Vermont Snow Updates 2009-10

icelanticskier":303gnyvi said:
how bout that vermont list forum hey jay? ](*,)
Yeah, it's been quite an adventure this round. But, at least it's got people talking and it's been very informative.
In Waterbury we picked up just an additional trace of snowfall after the 6:00 P.M. clearing of the snowboard last night, so the event total for our location remains at 1.6” snow/0.10” L.E.

For the Vermont ski areas along the spine of the Greens, it looks like up to 8 inches of snow fell in association with the frontal passage. A north to south accumulations list is below:

Jay Peak: 8”
Smuggler’s Notch: 5”
Stowe: 7”
Bolton Valley: 4”
Mad River Glen: 6”
Sugarbush: 8”
Pico: 1”
Killington: 1”
Okemo: 1”
Bromley: 2”
Magic Mountain: 1”
Stratton: 5”
Mount Snow: 2”

Combined mountain accumulations for the Tuesday/Wednesday event and the frontal passage have generally been in the 1 to 1.5 foot range for the Northern Vermont areas. Jay Peak and Stowe are atop of the accumulations list with 21” and 20” of snow respectively.

I didn't have a chance to get out during the midweek events, but I checked out the new snow up at Bolton yesterday. I did a tour in the Nordic area, and found 7-8 inches of powder at 2,100' and 9-10 inches in the 2,500' range. More details in my report from yesterday.


We were skiing at Stowe yesterday, and snowfall began around mid afternoon up in the higher elevations. The flakes were small and the intensity very light at first, but over the course of the next few hours, the snowfall intensity and increased flake size gradually worked their way down the mountain. By the time we left the base area (~1,500’) at around 5:30 P.M., there was a steady light snow falling comprised of flakes up to 1 cm in diameter, and we had accumulated about a half inch of new snow on the car. The snowfall tapered off down the Mountain Road, and it was still snowing lightly in Stowe Village. However, I was amazed to see that there was absolutely nothing falling in Waterbury Center, and no sign that there had even been any precipitation. The situation was the same at the house, but a little snow did finally come in overnight, dropping 0.5” snow/0.01” L.E.

Apparently the snowfall continued with some vigor up at the mountain, because Stowe is reporting 7 inches of new snow overnight. Here are morning reports I’ve seen from some of the Vermont ski areas in the northern half of the state:

Jay Peak: 9”
Stowe: 7”
Bolton Valley: 2”
Mad River Glen: 1”
Sugarbush: 4”

With January complete, our season snowfall through January 31st at the house was 74.2 inches, which is 75.5% of the average based on numbers from my previous three seasons worth of data. My valley data appear to be running generally in line with what has been seen in the local mountains. Tony's 09-10’ ski season progress report didn’t cover through the end of the month, but the snowfall numbers as of January 22nd for the ski areas in the northern half of Vermont were as follows:

Jay Peak (mid): 113” (67%)
Mansfield Stake: 88” (77%)
Smuggler's Notch: 128 (82%)
Sugarbush: 83” (65%)

I looked outside last night around at around 10:00 P.M. and noticed that we had a little light snow falling, then checked the BTV composite radar and saw that there was some moisture hitting the Northern Greens in the Bolton/Mt. Mansfield area on a northwesterly flow. The moisture didn’t look too substantial, but as the past few events have shown, you never quite know exactly what the Green Mountains are going to do with a little moisture. This morning at the house I found 0.2” snow/Trace L.E. on the board, and as for snowfall in the mountains, it did look like the focus of the moisture was in the Bolton/Mansfield area. I’ve seen the following accumulation reports from this morning:

Jay Peak: 2”
Stowe: 3”
Bolton Valley: 3”
Sugarbush: 1”

In terms of storms, there still doesn’t appear to be anything major this week, but a bit like last week, there will probably be some upcoming rounds of accumulating snow. Based on Roger Hill’s broadcast this morning and the BTV NWS discussion, the snowfall events seem to line up as follows:

-The next shot of snow comes late tonight/early tomorrow morning, then perhaps a lull during the midday.

