Bolton Valley Sidecountry and treeskiing

Rob and Christine hunting
for some sidecountry
powder skiing

Over a month overdue, here’s my report from the Bolton Valley sidecountry. We’d heard a number of things about this place, aside from the fact that it’s flat and full of kids and old people. Those things are true, but what many do not know is that not many people go there looking for tree skiing or sidecountry, so when it snows (which is pretty much all it did this winter) Bolton holds onto it for a long time. We headed up there on January 29th, did some digging around and found a few cool places to ski.

There are three real areas of interest at Bolton Valley. The main area of interest is the region to skiers right of the actual ski area. The x-country network comes close enough to the alpine area that you can follow it out of bounds and along the ridge. Once on the ridge, the idea is simply to find a clearing in the woods with enough of a pitch to make some good turns. The pitch eventually mellows out and runs into a brook which leads you back to the ski area. We blew it and dropped in too soon and missed a portion of the run, but an inspection of the topo maps shows that some decent turns are to be had in this area. We managed to find fresh tracks for a good part of the way down.

View Bolton Sidecountry in a larger map

View Bolton Sidecountry in a larger map

The second area of interest is a face above the top of the ski area and just below the actual summit of the mountain. It’s supposed to be steep and tight, requiring a skin or hike from the top of the lift to the summit. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to check it out.

Me coming off a cool little drop deep in the woods.
Photo credit: Rob

The final area worth mention is the lengthy tree run all the way to skier’s right. It seems to follow a long drainage down the side of the mountain. It’s not super steep and it’s more open than say, Hatchet at Wildcat, or Beaver Pond at Jay, but I found the terrain interesting. There are plenty of small drops, large rocks, rolls and fall aways in the chute. We were nearly a week (I thing) after the most recent snow and there was still plenty of soft snow to go around.

View Bolton Sidecountry in a larger map

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