Soft-snow skiing for our Sunday

Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 03:43 PM

Backcountry skiing in Bolton, Vermont, in deep "spring" snow on February 19, 2017.

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 and took off our skins above the Bryant Cabin, which is at an elevation of 2,690 feet. We skied just part way down Gardiner's Lane. We were headed for JJ's and then Possum. We quickly realized that if we pointed our skis into spots that had not been skied yet, we sank into the soft snow and could make slow-motion telemark turns. I was most comfortable doing this in lower-angle glades.

We soon crossed a snow-filled stream bed and put our skins on again to ski up the Cliff Hanger trail. I hadn't been over here for quite a while. It's a pleasant, contouring trail that brings you by some icy cliffs. Very cool.

At the highpoint (a breezy saddle) we again took off our skins and enjoyed skiing through the deep, soft snow down Holden's Hollow and the adjacent glades. As you can see in our photos, at least once I got caught up in the heavy snow. In the fall that the Skimeister documented (nice guy, huh?) I had one ski dive into deeper snow than the other. Not good. I had a deep, soft landing but needed a bit of assistance to get one of my skis free from the heavy snow and nearby tree.

It was tiring to make turns today in the deep, soft snow, but it was very fun to try!

Filed in: Backcountry skiing, Bolton Valley, Spring skiing

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