Backcountry skiing

A quick morning ski tour in the backcountry

Making ski turns through the snow

We hit the backcountry network at nearby Bolton Valley, Vermont, this morning to earn some turns. It was a lovely, windless, warm morning. We found 4 - 6 inches of fresh snow piled up from the last few days. Some sunny or windy spots were a little crusty or windpacked. But finding soft turns in shady areas was bliss. A great way to start the day. Unfortunately we will have very balmy weather on Thursday and Friday. With some rain. We'll see what happens![Read more]

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

A spectacular Saturday on the snow

It was a stunning day on the snow today! Not a cloud in the sky, a deep snowpack and warm temperatures. So very nice indeed. The Skimeister and I headed to Stowe, Vt., to do a backcountry ski tour. We explored the woods in the Sterling Forest. We earned our turns among the hardwood trees. And we had a leisurely snack stop in the sunshine. We noticed the snow in the shade and higher in elevation was rather light. But as we moved down to sunnier, lower elevations it became stiffer. We surfed on...[Read more]

Saturday, March 9, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Backcountry skiing on a warm and sunny February day

Snowy glades and blue sky

I was in my happy place today. We did a ski tour that had us climb up to 3,000 feet and then ski down through the sunny, snowy woods.  It was so nice to be able to leisurely switch over to downhill mode. The weather was windless and warm. There was no reason to rush as we took the skins off our skis and put on our helmets and dry mittens. There's still a lot of snow in the backcountry trail network at Bolton Valley, Vermont. Every once in a while I would stab a pole into the snow and...[Read more]

Saturday, February 23, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Deep snow — now more condensed — in the backcountry in northern Vermont

We noticed a change in depth of the snowpack today as compared to a week ago. While doing a backcountry tour we had to duck more often than usual to pass under branches. That's a good sign! (Have you heard that there were 98 inches of snow at the stake near the top of Mt. Mansfield? It broke a record for January 31.) Since Wednesday's super-light powder fell, the wind has played with it. The snow is now more consolidated and wind packed, but still great to ski. We also noticed the streams are...[Read more]

Saturday, February 2, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Checking things out in the Vermont backcountry after a powder dump & rain dump

Skiing in the backcountry trails in Bolton, Vermont.

This past week's weather was weird in northern Vermont. We had a copious amount of snow fall last weekend, followed by frigid temperatures. (It was so cold and windy that we didn't ski on the Monday holiday out of fear of getting frostbite.) Then we all took a weather roller coaster ride into the 40s and 50s. With lots of rain. Yes, sometimes Old Man Winter is cruel. So this morning when we headed out to ski in the woods, we weren't really sure what we would find. We put our skins on our...[Read more]

Saturday, January 26, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

A quick, cold ski tour before the snowstorm hits

Today we enjoyed soft, powdery snow in the backcountry trail network in Bolton, Vermont. And that was this morning before the snow started to fall. We are salivating at the snow totals that the National Weather Service is predicting. BRING IT ON! It was cold out there today (in the single digits) so we covered our skin as much as possible without fogging up our goggles. (That's always tricky, isn't it!?) The ski resort was reporting up to three inches of new snow overnight. But in the...[Read more]

Saturday, January 19, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Today’s ski in the woods: Sun, snow + moose poop

Hooray for this week’s snow! The Skimeister and I went backcountry skiing this morning and the recent snow made a BIG difference. We found 4 to 6 inches of snow over a crusted base between 2,700 and 3,100 feet in Bolton, Vermont. The snow in the sun had a sun-crusted top layer. But the snow in the shade was still light and fun! We climbed up as the sun was trying to come out from behind the clouds. At the top our climb it was sunny, and quite warm. We took our time taking off our skins in the...[Read more]

Saturday, January 5, 2019 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Exhausted — but happy — after another day of exploring the backcountry

Sunday brought day two of sunshine and day two of skiing in the backcountry in northern Vermont. We had discussed exploring the forest on the flanks of Camel's Hump. So off we went this morning. After a long approach by car to Camel's Hump State Park in Duxbury, Vt., we buckled into our telemark boots and headed for the Monroe Trail. It's a busy hiking trail in the summer. Today there were hikers, snowshoers and a few skiers.  I learned it's challenging to skin up a hiking trail. This...[Read more]

