Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Thank You Old Man Winter

After an epic weekend in the Northwest, a dispatch from EmberPhoto on New England's winter, still going strong:

Old Man Winter has been especially generous with us here in the Northeast this winter, and although spring is creeping into the valleys and up the warmer hillsides, Old Man Winter seems to have no intentions of letting up. Over the last two weeks, the snow stake that marks the depth of settled snowpack at treeline on Vermont's highest summit, Mount Mansfield, topped the 100-inch mark! And a weekend storm pushed us even closer to the 12-foot limit of the old wooden stake – to 110 inches. To put this in perspective, a snow stake reading of 110 inches indicates that we are enjoying 40-50% more snowpack in the mountains around here than we normally do in late March. For this, we can thank the steady string of storms that Old Man Winter has been throwing our way since October.

The storm from a week ago Friday (we've been calling it "Really Good Friday") not only produced 10-20" of Vermont Grade A powder, and thus some fine powder skiing...

(Photos courtesy of

...but it also cushioned the snowpack that had been crusted over in most areas a few days earlier. With the Really Good Friday storm, and then another 6-8 inches last weekend, we've been able to take full advantage of our unusually deep snowpack, and ski safely and smoothly into many beautiful gullies, creekbeds and alpine zones that during many winters don't get a chance to fill in.

We've had little new snow this week, but temps are preserving the fresh snow up high. Down low and in the sun, the maple sap is running and the corn cycle is in effect. As nice as the powder touring high in the mountains has been, we've also been scoring some beautiful sunset corn runs in our local farm fields with the XCD skis... We step into our skis on the porch, climb through a beautiful hardwood glade, and slide into one of many pastures that leans toward the setting sun and the higher Green Mountains across the valley...

Spring approaches, but the prospect of another dose of Vermont Grade A is still there. Last early April, Old Man Winter blessed us with over six feet of snow in the mountains. By morning, we were skiing powder under the shelter of the forest canopy. By evening, we were carving sunset turns in the alpine, in the calm before the next storm.

Maybe he's is the same mood this year. We will soon find out...

Happy spring!
Brian and Emily
Green Mountains, Vermont
March 26, 2008

Link: Mount Mansfield Snow Stake

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