Bolton Valley, VT 1/16/2011

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  1. #1

    Camera Bolton Valley, VT 1/16/2011

    Date(s) Skied: Sunday, January 16th, 2011

    Resort or Ski Area: Bolton Valley, VT

    Conditions: Anywhere from 3 to 8 inches overnight, with powder on piste. Of piste conditions were similar to Saturday with anywhere from 20 to 30 inches of loose snow topped with Champlain Powder. Light snow during the day and breaks of sun gave way to much heavier accumulating snowfall in the afternoon.

    Trip Report: Dave had heeded my late week alert about the good skiing, so on Saturday evening we worked out a morning Timberline meeting. The clipper system that had started up midday Saturday dropped roughly 4 inches of new snow at the house by 6:00 A.M. Sunday morning, with most of that coming in at 3.7 to 3.8% H2O according to my analyses. What it meant for the local mountains was more fluff on top of fluff, so the powder skiing just continued to get deeper. Dylan had a midday birthday party (shouldn’t there be a Vermont state law mandating only evening birthday parties during ski season?), and E was taking him to that, leaving just Ty and I to join up with Dave. On the upside it meant that Dave and I could really run Ty ragged as we marauded our way through Bolton’s powder stashes… and apparently run him ragged we did.

    Bolton had only reported 3 inches of new snow in the morning, but based on what we got at the house, combined with what we found on the hill, I think it was a bit underreported. Conservative snow reports are generally appreciated though. While we waited for Dave to arrive at the mountain, we took a warm up run on Spell Binder, and I found 6 to 8 inches of snow on much of the trail. Ty really ripped it up on there and he was off to a great start.



    By the next run we’d caught Dave, and we’d had so much fun on Spell Binder that we brought him there for another round, as well as a trip down Adam’s Solitude where we caught some of the untracked powder above the return traverse. Ty had requested that run just because he loves the traverse so much – it’s becoming known as the roller coaster. It can be quite a workout managing such a long traverse, but there are a lot of fun options on which to play around in the process.





    Eventually Ty got hungry, and he had his sights set on eating in the Timberline Lodge, so it wasn’t until after lunch that we headed over to the main mountain. Once there, we just ventured where we wanted and found deep powder. There were so many places that we just never managed to visit, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. There were still some windswept areas closed, like the Cobrass and Tattle Tale headwalls, but the mountain was getting close to fully open. They had even made snow on Spillway and coverage seemed good there, even if it looked sort of hard and manmade from our perspective. My phone had alerted me of a missed call around lunch time, which turned out to be from Stephen, but I just didn’t have enough signal at that point to get back to him. He later told me that he had a great day exploring by himself while working on turns, and it sounds like he occasionally caught up with the kids. I noticed that Johannes has now posted his report from the day at VTSkiReport.com, entitled “Preacher” with plenty of fun pictures, including some shots of his Ridge Runners group.

















    Making our way through the Preacher woods at one point, we got hung up in a narrow area and Ty and I had to hold for a couple minutes while Dave got back underway. We sat down, or in actuality almost stood, in the deep snow, and while we waited I had time to pull out the camera and get some images of our surroundings. It was one of those days where the powder was just clinging to everything.



    At one point when we were venturing through the powder in the Villager trees at around 2,500’, I took a depth measurement with my pole. I did actually push through one thicker layer after about 30 inches, but when I finally stopped it was at 38 inches in depth, which is the highest marking I have on my pole. I’m not sure if that probe was down to the ground yet or if I’d just hit a very firm layer of base snow, but either way it was a pretty good snowpack for just 2,500’ elevation.





    Later in the afternoon we came out of one round in the Villager trees and Ty said that his legs were totally cooked. I don’t hear that from him very often, so I took it as a sign that we’d been going at it pretty hard. We decided that we’d just do one more easy lap on the main mountain and then return to Timberline. Fortunately, Ty’s legs became rejuvenated pretty quickly and he turned out to have some good skiing left in him.



