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Road to Bolton Valley?

RISkier

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On a lark we drove up to Bolton Valley today. Road seemed almost undoable in an icy storm without chains. What’s it like on stormy days?
 

dblskifanatic

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We drove up there during a heavy snow storm several years ago and the were AWD Audi’s VWs Subaru’s etc that were like carnage all over that road. I had a Chrysler Aspen and put in locked 4wd and made it there without problems only to find that they shut down the ski area. When went back down it was nearly impassable due to many cars spinning out. Overall it can be a shit show during heavy snowfall and probably worse with freezing rain!


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RISkier

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Driving down it just seemed there would be no way to slow down short of chains. I don’t recall the road to Alta/Snowbird being that scary. Obviously, avalanche risk is a whole different dimension.
 

Cornhead

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The first time I skied in VT I drove to Jay, the lot was packed, cars parked on the access road. I decided to pass and head south. Stopped at a Ma and Pa store. Someone there suggested Smuggs. Asked the lady at the counter if she skied. She said she used to. I asked where she liked to ski, she sheepishly said "Well, I liked Bolton Valley." To which I replied, "Bolton Valley? Where the Hell is Bolton Valley? Never heard of Bolton Valley." I hit Smuggs that afternoon, it was good, they had gotten a little fresh. Got a place to stay and intended on returning to Smuggs the next morning. That morning I took a look at my road map, yes it was awhile ago. Does anyone else remember those great maps you used to get at the VT welcome centers? Anyway, I saw skiing BV would get me closer to home, so off I went.

There was just a dusting of snow at the base of the BV access road. By the time I pulled into the lot there was a foot of snow. The only cars there were covered with snow. A dump truck was plowing the lot. I stopped the plow and asked if the ski area would be opening, he said yes. As I was getting my gear out of my car, a guy pulled up and began doing the same. He asked if I needed a ticket, I said yes. He said his daughter was supposed to join him, but couldn't make it, and he had a ticket from some package deal. He sold me the ticket cheap, can't remember how much. I got first chair solo behind ski patrol. I later hooked up with the guy who sold me the ticket and made a few runs with him. It was a glorious first day at BV. Had a foot of powder pretty much to myself.

Several years later I decided to do some night skiing at BV so I could leave home at a sane hour and hit Stowe the next day. As I got off the quad I was shocked at the stunning view of the sun setting behind the Adirondacks with Lake Champlain in the foreground. On my first visit you saw only a wall of grey when exiting the chair. I had no idea that stunning view was there. Yes, that is one hairy access road. BV has the highest base elevation in VT.

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skiur

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I see 1446' and 2100' as the base elevation on various sites, which is it? Either way it's just a technicality that is the highest base area as K1 lodge at K is 2500' but the base is considered skyeship.
 
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I see 1446' and 2100' as the base elevation on various sites, which is it? Either way it's just a technicality that is the highest base area as K1 lodge at K is 2500' but the base is considered skyeship.
The main base area is 2000+ feet. The timberline side is lower so the 1446 is probably a reference to that base elevation.

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kbroderick

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Dec 1, 2005
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IMO, the road isn't that bad. I worked there for a few years, and the only times I got stuck were October snowstorms with the summer tires still on my front-wheel-drive Golf; through the winter, the town usually does (well, did, but I assume still does) an excellent job maintaining the road. I'd have to guess that being one of the bigger employers in town helps. If you don't know how to drive in the snow or get stuck behind someone in that category (idiots who stop right at the bottom of the S-curve, I'm looking at you), it can get a bit more challenging.

I think there were maybe two or three days over those years that things got ugly during the day (changing weather conditions during the ski day) and folks were advised to wait to leave until the town could make a sanding run, but it wasn't a regular event.
 
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So their claim of the highest base area in VT is not true then.
Certainly not vis-a-vis Killington regarding the highest place you can boot up in the morning.

Off the top of my head, Stratton, Bromley and Snow have higher lowest skiable points than Bolton does, too. Could be more. Not the highest on that score either.

My guess is they'd tell you their little village is higher than any other area's little village but not 100% sure if that's the case to be candid.

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WWF-VT

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Killington lists their Base Elevation at 1,165 ft at Skyeship in order to claim their highly inflated 3,050 ft vertical drop.
 
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