-Another round of snow with some more substantial accumulations comes in Wednesday afternoon into the overnight. Roger was suggesting fluffy accumulations in the 2-3 inch range from that one, and the NWS seems to be in the same ballpark. Presumably the highest totals will be in the mountains as usual.

-Friday afternoon there is the chance for some light snow showers in association with an arctic front, but it doesn’t sound too robust.

-Saturday the BTV NWS suggests there could be some snow showers in their southern sections in association with a coastal low.

-Sunday and Monday we are expected to be under high pressure, but apparently there will be an upper level low dropping south with some shortwaves that move through the area – so there could be something in the air.

-Roger didn’t mention it, but Bob Minsenberger referenced a chance of a more substantial system on Monday during his morning broadcast, and the NWS obviously has the potential on mind. But, based on the wording in their early morning discussion, the timing is confusing: BEGINNING MONDAY NIGHT WE WILL SEE CLOUDS INCREASE FROM THE WEST IN ADVANCE OF A SYSTEM MOVING UP THE OHIO VALLEY...WHICH COULD BRING WIDESPREAD SNOW TO THE REGION FOR MONDAY.

So, there doesn’t appear to be anything major coming through this week, but there’s lots of small stuff to watch and Roger says the upper elevations of the Greens will likely have more than a half foot of additional snow by Saturday. The way things have gone with these past four little events (30 inches in the past week at Stowe) that wouldn’t be too surprising.

Stowe, VT 31JAN2010

Sunday saw a notable jump in temperatures compared to Saturday; it was about 20 F at the Spruce Peak base area at noontime. Even though there hadn’t been any real storms, Stowe still managed to pick up 20 inches of new snow in the summit areas since our previous visit a week earlier. The midweek trip reports had shown some excellent skiing, so I was very curious to see how the new snow had held up. When we arrived at Spruce, the steep pitches of the Meadows area looked really nice in the sunshine, so I brought my group there to kick off the day. It turned out that although there was a lot of untracked snow remaining, there was also a 1 to 2-inch wind crust on top. The crust was breakable and soft, but it definitely challenged the boys, so we talked about techniques to handle those conditions and they got to practice there. The groomed areas below the steeper shots were simply fantastic; just lots of packed powder to dig into with the skis.


We spent the rest of the day over on Mt. Mansfield, and the conditions were highly variable. Apparently the wind had done its worst in the higher elevations, because most areas we skied up high were quite icy. The very top of Gondolier was icy, Switchback was generally a disaster, and the top of Nosedive was its usual icy self. The only real saving grace on any of these was the fact that in some spots, the sides held good snow where people had pushed it around. I worked with the boys on short-radius turns in those areas and they made some decent progress. None of those areas were really worth a second visit though. Fortunately, many of the lower parts of the mountain skied very nicely akin to what we’d experienced over on the bottom of Spruce Peak. The bottom half of Perry Merrill that we caught had great snow, as did parts near the bottom of Cliff Trail. I also took the boys for a couple runs in the Nosedive Glades. The area was generally tracked out, but there are so many options that’s there’s always another untracked line to pick. We worked on trees and hit some powder as well. The trees had protected the powder from the wind, and the new snow was so deep in there that the old base was a distant memory. I checked at one point with my measurement pole and there were still 20 inches of powder above the base after settling. The boys got a kick out of that. However, the powder had settled noticeably or been at least slightly affected by the wind, because it wasn’t quite as fluffy as what I’d found over at Bolton’s Nordic area on Saturday.


