Bolton Valley

I had never heard of Bolton Valley. I was sick Friday with the stomach flu, when my husband approached me. He quietly asked me if I had any interest in skiing on Sunday. I mumbled a yes before rolling over to sleep. Saturday I was feeling better and had doubts about the trip. It was frigid, with the temperatures barely getting out of the teens. Ice clung to everything, and the breaths we took turned to fog. As we ran errand, I wondered why I had agreed to the trip. I love skiing most of the year. Yet a two hour drive and twelve degree temperatures seemed like a recipe for misery.

you can have a great adventure” I told myself quietly, if you just get out of bed early.”

Still I had my reservations. Was the drive worth it? I worried I would get sick again. Doubt made me wonder. I didn’t want it to be a waste of my Sunday. Despite my doubts it turned out to be an incredible day.

Im used to busy ski Sundays. We usually go up into Northern New England to areas like Sunapee, Jay Peak and Cannon. Hills popular with people from all of New England. The parking lots fill early, and the buildings are loud and chaotic. The trails are busy. Beginners mix with experts and create traffic jams on trails. On weekends getting down the hill is about surviving. It can be a stressful experience.

Bolton Valley is a small ski area up near Stowe. It has the old school feel of a ski area with no frills. You have to travel up a bumpy road before coming into the bowl. It is a ski area made for locals.

It was a welcome change. The hill had people, but nowhere near the crowds other mountains do. We were able to get off the chairlift calmly, and enjoy the view of the Green Mountains. Thick white clouds sat in the base of the valleys. Sun reached over the mountains soaking the blue peaks in golden light. The trails were just as calm. The staff was laid back too, always with a smile and kind greeting. It made you feel welcome, and we enjoyed it.

This laid back atmosphere allowed us to enjoy the mountain. We were able to take some time to explore the terrain. The lack of crowds also allowed us to feel out the snow quality and natural terrain. Nothing is worse than coming down unfamiliar terrain and being cut off by someone. Quickly I familiarized myself with the terrain, which allowed me to open up later in the day.

The lack of crowds also allowed for reflection. I stopped on the trail, taking time to take the beautiful day in. It was a pristine bluebird day. Snowy ice crystals hung in the air. The bright sun caught them midair, making them shine like diamonds. All day these crystals hung in the frigid air, throwing off prisms. The trees were capped in white fluffy snow that shone brightly. It was breathtaking and it instantly made the frigid temperatures worth it.

It was a fun day up in Northern Vermont. Sometimes I am a reluctant adventurer, but I happy I pushed myself to get out there. Now I have an experience I will never forget.

Till next time.

-Colleen

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