Sunday, December 9, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Fall & Early season

Cold, sunny, fluffy morning in the backcountry in Stowe, Vermont

We didn’t see many people on our ski tour this morning. Probably because it was darn cold! We started our ski tour in the bright sun but in temperatures around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The new snow that had fallen over the past couple of days in Stowe was light and fluffy. We went to explore the trails and trees in Stowe’s Sterling Forest.  We skinned uphill and only stopped once —briefly — for water and a handful of peanuts. It was too cold to dally. We would descend in snow that was...[Read more]

Saturday, December 8, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Fall & Early season, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

Venturing into the deep snow in the backcountry

Bolton Valley Resort opened for the weekend today. While folks flocked to the chairlifts, we skinned into the backcountry to the north of the ski area.  We found a deep snowpack, some open water hazards and thick powder to surf on. The resort was reporting 26 inches of new snow in the last five days. At times I lost my ski pole while pushing in the deep snow. And when I accidentally dove hands-first into the deep powder, it was a chore to extricate myself! It's rather incredible for...[Read more]

Saturday, December 1, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Fall & Early season

Latest storm really puts the “snow” in Snowvember

The latest low-pressure system to slowly spin its way over the Northeast has dropped even more snow across Vermont. This morning I skinned up the well-packed track on Bolton Valley’s Wilderness Peak to check out the unreal 20 inches that the resort reported had fallen in the last 24 hours. I also noted on the snow report that Bolton has restricted uphill traffic to the Wilderness area and the backcountry trails due to all the mountain operations going on everywhere else. Bolton Valley is...[Read more]

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Fall & Early season

A whole lotta snow falling in Vermont to close out November!

The 24-hour snow totals at most Vermont ski resorts are being reported in the teens. You know, like 13 inches or more! Some southern Vermont ski areas are reporting about 20 inches. There was so much snow that power was an issue at a couple of the resorts this morning. Just a reminder: It is still November.  See our Vermont Ski Resorts page for direct links to snow reports your favorite resorts. See our Snow Reports page for a compilation of reports. And plan to get out on your skis or...[Read more]

Tuesday, November 27, 2018 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season

Making the most of the November snow

Another day, another ski tour! The forecast calls for warmer temperatures and foul weather, so we made a point of getting out to ski this afternoon. If Friday felt like February, I'd have to say that today felt like late-March. The cold, stiff snow we skied in yesterday turned into heavy, wet snow today. You know, like the mashed potatoes that you had with Thanksgiving dinner. With few layers on we climbed up into the Bolton backcountry trail network and did a nice afternoon tour. The sun was...[Read more]

Saturday, November 24, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Fall & Early season

Backcountry bliss — in November!

We re-confirmed this fact today: There is a lot of snow at higher elevations in northern Vermont! The Skimeister and I enjoyed a ski tour in the Bolton Valley backcountry trail network. The scene was more like February than November! The snow was plentiful and the sky was blue. The temperature was also under 20 degrees, so that added to the mid-winter vibe. We passed small trees that were bending over in the weight of snow. We skinned in a rather deep skin track. And we descended in thick...[Read more]

Friday, November 23, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Fall & Early season

It’s November 17 and there are great turns to be had in Vermont!

Midday on Saturday offered up snowflakes, deep snow and sunshine!  I skinned up trails at Bolton Valley. The ski area won't open until early December, but they are already making snow on the main mountain. As I began climbing, it was rather warm and it was snowing. The deep snow was starting to get a bit heavy. On the way up I made note of the many open water bars that I should avoid on the way down. It was wonderful to be out on the snow getting exercise after a week of work. And to my...[Read more]

Saturday, November 17, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Fall & Early season

It’s beginning to look a lot like winter in Vermont!