Snow started falling up high in the mid afternoon and gradually worked its way toward the base elevations by the time we were leaving. There’s already been an additional 10 inches of snow since we were there on Sunday, and I don’t believe there’s been excessive wind, so things should be at least as good as we encountered. There’s also more snow on the way tomorrow. Hopefully some the surfaces on the upper elevation groomed terrain will have improved with these latest rounds of snow, because they definitely needed it.

hey jay,

awesome to read about how you work with the boys on how to ski variable conditions and practice different techniques for different snow types encountered. i love that stuff and over the years have worked on my technique to try to tame even the most difficult conditions. makes you such a stronger skier overall. i was at the loaf sunday/monday. they haven't had much new snow, but with boyne in charge, definitely made that rain event a distant memory with snowmaking and grooming galore. monday offered some very nice mid to upper boot deep untracked on most skiers left trails with a bit of new snow overnight and winds blowing just right. surprise untracked pow skiing for full lengths of trails and nobody there. dead.

ty's gettin big eh?

Waterbury event totals: 2.8” snow/0.14 L.E.

We had consistent light snow yesterday evening in Waterbury, most of it comprised of fairly small flakes in the 1-3 mm range. But, after about 10:00 P.M., things picked up a bit. The BTV composite radar showed some of those yellow 30 db returns pushing their way into the Burlington area from the northwest, and I checked outside a while later to find that snowfall intensity and flake size had jumped up. This morning, I found 2.0 inches of snow on the board comprised of 0.09 inches of liquid. There was still a little light snow still falling, but the sky was partly cloudy and it didn’t look like there was going to be too much additional accumulation. The overnight valley accumulations seemed to follow the typical trend of tapering off as I headed westward out of the mountains, with little sign of new accumulation here in Burlington. In the local mountains, I’ve seen the following event totals for some of the ski areas that have reported this morning:

Jay Peak: 10"
Smuggler's Notch: 3"
Stowe: 4"
Bolton Valley: 5"
Sugarbush: 7"
Killington: 3"
Okemo: 3"

This morning in his broadcast, Roger Hill indicated that he wasn’t seeing much in terms of our usual accumulating snow shower activity over the next several days, but he did mention flurry activity in the far northern areas for Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Roger spoke of some interesting potential for the middle of next week however, so that will continue to be something to watch.

Waterbury event summary: 1.7” snow as of 6:30 A.M.

Mother Nature definitely caught me by surprise this morning. Yesterday evening I was chatting with E about how we should enjoy the few inches of snow we’d just picked up, because it looked like it was going to be several days before there was much chance of anything else. It had really cleared out yesterday, and I figured that would be it on the precipitation for a while. This morning, I’d just allocated enough time to check the back yard stake and send in a snowpack depth and zero precipitation reading to CoCoRaHS. However, my timeline had to change a bit. When I opened the back door, I was confronted by a pounding of huge snowflakes in the ¾” – 1” range, and over an inch of new snow sitting on the snowboard. At the 6:00 A.M. measurement, I found 1.2 inches of very fluffy snow on the board, comprised of just 0.01 inches of liquid. I checked the BTV composite radar to see what was going on, and it looked like mainly a Champlain Valley thing that was starting to taper off. The flakes started to get smaller and the snowfall less intense, but by the time I left the house at around 6:30 A.M., there was already another half inch of snow on the board. On the drive into Burlington, the snow was generally very light, but intensified right as I approached town. Here on the UVM campus, it looks like they’ve picked up somewhere shy of an inch of new snow, but steady light snow continues with flakes in the ~1/3” range.

For the local mountains this morning, I’ve seen the following accumulations reports:

Jay Peak: 2”
Smuggler’s Notch: 1”
Stowe: 4”
Bolton Valley: 3”
Mad River Glen: 6”
Sugarbush: 5”

It’s not too surprising to see Sugarbush and MRG topping the snowfall list this morning, as Roger Hill commented that things seemed to be strong down toward Addison County. Roger again commented to be on the lookout for that system next week, so we’ll see what happens there. For now, the precipitation is still on the radar, so I’ve attached a capture below.


Bolton Valley, VT 06FEB2010

We haven’t really had any big snowstorms over the past week, but the Greens did work some of their usual magic with the resorts in the northern half of the state pulling in snowfall ranging from 1 to 2 feet. We waited for things to warm up a bit, and headed up to Timberline in the late morning to catch up with Stephen, Johannes, and Helena for some runs.

