Bolton Valley, VT 18APR2010
Today I headed back for a morning session at Bolton to check out last night’s new snow.  I’d say the snow level only dropped down to somewhere in the 1,500’ range last night, but it was enough to whiten up everything in the valley from 2,000’ on up with a new round of snow.  I saw the first traces of new snow at around 1,700’ on the drive up the access road, just a touch below where I’d first seen the snow yesterday afternoon.  Snow accumulations on the road itself didn’t appear until about 2,100’, right as I approached the village, and the temperature there was right around freezing.




There was about an inch of new snow in the village area, and the sun was actually peeking out of the clouds when I first arrived at the mountain.  My skin track on Beech Seal was buried, but still visible.  Accumulations at mid mountain were 1 to 2 inches, and up at the Vista summit there was 3 inches of new snow.  That puts the event snow totals at around 3 to 4 inches at 2,100’, and 8 to 10 inches at 3,100’ based on what I’ve seen over the past three days.




This latest round of snow was dense as the others have been, and up at the Vista Summit there’s now about 4 to 5 inches on top of the crusty layer from Friday, although at the top of this latest batch of snow there is a weaker crust that may have developed from rime or wet snow freezing up.  The snow accumulations are really starting to build up now, and there are a lot of terrain options that weren’t there a couple of days ago – especially on the upper mountain.  Although there was no precipitation during my ascent, when I started my descent from the Vista Summit at around 10:15 A.M., it had just started to snow, and even as I dropped in elevation, the snowfall intensified.





Hard Luck clearly had enough snow for turns, so I made a descent on part of it.  It’s steep enough that even with the good accumulation of dense snow I was still touching down to that crusty layer, so I only did a partial descent and then hiked back up so I could get in a run down Sherman’s Pass.  I actually found that the best turns this morning were not at the very highest elevations, because that new weak crust was thickest there and made the skiing a bit tricky.  However, after a couple hundred feet of descent that crust got thinner and the skiing got better and better.  The very bottom elevations of the mountain are still a bit thin on coverage, but turns were good essentially all the way back to the base.  I’ve been watching that skier’s left section of Beech Seal over the past few days, and finally felt that the snow was right to hit it today.  The turns were so good that I quickly made another run at it and put some figure eights on my tracks.  The fun part about that run was that I was actually able to skin right up Beech Seal without putting my skins back on.  The consistency of the snow was such that I could stick if I wasn’t sliding, so that made for a very quick lap.  It took about a turn or two to convince my skis to get back into sliding mode after ascending, but once they did it was very smooth.  It almost felt like going the wax route on cross country skis.




By the time I was leaving, steady snowfall was coming down in the village, and the precipitation was snow all the way down to 1,100’ before it changed over fully to rain.  We’ve had on and off rain down here at the house all day from this latest round of precipitation, so there should be yet another accumulation of snow up in the higher elevations.  The mountain was pretty quiet while I was there, but I did see one person ascending with his dog at mid mountain on my way down.




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