4 Days in VT
March 6, 2007
3/1 - 3/4. It was about as good as it gets. Powder every day and family to share it with, particularly 3 grandsons.
On Wed. I arrived late after an almost full day at work, a flight from Baltimore to Manchester and a drive to Burlington. Thurs. bro-in-law and I hit Bolton at the crack of 11. There were a lot of people for a weekday but still no lines. There had been no snow for a few days but also no thaw or niar for a month. We went looking for powder in the woods and found it. Nothing epic and we had to go in deep to get untracked 5 turns shots before pulling up to avoid timber mayhem, regroup and find the next line. Still a fine day by any standard, bright sun, mid 30s and yet the best was still to come.
Friday, Smuggs, daughter, son-in-law and the 2 older boys, Conor 9, Patrick 6. We awoke to 3-4" of new snow in Williston and blowing snow made the drive tough but when we arrived there were perhaps 8-10" of new snow and more coming down steadily. It was spectacular, especially before lunch when we all got untracked as much as we wanted. The boys, especially Patrick, were just too light to move in the deep snow in many places. A few forays around the layout revealed the best places to stay out of the wind and in the deep snow. On one ill-advised run toward the notch we found ourselves facing straight into a hurricane force wind on scoured blue ice. Patrick got blown 100 feet uphill despite his best efforts to proceed down. Kathleen and I barely held our ground. Other than that it was powder turns in the sheltered areas and the woods. The Madonna lift shut down for just a few minutes, then restarted. We later learned that most other places were on windhold all day. In the east you ski through the storm for the best powder; in the west you wait it out unless you want to be caught in an avalanche.
Sat. was Sugarbush and 3 yr. old Daniel joined us as well. I don't understand how that much stamina can be packed into such a little body. He must have skied 10 runs, all non-stop except for falls which were surprisingly few. This did not give my legs as much rest as I needed, but it was great fun watching a little ski addict in the making - or maybe already made.
On Sun. we hit Mad River, where slow lifts made for light on-slope traffic and perfect snow. At noon it began to snow and soon was coming down rapidly in big quarter sized flakes. At one point it must have snowed 3 inches in 20 minutes, completely unexpected. Like an idiot, I left this paradise at 3 for a drive back to Manchester, a flight home, and a day of work today.
Here are a couple of my favorite web sites to show you just how good VT is right now.http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=depths.php
This one is maintained by a Mad River local.http://www.madriver.com/users/appgap/
The Appalachian Gap is on Rt. 17 between Waitsfield and Bristol. It is about 1/2 mile north of the top of the MRG double chair. I love the amount of meaning he packs into a few words, or in this case one word.
Denis, thanks for the report -- sounds like you had a great time. I used to ski MRG (and Sugarbush) a lot, but haven't been up there for almost 8 years. Need to get up there one of these days!
Sitting here in Rutland right now. It is cold, but the powder is light and fluffy. We were at Smuggs for the last two days, and just started are three day stay at Okemo. For those who don't think there really is powder here, I watched some clown jump from the lift right in front of me and snk about two feet just to ski the freshies under the lift.
219, I just PM'ed you on Epic. We will set up a date soon.