Yesterday morning, the snow from the northwest flow actually started to accumulate in our part of the Winooski Valley for the first time in this event. We’d still picked up under an inch of snow by midday, but it was a good sign that moisture was on an uptick. E and the boys were feeling a bit under the weather, and without a big dump to get the conditions much beyond the norm, there wasn’t much incentive to get them up to the hill anyway. With that in mind, I had the chance to check out some in bounds and sidecountry spots that I hadn’t visited yet this season. I threw my skins in the bottom of my fanny pack and headed up to Timberline.
I arrived up at the mountain around 2:00 P.M., just as another shot of snow seemed to be coming in. The snow was starting to make a difference on some of the trails, especially where a little wind was allowing it to concentrate. Up at the top of Villager I noticed that a nice dense inch of two had settle in some spots, bring the surface from the more typical packed powder to a little something extra. I headed up to the Vista Summit, where the wind was really starting to pick up. I’d say it was gusting toward 30 MPH as we approached the top, and I wondered if they were going to have to shut it down.
I made my way down through the Villager woods, and then skinned up to the Villager woods highpoint. There were just a couple of tracks up there, and lots of deep, untracked powder. My checks revealed that the depth of the powder ranged from 10 to 25 inches depending on the spot, and even though I’d spent part of Saturday on the backcountry trails over at the Nordic Center, I’d say those turns in the Timberline trees were the best of the weekend up to that point. I continued on through some of the Tattle Tale Woods and found good snow, but there had been a good amount of traffic in there so fresh lines were harder to come by.
I finished off the afternoon with some runs off Timberline, and although it was still dead calm down there, I heard that they’d shut down Vista due to the winds. I caught a couple of good untracked runs off the south side of the Twice as Nice glades, but down at those lower elevations the affects of the sun on the snow became more and more apparent. Paying close attention to aspect was important, because once you got around too much to the south there was a dramatic change in the consistency of the snow. There was still a coating of powder, perhaps in the six inch range, but there was a crusty layer below that. Other aspects at that elevation were good though, with probably 10 inches of powder over the base.
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