A week of VT Powder Skiing
Sometimes I like Vermont weather. This past week opened up with Winter Storm Debbie dropping 1-2 feet of soft new snow, making the post-Christmas rain layer a distant memory. Over the course of the weekend I skied at several northern Vermont locales with a few friends from school.
Noah finds some good snow on our season’s first visit to an old friend…
Misha likes the snow too
Me skiing a VT treeline (Photo credit: Noah Harwood)
But Debbie wasn’t the real story of this week. On her heels came a series of small, localized snow events and cold weather. These are the sleeper storms, the ones that drop a dusting to 2” every night, just enough to fluff up the conditions a bit. No liftlines or crowded skintracks, just run after run of powder waiting to be skied, lining the spaces between the trees with velvety smoothness.
On Tuesday, Allen and I found our own private stretch of woods to play in. While Allen took video, my friend from school, Noah, and I shot some pictures with his new camera.
Me showing off my uncanny ability to always look at my topsheets
The snow was good!
Later in the week, I got to check out an area that I’ve heard rumors about for years but have never been to. A few friends from school and I skinned to a bowl high on a Vermont peak and were rewarded with run after run of open, untracked glades blanketed in an ample coat of recent snow. Backcountry skiing exploration in Vermont can be frustrating at times – you need a high tolerance for bushwhacking through dense underbrush, following sucker hole after sucker hole, and generally having a fairly low turns-to-skinning ratio. But every once in a while you stumble across a really good zone, with nice open treeshots and untouched snow. This was one of those days.
Noah thinks the approach was worth it
Tom Flynn showing off the soulfullness of the free heel
Parker thought the trees were good too
Saturday was the biggest surprise of the week though. Kate, KC, and I went to the mountain with low expectations, fearing the cold and lack of recent large storms. The sun was out and shining though, and beautiful lenticular clouds clung to the ridgeline looking almost like a second layer of wind-sculpted snow. It was my first day shooting with my new Canon 40D, and it was a good day to practice.
The snow ghosts were amazing
KC skiing in some amazing light
After warming up, we headed to our main destination of the day. We dropped in, then dropped our jaws. Everywhere we looked was a blanket of 6-8” of Utah-style blower, snow so light that you could get the occasional faceshot with shin deep snow.
KC had to check to make sure she did in fact come back from Utah…
Until she remembered that the trees are closer back here
Kate wasn’t complaining either
At the end of the day we found ourselves skinning up near the ridgeline and were treated to an amazing display of alpenglow over the Champlain Valley. It was a fitting end to a surprisingly good day. Once again, Vermont delivered the goods, on a day when the groomers were skating rinks and the mercury was hovering around 0 F. It’s weeks like these that remind me why I love skiing and exploring these mountains.
KC and Kate smiling at the end of a great day
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