On piste, the conditions on the groomed runs were OK, with decent packed powder, but it wasn’t super soft. There were occasional icy patches as well, but coverage in the lower elevations has definitely improved over the last time I’d skied Timberline on January 18th. Twice as Nice was a good example, as it definitely benefitted from all the snow received over the past couple of weeks.

Off piste, my checks revealed 7 to 9 inches of powder at around 2,000’ and about 10 inches at 2,500’. The powder is pretty dry, so those depths weren’t really sufficient to keep you off the base on the steepest terrain, but on low and moderate angle terrain the powder skiing was excellent.

We never left the Timberline area so I can’t speak to the powder depths above 2,500’, but based on reports I’ve seen from around the area, things get notably deeper as you climb up in elevation. The temperatures eventually got up to the 15-20 F range, and with no wind and the sun in the afternoon, it really turned out to be a comfortable time on the slopes. A few pictures from the day have been added below.











Last night at some point after 11:00 P.M., I checked outside and there was a little light snow falling. Not too long after that though, I checked again and the precipitation had stopped and I could see the stars. The BTV NWS discussion did mention the chance for a few snow showers during the overnight with the chance for 1-2 inches in the northern mountains, but the more substantial potential for accumulations appears to be today and tonight from an upper level disturbance that has backed into the area from the Canadian Maritimes. This morning at 6:00 A.M. I found 0.3 inches of snow on the board, with light snow falling comprised mostly of 1-2 mm flakes, but some larger ones in the 4-5 mm rang as well. Even the composite radar wasn’t showing much at that point though, so it doesn’t look like there’s too much out there. None of the local ski resorts have picked up any notable accumulation yet as far as I can tell, although as of their 6:15 A.M. update, Bolton Valley indicated that snow was falling. The NWS does mention the potential for valley accumulations in their discussion, and as of the 3:15 A.M. update they are going with the following:


Beyond this system, the discussion is calling for ridging on Tuesday, and the extent of the impacts from the Wednesday’s event are still not clear, but it seems that the typical snow showery regime will be around for the Thursday through Sunday period.

In terms of snowfall at the house, it doesn’t look like there was anything new beyond the 1.2 inches that fell yesterday evening, so for the event the totals remain at 1.6” snow/0.02 L.E. Places to the north (such as the Northeast Kingdom) are certainly getting hit harder, and have been under winter weather advisories in association with the snowfall. In the valleys of Vermont, the NWS noted that Sutton had already seen 4.7 inches as of about 9:00 P.M. last night, and this morning I noticed that a station up in Orleans County had reported 3.4 inches of new snow on the CoCoRaHS map. In the mountains, I’ve seen the following accumulations from some of the local ski areas:

Jay Peak: 9”
Smuggler’s Notch: 2”
Stowe: 6”
Bolton Valley: 3”

Stowe, VT 08FEB2010

Yesterday afternoon we were up at Stowe for our weekly school program, and I was once again given the “young advanced” group. The new wrinkle for this week was that in addition to my skiers, I was getting two snowboarders who were too advanced for the other snowboarding groups. One of the snowboarders was out, but I still got to meet Alexia, who is a third grade snowboarder that really rips. I don’t think she would have minded if I’d just skied but to keep things even, I snowboarded for the first half of the session so we could focus on that. She handled Upper Smuggler’s with plenty of moguls and hard, crappy snow like it was nothing, so it didn’t look like there were going to be any limitations on what we could do as a group. When it came time for choosing trials, her main wish was that she could ride something that could challenge her, not in a cocky way, but she just wanted to step it up as much as possible and have fun trying whatever she could.

