Scoping out the backcountry this afternoon in Bolton

Friday, January 8, 2016 at 08:54 PM

To end the work week, the Skimeister and I took our first little backcountry ski outing this afternoon. It was windy when we arrived at Bolton Valley Ski Resort in Bolton, Vermont. We booted up in the Nordic Center and put climbing skins on our skis. It would be our first climb into the Bolton backcountry network and we weren't really sure what we would find.

We skied up the well-packed Bryant trail toward Bryant Cabin and had to step over open water bars now and then. We need more cold weather and more snow to freeze those and fill them in. I noticed animal tracks such as rabbits, and mice with their tiny tails that drag in the snow. I also noticed the trees holding more and more snow as we ascended. About two-thirds of the way up to Bryant Cabin (located at 2,690 feet), it was really looking like winter!

We took off our skins and pointed our skis down the Gardner's Lane trail. It was fun to pick up enough speed to pop into the powder on the sides of the trail. It's not deep enough to cover rocks and hobblebush, but it was light and fun. Again on this trail, we had to watch for wet spots and navigate narrow crossings of the still-open stream toward the bottom of the trail. Never a dull moment.

My telemark turns definitely weren't pretty on this first backcountry outing of the season, but I was surrounded by snow and I was cracking myself up as I tried to avoid a wipeout. It was all good.

Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley

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