Date(s) Skied: April 8th, 2009

Resort or Ski Area: Bolton Valley, VT

Conditions: Elevations and new snow accumulations - 2,100’: 1 - 2”, 2,500’: 2 - 3”, 2,600’: 3”, 2,800’: 3 - 4”, 3,150’: 4 - 5”



Trip Report: Last weekend’s storm quickly produced a decent powder day on Sunday, but this week’s midweek storm was a more drawn out affair. I was hearing reports of snow in the Green Mountains as early as Monday, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that it really seemed to start accumulating, and Wednesday before the first morning with fresh powder. With Bolton Valley no longer making snow reports, I had to go with Stowe’s snow report to get an idea of what had gone on up in the mountains. So when Stowe’s Wednesday morning report finally came in and they were indicating 5 inches up high, I expected Bolton would follow suit. I was quickly on my way up the access road for some turns.

The snow line with this storm was actually pretty low, we were even getting snow down in the valleys, but there just wasn’t much snowfall intensity for any notable accumulations in the lower elevations. Unlike the previous couple of storms, where there had been a dramatic low-elevation snow line and snow accumulations seemed to rapidly increase as soon as you hit that point, the snow depths with this storm increased very slowly with elevation. By the time I got up to the Bolton Valley Village (2,100’) there was only an inch or two of new snow. However, if this storm turned out to be drier in general than the previous couple, one upside (depending on whether your preference at this point in the season is for skiing fluff or building base) was that its snow was much drier as well. As soon as I got out of my car and checked the consistency of snow in the base area, I realized that it had an almost mid winter density of roughly 6 to 8% H2O. Between receiving snowfall comprised of needles and contributions of warmer spring temperatures, the powder from our March 31st and April 5th storms just didn’t hit that level of fluff. Looking back at my records, I guess it was around March 22nd when we last had a substantial dose of fluffy powder, but it was certainly back for this week’s storm. The temperature at the car was only 25 F, so it didn’t look like the fluff was going anywhere too quickly.

As I started skinning I was greeted with a hissing sound that I hadn’t heard for a couple of weeks, that sound that’s made as your skis push their way through very airy crystals of snow. The mountain was notably quiet without the usual preparation for running the lifts, and the silence seemed to amplify the effect of swishing through the snow. I skinned all the way up to the Vista Summit (3,150’) and here’s what I found for Wednesday Morning’s accumulations:

2,100’: 1 - 2”
2,500’: 2 - 3”
2,600’: 3”
2,800’: 3 - 4”
3,150’: 4 - 5”

In terms of the skiing, I was very impressed at how bottomless much of it was, even as I’d descended into the middle elevations. There was such a gradual density change in the snow as it had accumulated, that it just pushed back at you with as much force as you exerted. Eventually as I got far enough below mid mountain, there just wasn’t enough snow to keep me off the base, but I wasn’t complaining.

When I headed back down the access road at around 8:30 A.M., the temperature at the base of the road was 34 F. There was light snow on and off on the route to Burlington, and through all the valleys the most notable accumulation was in that relatively high elevation area of Williston (600-700’) where I’d seen heavy snowfall on Tuesday afternoon. There was about an inch of snow on the ground there, and the sun came out at times so I took a couple of additional pictures in that area to cap off the morning. A few of the pictures from the day are added below:














J.Spin