I heard that our higher mountains in Vermont had received some snow so this morning I went to check it out. The bottom of the Bolton Valley Access Road was bare, but by the time you got up to the Timberline area there was snow on the ground. At the main base area things were downright wintry. Bolton Valley is not open yet, but they reported 8 - 11 inches of snow in the past 48 hours. This morning near the base area, it was crusted over with some shallow, little pockets of soft snow here...[Read more]

Sunday, November 11, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Fall & Early season

Soft turns on a sunny day in May

Knowing that we're heading into a sunny, warm weather pattern, we figured we better get some more skiing in before the snow is gone. It is May, after all! We skinned up the trails at Bolton Valley, Vermont, under the bright sun. A breeze kept us cool as we ascended. After enjoying the view, we took our time heading down and making swishy turns on the corn snow. The snow coverage took a big hit this week, but where there was snow it was often more than a foot deep. We had to navigate around...[Read more]

Saturday, May 5, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

It’s the end of April and we’re still skiing in Vermont

Three ski resorts in Vermont continue to spin their lifts. (See our post about closing dates.) This week we've been enjoying sliding around in the woods on waxless skis. The snow is corned up and covered with nature's debris, the streams are running, and many areas are melting out, requiring some bushwhacking. But where there's snow it is still deep, especially up high.[Read more]

Sunday, April 29, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Spring skiing

Winter in late April? What’s a skier to do?

Winter hasn’t been letting up here in Vermont. Several inches of snow have fallen in the mountains over the last couple of days. And, well, the sun came out this morning. What’s a skier to do??? We grabbed our tele gear and skinned up into the Bolton Valley backcountry trail network in the late morning. The parking lots were full of snow. The woods were wintry. The sky was blue. We skied in about 8 inches of dense powder. It was drier at the top of our descent (at about 3,000 feet) and about...[Read more]

Saturday, April 21, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

Earning a few turns after work

The sun today cried out for an after-work ski outing. We headed for a sunny slope at Bolton Valley -- under the Timberline lift. This is one of the areas designated for uphill access at the resort. The sun had softened up the snow into corn snow, allowing for swooshy turns. It was a nice way to end the work day![Read more]

Monday, April 2, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

Earning our turns: Backcountry skiing on a sunny day in northern Vermont

Saturday was such a pretty day. Blue sky, rather warm temperatures and still lots of snow to play in! The Skimeister and I earned our turns in the backcountry. We skinned up into the Bolton Valley backcountry trail network to Stowe View. (A nice view over to Mt. Mansfield today!) Then we dropped down the backside to look for uncrusted snow in the upper Cotton Brook basin. We then skinned out of the basin on a sustained, steep incline (a lot of work!) before reaching the trail network and...[Read more]

Sunday, March 25, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

Powder turns in the Vermont backcountry!

Today was a bit strange. We skinned up into the Bolton backcountry trail network in northern Vermont and when we started to descend, things looked very, very different. We were ducking under branches that we hadn't had to avoid earlier this season. (Where did they come from?) The trail signs were in the wrong places, too! They were much lower than we remember them. Were we in an episode of the “Twilight Zone?” In fact, it turned out to be an episode of the powder zone. We quickly realized...[Read more]

Sunday, March 18, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

We’re sounding like a broken record: More snow in Vermont!

The new snow in Vermont is being measured in feet rather than inches this week! Copious amounts of powder can be found from the southern border to Canada — and everywhere in between. Check out these few photos from a couple Vermont ski resorts. This weekend will offer terrific skiing! See our Vermont Snow Reports page for a rundown of today's conditions, and links to the snow reports at all Vermont ski resorts.[Read more]

Friday, March 16, 2018 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

MORE SNOW in Vermont! March is being very kind to us!

Wow! Skiers and riders are rejoicing with many inches of new snow throughout the state of Vermont. Southern Vermont was again the winner with this coastal storm. Resorts are reporting up to 3 feet (that is not a typo) of snow from the storm!  Check out our list of southern Vermont ski resorts to see the incredible snow totals they are reporting from this storm. Places like Bromley, Okemo, Magic Mountain, Stratton and Mount Snow were dumped on. Further north, reports of the snow storm...[Read more]

Friday, March 9, 2018 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Snow hits Vermont: Southern Vermont is the big winner

The coastal storm that moved through the northeast has left up to 14 inches of snow in southern Vermont. As you move north, the snow totals diminish. For example, 7 inches at Pico and Killington, 3 inches at Smugglers' Notch, and none at Burke Mountain. Magic Mountain says on its snow report: "It will be technical skiing as a heavy, moisture-laden snow fell yesterday." See our Vermont Snow Reports page for a run-down, and check on the new snow totals at your favorite resort on or...[Read more]

Saturday, March 3, 2018 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Backcountry skiing among the hardwoods on the west side of Mt. Mansfield

