Thursday, January 29, 2015

Uphill Demo Day

I've never been splitboarding, telemark or AT skiing. I've post-holed my way up the mountain preseason and once the resorts close up shop for the season, but I've never done it right.

That's why I'm excited for February 7.

We've partnered with the Catamount Trail Association and Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington to give you and me the chance to try uphill access, or "skinning" the right way. On that Saturday, the crew from OGE will have free demos from 10am-2pm and no pre-registration is necessary. Once you've been fitted for the correct gear, Catamount Trail crews will be leading short uphill tours to Wilderness Peak via our uphill access routeWe'll discuss proper skinning technique, demonstrate how to transition from uphill into downhill mode, and help answer questions about the benefits of different backcountry setups. 

Available equipment will include alpine touring, telemark, and splitboarding options from Black Diamond, Dynafit, Marker and Fritschi. 

Please allow ~30 minutes to be fitted and setup with appropriate equipment.

It's also Blue Cross Blue Shield Day, so regular Nordic tickets and rentals are free from 11am-3pm for anyone who wants to get some exercise during the day.

For updated news, weather & conditions in our Nordic and Backcountry trails, view our Nordic Snow Report, which is updated twice daily.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

You Take Your Car, I Take My Skis

I just finished checking in with my staff for the night and grabbed one pair of the employee backcountry skis. I walked out the door of the Nordic Center and proceed down Broadway. At the intersection of Teardrop I noticed the sky began to turn a beautiful pink hue with the mountains in the background. I continued down past the historic Bolton lodge, then all the way down to the “S” turn on the BV access road.

Once I crossed the street to the Catamount Trail, I knew by the ski boundary sign that I was leaving the boundaries of Bolton Valley Nordic area*. Fortunately, the Catamount Trail is very well marked, the snow was plentiful and I knew exactly where I was going. I crossed Joiner Brook later at the snowmobile bridge and stayed on the snowmobile tracks until I noticed a trail with ski track on it. I followed it a unfortunately fell a few inches into a running stream. Those kinds of things can happen when you leave ski area boundaries, but I was well prepared.

After about 2 minutes of banging and scraping my skies together I clipped them back on and proceeded to the trail in front of me. I came out on the switchback and after about five minutes of gliding and pushing, I ended my run at the Smiley School parking lot and walked up the road to my house at the bottom of the Access Road.

What an inspiring and thrilling ski down the mountain, and an amazing commute home.

-Nordic Wes

For updated news, weather & conditions in our Nordic and Backcountry trails, view our Nordic Snow Report, which is updated twice daily.

*Remember, trails outside the resort boundary are not marked, patrolled or groomed by Bolton Valley. There may be hazards under the snow like streams or rocks. When venturing into the backcountry, always be prepared with adequate gear and stick to the Catamount Trail.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nordic Update

Yeah. It's all kinds of awesome in our backcountry right now.

As we've been assessing and overhauling our website/media etc this season, I just wanted to update everyone on the future of our blogs and how they'll work from here on in.

If you're looking for up-to-date conditions, snow quality, trail count etc, that information will live over in our Nordic Snow Report, which is updated twice daily. Once in the early morning with conditions for the day and once in the afternoon with projected conditions for the following day. If you're looking for basic info to plan out your day with us, head over there.

This blog will be for longer form stories and less for conditions and weather updates. We'll talk about upcoming events, interesting tidbits that you might not be aware of, and things that don't really belong in a snow report. Think of it as a way to enhance the information you're already receiving from our Nordic Snow Report. We plan on updating about once a week (give or take) when there's cool stuff to talk about.

Head over to our Nordic Snow Report page now for up-to-date conditions, weather and open trails.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Uphill Travel Policy

We were caught in a little snow squall yesterday, picking up 3" of fluff and nothing makes me want to hit the slopes more than new snow falling from the sky. It also makes me yearn for steep & deep effortless pow turns later in the season when our backcountry fills in. Sadly, we're not quite there yet, thanks to Mother Nature's latest cruel joke, but give it a few more weeks. 

Since it's not quite deep or soft enough to trek through our 100km of backcountry terrain, some people might be jonesing to get their uphill winter hike on and test out some new gear on our alpine slopes. We understand, empathize with and appreciate your enthusiasm for skiing with us. That's why, this season, we've outlined a brand new Uphill Travel Policy designed to allow our guests to skin or splitboard uphill both during and outside of operating hours. Please read the guidelines through before attempting to skin or hike uphill, stay only on highlighted routes and obey the restrictions set forth. Happy hiking!

Bolton Valley 2014-15 Uphill Travel Policy

Uphill travel on skis is permitted at Bolton Valley. Skiers are advised to adhere to the following guidelines:
  • During hours when lifts are open, uphill skiers must have a lift ticket for the day, season pass, Nordic day ticket for the day, or Nordic season pass. Uphill skiers do so at their own risk.
  • During hours when lifts are not open, uphill skiers access Bolton Valley property at their own risk and do not need a ticket or a pass.
  • AT ALL TIMES the two routes designated for uphill skiing are:
    • Wilderness: Turnpike to Peggy Dow’s
    • Timberline: Twice as Nice to Woods Hole to Brandywine
    • Access to uphill skiing is limited to theses routes both during and outside of operating hours. 
    • No uphill traffic is permitted to the top of Vista.
  • Skiers should stay to their left when traveling uphill.
  • Please form single file lines when skiing uphill.
  • No dogs.
  • No snowshoes. Access is limited to skiers and split snowboards only.
  • Use headlamp and reflective clothing at night.
  • Do not travel alone. Always have at least one other person with you.
  • In case of an emergency when lifts are open contact Ski Patrol at 802-434-6892. Please carry a cell phone.
  • In case of an emergency when lifts are closed call 911.


  • Be aware of grooming machines and snow machines and let them pass.
  • Yield to all downhill traffic. Downhill traffic has the right of way.
  • Do not access trails that you can see are being groomed.
  • Please do not access trails where snowmaking is occurring.
  • There are no rescue personnel on duty at Bolton Valley Resort after regular operating hours.
  • Be prepared for extreme winter conditions and sudden weather changes.
  • Use properly maintained equipment.
  • There are many inherent dangers to winter mountain sports. Use care and caution at all times.

Access to Bolton Valley Resort premises for recreational use after hours is governed by Vermont law [12 V.S.A. 5791 et seq].

Access Is At Your Own Risk.