Timberline VT today
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Denis - DCSki Supporter 
January 15, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,337 posts
This morning my car thermometer registered -13, 10 deg. colder than at the backcountry trailhead yesterday. That, and the scare factor of going solo into the deep woods, prompted me to go to Bolton Valley and skin up the Timberline slope. I waited for the midday heat, +1 deg. at 11 AM, and skinned up one side of the slope that is right under the lift. The lift is still not running and hasn't been all season. Maintenance issues? Or perhaps an investment/return analysis? Bolton has always been friendly to skinners on that slope. One or 2 area workers on snow machines went by and gave me a wave.

Anyhow, the woods were perfectly pitched and wide open. The powder was thick and slow like yesterday, but the openness and nearness of help were different so I let the skis run. Powder like this rewards speed. I left the only set of tracks in those woods; not even old drifted in hints of past tracks could be seen. Sun brilliant; air crisp. Cold at the bottom so rather than take another I headed for the Bolton pub. Two waitresses and no customers. A few more showed up while I ate the daily special but I got the one perfect spot next to the window with sunlight pouring in. Life is good. I could get used to this retirement stuff. smile There were no more than 2 dozen lift riding skiers there and they all looked frozen as they tried to set their edges on man-made snow packed down into ice.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
January 15, 2009
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,976 posts
Denis, this might fit for someone retiring to life as back-country ski bum:

With my apologies to Robert Frost (1874-1963)

The Slope Not Taken

Two slopes diverged in a Vermont wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one freeheeler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was off piste and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In powder no ski had cut up track.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two slopes diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Denis - DCSki Supporter 
January 15, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,337 posts

Thanks, Jim
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter 
January 15, 2009
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,110 posts
Truly beautiful and quite a tribute to Dennis.
DCSkiers really have talent!
The Colonel smile
Denis - DCSki Supporter 
January 16, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,337 posts
Went back again today with 2 friends. The Timberline lift & slope opened today but there was virtually nobody there. In 45 minutes that it took us (well me, the old guy) to skin up, 2 skiers came down. The powder had settled and stiffened significantly since yesterday but the turns were still sweet; earned turns always are. As we conversed in the open back at the bottom an employee came up on his snow machine and informed us that we could not be there, even if we were skinning, without a lift ticket. Somewhat to my surprise he said that it had to be a full lift ticket it could not be a nordic pass, which Bolton has sold for years and allowed as a single ride passage to the backcountry. We thanked him for the info and his politeness and left.
A somewhat more colorful description from one of my partners,

The thermometer bottomed out this morning and is now on the way back up. This AM;
Williston -16
Burlington airport -21
Island Pond, VT (official reading) -42

When we headed up the mountain it was -7 and when we came down +4 (yes, that was a plus not a typo. Back here at my daughter's in Williston it is +11. It feels balmy. I could go swimming in this. -7 is quite comfortable for climbing. One can dress the same as for lift skiing at +25. When you notice it is when stopped for a rest and the breeze picks up just a tiny bit.
January 17, 2009
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
660 posts
Way to keep gettin' it Denis! Loved your partner's description.

JimK, that poem might stay on my bulletin board for a while. A long while....
Denis - DCSki Supporter 
January 19, 2009
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,337 posts
Ben posted a few pics on his site.
In the last one you can barely see a snotsicle poking out from the hood & balaclava. It was cold!

Ski and Tell

Snowcat got your tongue?

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