The Skimeister and I headed for the woods on the west side of Mt. Mansfield today. We parked at the Stevensville trailhead in Underhill, Vermont — a popular backcountry skiing trailhead where parking often gets tight — and we put climbing skins on our telemark skis. We climbed through the hardwood forest toward the Overland Trail. At a fork in the trail where many people head for Dewey Mountain, we turned left to stay on the mellower, red-blazed Overland Trail. We climbed to a saddle...[Read more]

Sunday, February 18, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Mt. Mansfield

More new snow in the woods today

We took a ski in the woods today with 3 to 4 inches of new snow over the last 24 hours. It filled in tracks from the last couple of days. We broke trail in a few of the places we explored in the backcountry network at Bolton Valley, Vt. We skinned up to about 3,000 feet where the trees were full of snow. We had an easy switchover to downhill mode as it was quite warm today. It was just a little windy. We found some slightly wind-packed snow near the top before plowing our tele skis through...[Read more]

Saturday, February 10, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

More photos from skiing in the northern Vermont backcountry

It was so fun on Saturday, we had to go out and do it again today! Into the Bolton Valley backcountry trail network we went. Despite a couple blisters from my boots, it was darn fun. It's snowing today and we may see more later in the week. Has winter truly returned??? :) [Read more]

Sunday, February 4, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Soft snow atop a solid base in the Vermont backcountry

Skinning up past prayer flags to the Cliff Hanger trail.

Mother Nature came through a bit for us in northern Vermont at the end of this week. Up to 8 inches of new snow was being reported at Vermont ski resorts.  We grabbed our skins and our telemark gear and headed out for some backcountry skiing today. In Bolton Valley's backcountry trail network, we enjoyed making turns in 4 - 5 inches of fresh snow over a hard, frozen base. We were skiing at between 1,900 to 2,800 feet in elevation. The snow was best when we got first tracks. It made for...[Read more]

Saturday, February 3, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

This warm, soft-snow day called for a ski tour in the woods!

When we clicked in to our light backcountry gear this morning, the snow was so soft. Our waxless skis grabbed the snow well as we started a climb into the woods. We were exploring a couple of trails in the lowest reaches of the Bolton Valley Nordic trail network. We were down to our fleece tops for most of this outing. It was quite warm today! We climbed through a pretty hardwood forest. On some of the beech trees, we noticed bear claw marks and what I think was a bear "nest." We...[Read more]

Saturday, January 20, 2018 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Cross-country skiing

New, windblown snow as arctic weather departs Vermont. (Yay!)

On the snowy trails on Sunday afternoon.

The arctic temperatures that had a grip on Vermont for the last couple of weeks are leaving. Thank goodness! We got out to ski this afternoon when the temperature got above 0 degrees. We did a cross-country ski tour and found the new snow windblown but rather plentiful and fun. Yesterday, on a very cold Saturday, we enjoyed making a little video...

Sunday, January 7, 2018 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Catamount Nordic, Cross-country skiing

Light powder + backcountry trails = Fun!

It didn't feel like mid-December today in the backcountry trail network at Bolton Valley. While there isn't a very deep base of snow, there was plenty of light powder to make turns through. Bolton Valley, with a base area that sits at 2,100 feet, says they've received 15 to 18 inches of snow over the last week.  The Skimeister and I both got our tele on today. It was such fun for our first backcountry outing of the season![Read more]

Saturday, December 16, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski

First sliding on snow of the season!

After spending time with family for Thanksgiving, the Skimeister and I wanted to play in the snow. We took our older, waxless, light backcountry gear out for a spin in Bolton, Vermont. We found approximately four inches of snow at about 2,100 feet in elevation. We messed around on the slightly snowy trails. It felt good to glide and slide! There were many open water bars and rocks to keep us on our toes. There was likely more snow up higher. As the clouds lifted today they were revealing...[Read more]

Friday, November 24, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing, Fall & Early season

Reflecting on the Vermont winter that was 2016 - 2017

It's hard to let go of winter, but we hold on to wonderful memories of being in the woods and on the trails surrounded by — and sometimes wallowing in — beautiful piles of powdery snow. Check out our little video of some of our favorite shots from the 2016 - 2017 ski season in northern Vermont.