Mid afternoon we hit the outdoor hot chocolate session in the little village square area, and while we took a break in the lodge, I switched into ski boots and we headed off to Mansfield. Since challenge was the call of the day, my plan was to bring the kids in below the Kitchen Wall and see how they liked it, but the corner of Perry Merrill had already been roped off, so we continued on down to Cliff Trial and into the Nosedive Glades. Alexia did a nice job in the trees, the only drawback being that she was on a board and it limited her mobility in terms of traversing and climbing. As far as I know I’m getting the mixed group next time, so we’ll see how that goes for boarders negotiating the traverses etc. in the trees.

We’ve got a couple of weeks before our next session, but I think we’ll be doing a lot of trees next time unless conditions change. Yesterday at Stowe really reinforced the conditions trends that I've seen there over the past couple of weeks. Even though there’s been another 1-2 feet of snow in the intervening period, compared to the exact same period a week earlier, yesterday afternoon revealed a clear drop in on piste snow quality. And that’s from a level of conditions that I already considered pretty low on the upper slopes of Mansfield. A few trail areas held serve on snow quality compared to the previous week, but in most cases the drop in on-piste quality was remarkable. I actually don’t know what that first steep pitch of Perry Merrill was like a week ago because we didn’t ski it, but yesterday it was simply a tragic mess of windswept ice with a few rocks thrown in for good measure. I can guarantee that most of the other parents in our program are not as picky as I am when it comes to conditions, and yesterday for the first time I heard several comments about how hard (and in some cases scary) the snow was.

With this group we are skiing Sunday afternoons, at the tail end of the busiest time of the week, so perhaps the timing has something to with the conditions. I’m guessing the situation must be Stowe’s high volume of traffic in combination with the winds or whatever, but the conditions are not nearly what we experienced at Bolton's Timberline area on Saturday afternoon. Perhaps things are better in the mornings after grooming, but from what I’ve seen, Stowe badly needs a resurfacing snowstorm with 1 to 2 inches of liquid equivalent in it to get the trails into decent shape. A few of those storms of the type that they get in the Mid Atlantic would be just the thing to freshen up the trails. Coverage in general on the trails is fine, although not great on some of the natural snow mogul runs like Upper Smuggler’s. The bigger factor is just how hard the on piste snow has gotten. The ample fluff that Stowe has received recently seems to give some decent powder days, but it just hasn’t had the staying power to hold up on the trials over time.

Anyway, with that said about the on piste conditions, things almost couldn’t be more remarkably different off piste. Compared to last week, the coverage, depth, and quality of the powder all seemed improved. Untracked areas were dreamy, even in the lower elevations of Spruce Peak where the kids showed me some glades that they liked. I’d highly recommend the off piste options at Stowe for now.

Nice to see that JSpin's demonstrated talent in teaching his sons is being extended to other lucky local kids as well.

Nice detail on Stowe conditions. These are the weekends that make it tough to assign a letter grade in my charts. The woods are unquestionably "A" (powder/packed powder) but not the trails from what I read here and on some other trip reports. For an apples-to-apples comparison vs. other regions it should probably be trails.
Tony Crocker":1tievm8e said:
These are the weekends that make it tough to assign a letter grade in my charts.
I can imagine it’s tough having to work with the subjective aspects of the conditions. Based on our recent experiences at Bolton, and the fact that we haven’t had any temperatures above freezing in a while, I have to think it’s a traffic thing making many of the slopes so firm at Stowe. Bolton has received slightly less snow than Stowe, and we were skiing at relatively low altitudes (1,500’ – 2,500’) there and finding generally packed powder on the runs. With the delicate nature of the snow we’ve been picking up, it seems that low traffic areas (low-speed lifts, trees, backcountry) are the way to go if you want good/great snow.