    After that lap it was back to Timberline, with a round of great untracked powder on Lower Tattle Tale. As if the day’s snow hadn’t been enough, Mother Nature decided that we needed more, so the light snow and breaks of sunshine we’d been seeing tuned into thick clouds and heavy snow. I grabbed an excerpt from one of my reports to Americanwx.com where I talked about the weather from that day:

    “It snowed some in the morning on the mountain, then it seemed like the sun was going to win out during the middle of the day as it poked through the clouds at times. As we moved into the afternoon though, it started to dump close to an inch per hour with huge upslope-style flakes, even with the sun still shining through the clouds. After a while though, the sun disappeared, much heavier clouds moved in, and the huge flakes redoubled their efforts. It was pretty amazing, considering the snow as supposed to taper off today. The skiing was really spectacular with all the new snow; we found areas with up to 30 inches of powder thanks to all the fluff that has been falling with the recent systems.”

    It was going to be hard to pull ourselves away from the powdery slopes and skies full of big fat flakes, but finally, Ty insisted that we cash it in. We headed home while Dave hung around and did a few more runs. Recounting his time later, Dave said that he ventured into Wood’s Hole and found some really nice powder, which was not surprising since there weren’t really any crowds and the sky just kept piling it on. Snow continued to fall, and we knew it was going to be so good that we had to ski again somewhere on Monday.

    J.Spin
    Last edited by J.Spin; Jan 22, 2011 at 7:15 PM. Reason: Added link to Saturday's report

  2. #2


    I both love and hate your trip reports. Outstanding man.
    '04-'05 - 2 days
    '05-'06 - 11 days
    '06-'07 - 20 days
    '07-'08 - 19 days
    '08 - '09 - 23 days
    '09 - '10 - 16 days
    '10 - '11 - 12 days
    '11 - '12 - 6 days
    Lifetime Total - 109

    Namaste you guys!

  3. #3
    salsgang's Avatar
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    Shoot! Score! Win! Outstanding report. Well done!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Grassi21 View Post


    I both love and hate your trip reports. Outstanding man.
    Glad you enjoyed the report; I put up one more from that weekend on Bolton's Nordic/BC network. I try to get my reports up quickly enough with the hope that people can come up and enjoy the snow, but I've just been busy and a bit behind on them. Fortunately, the snow has just been staying consistently great. I try to make quicker updates on the conditions in the Vermont Snow updates thread at First Tracks, so I have an update from Saturday in there while I work up the full report.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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    Thanks for the report J. This year I plan on actually making a return visit to Bolton thanks to the fact that we won free tickets at the Meadowland Stadium Ski Show in December so I'm following your reports closely. Have map in hand but still can't find all of what you show and if they are secret stashes understand you might want to keep them secret. My wife loved the place when we went back in the 90's and now that my daughter can drive hope this trip is kidless. Looking forward to your updates. Would you recommend the Black Bear Inn?

    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ

  6. #6
    marcski's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Westchester County, NY and a Mountain near you!
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    See, now this one is definitely a winner. LOVE seeing Ty out there with you guys!!!! His presence puts it over the line for the win!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 4aprice View Post
    Thanks for the report J. This year I plan on actually making a return visit to Bolton thanks to the fact that we won free tickets at the Meadowland Stadium Ski Show in December so I'm following your reports closely. Have map in hand but still can't find all of what you show and if they are secret stashes understand you might want to keep them secret. My wife loved the place when we went back in the 90's and now that my daughter can drive hope this trip is kidless. Looking forward to your updates. Would you recommend the Black Bear Inn?
    Hi Alex, sorry for the delay in my response but itís been pretty snowy so Iíve been busy trying to keep up with my weather and ski reports, and of course skiing and real work as well. Itís nice to hear that you won tickets to Bolton, and I hope you have a great trip if you havenít gone yet; conditions have been excellent on the mountain and they just got another 10 inches yesterday. For my Bolton reports, I generally try to include the names of locations of where we are in the pictures, some of them may be formally on the map, and some may be the more informal names that folks use around the mountain. If I donít know the name of an off piste area, I will usually just call it by the trail name with ďwoodsĒ or ďtreesĒ after it. That means that it is the area that borders that trail, and exploring the off piste areas surrounding that trail is the way to go. Unfortunately Iíve never stayed at the Black Bear, but it sounds nice from comments Iíve heard. Iím a bit behind on my reports, but I did just post another Bolton one from January 29th.

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