Sunday, April 30, 2017 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Spring skiing in Vermont - April 2017

We get people sending us questions through social media and our blog. Sometimes they ask whether they should book a ski vacation in Vermont in April. "Will there be snow?" they ask. We usually explain that in April you can win some, and you can lose some. Now that we're half way through the month, we'd have to say that April 2017 has been a winner for skiing at higher elevations. This week we made use of a deep snowpack above 2,500 feet in northern Vermont.  On Thursday night...[Read more]

Sunday, April 16, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Spring skiing

It felt like winter on Saturday; spring on Sunday. A fun, snow-filled April weekend!

I had to double check the date that was appearing on my phone on Saturday. We went out for a backcountry ski and it felt and looked like February rather than April 8! Saturday in the Backcountry We found five to 10 inches of new snow on Saturday, depending on elevation. The 10 inches was above 2700 feet. It was dense powder and the snow was deep when you got off the beaten path! Several times our poles plunged deep into the loose snow off the sides of the skin track. We went up into the...[Read more]

Sunday, April 9, 2017 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski, Smugglers' Notch, Spring skiing

Earning turns and surfing the new snow in northern Vermont

Some northern Vermont peaks picked up several inches of snow over the last couple of days. While in the valleys we saw a mix of precipitation, the snow piled up in high places such as Stowe, Bolton, Smugglers' Notch, Burke Mountain and Jay Peak. Today we climbed into the Bolton backcountry trail network and found rivers and streams were mostly filled in again. The base of snow is very deep. The fresh snow on top was like skiing on a dense bowl-full of sugar. The snow had some heft to it and...[Read more]

Saturday, March 25, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Food, coffee & après ski

Deep snowpack in the backcountry on the first day of spring

Today I sampled the deep snowpack at a variety of elevations and aspects in the backcountry trail network in Bolton, Vermont. If it faced north or was in the shade of pine trees, the snow was somewhat dense but very delightful powder. If it had been sun-kissed over the past couple of super-sunny days it was either slightly crusty or a very skiable mush. I used my tele skis and boots that are a notch or two below full liftserve gear. Popular woods and trails were very well tracked and had...[Read more]

Monday, March 20, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

Snow-filled, laid-back backcountry turns in Stowe, Vermont

The snow has been amazing this week so we were thinking the ski resorts might be bonkers today. Instead, we wanted to enjoy the quiet, snowy woods and deep blue sky so we headed out to earn our turns this morning. We went to play in the woods in Stowe's Sterling Forest. This area features a network of trails on the east side of the Sterling Range. The Catamount Trail also runs through this forest. We skinned from about 1600 feet in elevation up to about 2800 feet and found the snow got...[Read more]

Saturday, March 18, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Stowe

Hello, Stella! Snow expected to pound the state of Vermont

By Tuesday afternoon, the snow had been piling up in southern Vermont and starting to accumulate in northern Vermont. The snowstorm named Stella is expected to be a doozy! Check out the projected snow totals in the graphics above! Follow these links for updated snow information. Storms can have a mind of their own and let's hope they are calling this one accurately! http://www.weather.gov/btv/winter  (Northern Vermont) http://www.weather.gov/aly/winter (Southernmost two counties...[Read more]

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 Filed in: Alpine / downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing

Springtime exploring in backcountry was challenging on Saturday

As we started a ski tour on the Bolton Valley backcountry trail network on Saturday, it was immediately clear: The snow was melting in a big way. The river and brooks were gushing with water that was once the lovely, powdery snow that fell earlier this month. <Sigh.> But the day was warm (much too warm for February!) and we had our waxless skis so we went exploring. The groomed terrain was quite nice to ski on, but we ventured onto ungroomed trails where going uphill was fine, and...[Read more]

Sunday, February 26, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

Soft-snow skiing for our Sunday

Friday we enjoyed mid-February powder. Today we enjoyed mid-March "powder." OK, it was more like a deep bowl of mashed potatoes, but it was pretty fun to ski in the backcountry! We skinned up into the Bolton Valley backcountry trail network wearing a fleece top and a headband, and that was almost too much to be wearing! When the baskets of our poles dipped into the loose snow on the side of the trail, we'd automatically scoop up some soft mashed potatoes.  We put on our helmets...[Read more]

Sunday, February 19, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

Day two of earning turns this weekend

I must admit: I am exhausted after a second day of earning turns this weekend! The Skimeister and I ventured into the Bolton backcountry trails at midday on Sunday. There were quite a few other people on the Nordic and backcountry trails as well. Great minds think alike! We skinned up to 3000 feet in elevation. Up there the trees were coated in snow and ice. When the wind blew, you heard some clanking as the tree branches bumped into one another. We skied in about six inches of new snow,...[Read more]

Sunday, January 29, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Say "wow" to January "pow"! It was fun to ski in the Stowe woods!