There are only a few flakes falling here right now, but the event totals as of 6:00 A.M. in this location are 2.9” snow/0.08 L.E. For the local ski areas I’ve seen the following totals so far:

Jay Peak: 2”
Smuggler’s Notch: 2”
Stowe: 4”
Bolton Valley: 3”
Mad River Glen: 2”
Sugarbush: 2”
Here's a quick conditions update from the weekend at Bolton Valley. The off piste and backcountry continue to feature some outstanding snow, bolstered by snow showers throughout the weekend with a few extra inches late Sunday. The temperatures have been continuously below freezing for a long time now, and not only has there been no mixed precipitation, there hasn't even been any dense snow. Each upslope event continues to just pile fluff on top of fluff. Places with respectable elevation and protection from the sun and wind simply continue to become more and more bottomless. On several occasions this weekend I tried to push as hard as I could into turns and there was just no touching bottom. In lower areas with south exposure, off piste areas that have seen substantial traffic, or windy areas, the depth of the powder is more variable. On piste, conditions were good, to even very good/excellent in some spots on Monday, but even a few of Bolton's higher traffic trails seem to be showing the wear and tear from the lack of storms with big liquid equivalent. I noticed that Cobrass was getting pretty poor on Monday afternoon in the middle section, although the snow was great lower down in the Cobrass Run/Five Corners are where traffic must be notably reduced as people spread out. We still await a big synoptic storm in this area, but it looks like we're back into more of the recent upslope snow regime for the remainder of the week. More details can be found in the reports from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and a few shots from the weekend have been included below:




Over the past couple of days in the Burlington-Waterbury area, I didn’t see anything more than flurries from the recent coastal storm, and up until this morning, that was all I’d seen in association with the upslope portion of the event. This morning however, there was snow falling at the house, moderate in intensity and comprised of a mixture of snowflake sizes. As of the 6:00 A.M. snowboard clearing, the accumulation was 1.1” snow/0.08 L.E. The snow was certainly coming down with at least moderate intensity, but it was deceptive. While cleaning off the board, it took a few confusing wipes to realize that the reason it didn’t seem to be getting cleared was because of the vigorous snowfall. After taking care of a couple other things, I came back a few minutes later and the board already had another three tenths of an inch of accumulation due to some of the big flakes. Compared to what we’ve seen recently, this snow actually seems to have a bit more substance to it, but it’s still coming in at just 7.3% H2O so that’s quite relative. I’m sure there will be at least a bit more accumulation on the board today, but depending on how far temperatures get above freezing in the valleys, I’m not sure what I’ll find on it this evening.

Just a couple of miles to the east in the middle of Waterbury, the snowfall intensity and accumulation were notably reduced, probably to around 50% of what I’d seen near the Waterbury/Bolton line. Heading west through the mountains, Richmond seemed to be doing a bit better than the center of Waterbury in terms of accumulation. In his broadcast this morning, Roger Hill did say that the current activity was affecting the western slopes of the Greens, so that makes sense. Here in Burlington it’s obvious that there’s been some new snow, because the ground is once again white. I’d say they picked up about a half inch on the UVM campus, but as of ~7:00 A.M. there are just a few flurries falling. So far for the local ski areas, it looks like accumulations are running around a couple of inches.

Waterbury running event totals: 3.0” snow/0.25 L.E.

Overnight we saw a round of precipitation similar to what we received during Wednesday night, although this shot of moisture was a little stronger, dropping 0.11 inches of liquid in the form of 1.6 inches of snow. With that addition, the event totals stand as indicated at the beginning of the post. A quarter inch of liquid is fairly modest, but looking back at my records, it’s still the largest liquid total we’ve had at the house for a snowfall event since that big retrograding low back at the beginning of January. That event delivered 1.05 inches of liquid equivalent, but that was over the course of nine days. The flakes were starting to get a bit bigger last night, but ultimately stayed fairly small, and that’s been the trend with this event. Thus, the snow density has been running at around 7% H2O, a bit higher than what we often see for upslope events. The powder skiing may not end up quite as billowy, but this more dense stuff should help out some of the higher traffic areas on the slopes better than fluff. Again this morning, the snow totals in the center of Waterbury to the east seemed about half of what we picked up along the spine, but snowfall continues in the Waterbury-Burlington areas. It looks like the Burlington area did better with this round than the last, I’d say there’s about an inch or so here on the UVM campus.

