. Iíve seen skiers heading over that way this season but havenít checked them out yet, so Iíll have to get there at some point.
Stephen said that kids were cooked and he had to take them home, but I finished off the day on the alpine side with a trip to the top of Wilderness. I dropped into Bolton Outlaw, but quickly headed into the associated glades because the snow in there looked really good. Bolton Outlaw has reasonable coverage and snow quality, but one good dump would get it in shape like the trees and there wouldnít be any concerns about coverage. Once out of the glades, I worked my way over to Lower Turnpike and completed the outing with a Tele quad burner to the car.
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