Pow! We got some fine backcountry turns today in the woods of Stowe, Vermont! A weather system or two put it all together to deliver 11 inches or more of snow at higher elevations in northern Vermont over the last two days. We decided to go into Stowe's Sterling Forest to play in the new snow. We skinned from about 1600 feet in elevation up to about 2800 feet, and we noticed the snow grow deeper as we went. The sun came out a couple of times, but then snow flurries moved through as well. We...[Read more]

Saturday, January 28, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Food, coffee & après ski, Stowe

A Friday afternoon in the snowy woods

What a difference there is in snow from the bottom of the Bolton Valley access road to the top! We arrived Friday afternoon to witness snowy white peaks emerging from puffy mountain clouds. It definitely looked like winter up there. We skinned up to about 2,800 feet in the Bolton backcountry trail network as the sun shone through the trees. It was really lovely and a perfect break from the real world. We skied through 3 to 5 inches of new-ish snow over a solid crust base. The recent snow had...[Read more]

Friday, January 20, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Exploring new-to-us Nordic trails over the last few days

Have you ever skied by a trail, stopped in your tracks and asked yourself out loud: “I wonder where that trail goes?” During our most recent Nordic outings on Saturday and Tuesday, we took the bull by the horns and resolved to answer that question. The snow was still crusty in the backcountry in our region and it was not easy to ski off-piste, so we looked for low-angle ski tours to explore in the woods. When consulting the Bolton Valley Nordic Center trail map, we realized there were quite...[Read more]

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Cross-country skiing

Checking out backcountry trails to end the week

We’ve had some strange weather lately. While there have been surprise snow squalls that have added up on some Vermont peaks, others have experienced frozen and “other” precipitation. I’m glad to report that this weekend we'll enjoy steady wintry temperatures. The Skimeister and I went to check out the status of the backcountry trails at Bolton Valley, Vermont, today. We found a dusting of new, fluffy snow as we started our climb. Up higher at about 2,700 feet in elevation, it was about an inch...[Read more]

Friday, January 6, 2017 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

Fresh, light powder + tasty turns earned on Saturday

What a difference a day can make. This morning it's raining thanks to a wild weather roller coaster ride. (The roller coaster plummets later today so this wetness will freeze up.) But Saturday — oh boy — that was a different story. The Skimeister and I waited for Saturday's snow to pile up a bit before heading out to earn turns in the powder. At midday we climbed up to about 3,000 feet in the Bolton backcountry trail network. It was stunningly gorgeous. Up high the trees bowed their...[Read more]

Sunday, December 18, 2016 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Fall & Early season

Another snow-filled December ski today!

December 2016 Vermont backcountry skiing

Knowing that the higher elevations in northern Vermont had continued to get snow this week, the Skimeister and I headed out to investigate. We stuffed our packs and grabbed our Nordic season's passes to ski on the backcountry trail network at Bolton Valley. The Nordic center is now open, as are a couple of lower-mountain lifts at Bolton Valley. It's definitely still early-season, with wet spots, hidden obstacles and stream crossings to avoid, but when you steered clear of these the snow was...[Read more]

Saturday, December 10, 2016 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Fall & Early season

A fun ski tour on a snowy Saturday!

You might not have guessed it down in the valley, but it was full-on winter up in the mountains this morning! As we ascended the Bolton Valley access road the trees suddenly became all-white. And there was more of it as we booted up in the snow-filled parking lot! The northern Vermont ski resorts were talking about 5 to 10 inches of fresh snow overnight, and more snow had fallen on Friday. At about 2400 feet in elevation I'd estimate there was at least 8 inches. The trees were weighed down...[Read more]

Saturday, December 3, 2016 Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Fall & Early season

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