Up at Bolton Valley, it looks like they are at about 10 inches of snow from this event, and they seem to be in the sweet spot for ski area accumulations around here. Bolton doesn’t report liquid totals, but based on my observations from the house, the snow is probably not as dry as the usual upslope and will hopefully give a nice injection of substance atop the snowpack. Here are the event totals I’ve seen thus far from some of the more northerly Vermont resorts that didn’t really get much from the coastal portion of the storm earlier this week:

Jay Peak: 6”
Smuggler’s Notch: 4”
Stowe: 5”
Bolton Valley: 10”
Mad River Glen: 4”
Sugarbush: 2”

Bolton Valley, VT 20FEB2010

Today we headed up to Bolton to get in on some of the 10 inches of snow that they’d picked up in the past couple of days, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The snow was derived from the typical northwest upslope flow that has been supplying just about all the precipitation we’ve received in the past several weeks, but for once it wasn’t ultra fluffy Champlain Powder™. This snow actually had some substance to it. Unfortunately I don’t have any information on the amount of liquid contained in Bolton’s recent snowfall, but I do know that the past few days have dropped 0.42 inches of liquid equivalent at our house (495’), and 1.23 inches of liquid equivalent up at the stake on Mt. Mansfield (~3,700’). Since the Bolton Valley area has actually picked up more snow than Mt. Mansfield so far in this event, I’d estimate their liquid to be somewhere up around the number from the stake. So, even though we still haven’t been in on any big synoptic snowstorms in quite a while, I’d say that Bolton finally managed to sneak in a moderate resurfacing with 1”+ liquid equivalent.

I noticed the effect of the new snow immediately in the morning when we hit Twice as Nice, which had been suffering with coverage a bit since it’s been allowed to bump up. You could just fly right through the bump lines without having to worry about whether or not there was a rock or patch of ice on the back side of a mogul. We were able to meet up with Stephen, Johannes, and Helena right after our first run, and everyone that hit Twice as Nice found it to be a blast. There are a few black pitches on the trail, but for the most part it’s a blue square trail so the moguls are great for learning. People seemed to know how nice it was because it was well skied, and a few of the icy spots started to reappear later in the day.

Yesterday was presumably the bigger fresh powder morning on the trails, but traffic may have been light with some of the wind holds, because there were fresh lines left on the sides of the trails and we found hardly any tracks in the trees. We probably split the day about 50/50 in terms of time on and off piste, and had fun in the Showtime Glades, Enchanted Forest area, KP Glades, Villager Trees etc. Our last run of the day in the Villager Trees required some uphill traversing though the deep powder left from the past several weeks, and that was tough on Helena and Dylan since it was the end of the day. We got them though it though and they made some great turns once things were under way. The fact that Stephen promised hot chocolate down at the lodge was a good motivator as well.

The depth of powder around on the mountain ranges somewhat depending on aspect, winds affects, traffic, etc. but the kids were constantly requesting that I check the depth of the snow as we made our travels through the trees, so I got a lot of sampling. The values ranged anywhere from about nine inches up to almost four feet, so there is plenty of deep snow out there. With this denser accumulation from this event though, it doesn’t actually take much to make it bottomless, so even higher traffic areas with depths on the lower end of that range were skiing beautifully. I found a few random spots of crust around, but they were extremely scattered so I’m not sure exactly what caused them. There had been talk of a bit of freezing drizzle on the mountain, but the way these crusty spots were so isolated makes me think it was the sun or something like that. Weather wise today, it was simply excellent down at Timberline; the temperature was right around freezing, there was no wind, and the day featured a bit of sun and then a bunch of light snow. Up at the Vista Summit though, things were socked in with clouds, the wind was pretty strong, and it was a much different scene. That was really just the top few hundred feet of the main mountain as far as we could tell, but we only went up there once. Some pictures from the day have been added below: