Skinned up to the bridge on the Bolt. Above that I think the conditions are too thin to ski. I did run into several people in different modes of travel today. Two people from Paris, hikers,who had just moved to Boston. Two from Hartford CT, on snowshoe but had just bought AT equipment and are excited to get up on the Bolt and ski. Two from Chatham who were boat builders, they had hiked up to the summit. Three more hikers from the shore area of CT.
Snow was ok there was an inch dusting of new. The meadow was nice except that snowmobiles had driven up the middle of the meadow. I found some nice lines on skiers left in the meadow. WE NEED A BIG STORM!!
Picture from a couple of days earlier on Mt. Snow
Skinned up the Bellows South trail up to the top of the Big Schuss. Transitioned there and as I was working of folding my skins a skier came zooming down from above. His name was Josh from Great Barrington. Probably the first to ski the bolt this year from top to bottom. There was really not enough base to ski it but he did. When I caught up to him at his car he said he hit a couple of rocks on some steep sections.
When I skied down I was careful to try to ride on top and lean back on my skis and keep my tips up. Went slow and carefully. With no base it can be dangerous but I know the trail pretty well and know where there are stumps and rocks.. skied down Dragons tail, which was tricky at the top…Meadow skied GREAT!! Love that mountain.
Next day skinned up above Bellows Shelter to where the mico burst hit a few years ago. Another careful ski down but was really fun. Noticed some ski tracks coming down from above and talked to Jonathan S. He said they were his. Skied down Bellows Pipe to White tail..was a hoot.. then hit the bucket trail with enough speed to make it to the top of the meadow. Another great ski on the meadow and on down. Dec. 20 and we lost all of that snow.. now maybe we will get a big storm, there is some base left.
Some members of the Thunderbolt ski Runners have been working with the DCR on single track near the Thunderbolt Ski Trail for over two years. The results are three miles of super swoopy fun trails up near the ski slope. The trail is an intermediate trail with switchbacks and climbing. There are a lot of other trails to ride in the Greylock Glen as well. you can easily put in a 10 mile ride and explore some great terrain. The ride down is super fun. Below is a map.
After the big storm I skinned up the bellows, thanks Steve S, Mark F for breaking the trail out ahead of me. Skinning was great, this was my first day back after a week of being sick and out of commission. The snow on the bolt is blown off in places and very thin. On the AT there was a stump sticking through. Other places there are drifts. So uneven… and a lot of stuff poking through.
Here is my run: Took it slow to the summit and easy on the way down… didn’t want to hit
any rocks… Did Bellows to bottom of the steps, cut in and bush wacked across to steps stayed high to keep up my momentum and made it without any effort to the steps / then down through needles eye and to big schuss, was thin and thick… took it carefully. Then down white tail to glade and up bucket for meadow.. meadow was great…. too short… blasted through a thicket cause it was on my fall line and got snagged up in some briars which knocked me to the
ground. Dam… gotta cut those next year…
Good ski… tough dense snow, skiing was hard on the legs, especially after skiing at Berkshire East the day before but glad to be back out.. Thanks for listening.. Heather….
Hey Everyone in the TSR and Backcountry Community,
GET REEL! our annual event featuring films, member travelogues and speakers is scheduled for Saturday January 21st, 7:00pm at the Polish National Alliance (PNA) in Adams. Come see presentations of backcountry adventures in Japan and Taos, New Mexico as well as a presentation by Mark Wallace, an alumnus of Williams College. Mark will speak about his collegiate ski team racing experiences in North America and Europe as well as his company Parlor Skis. Mark has been a sponsor of the Thunderbolt Ski Race and will again offer Parlor Skis to the first place finishers in both the Open and Women’s categories again this year.
TSR Vice President Heather Linscott ventured up to the bridge below the Big Schuss this morning on a recon mission after the Sunday night snowfall. She got in one run down the North Slope and into the Meadow before I caught up with her back at the bridge around noon. She took a second run and I took my one an only run on the North Slope and through the Meadow. The temperatures had reached the mid 30’s by then and the 8-10 inches of snow was sticky and difficult to carve even on my splitboard. We are off to a better start than last year.
Hiked up to the Little schuss this Wednesday, Nov 30 to find all of our snow coming down the mountain in liquid form along with all of the rain we got. But it did make for some nice waterfalls on the new Ribbon Falls Trail just off the Bellows South!
The snowstorm on November 19th & 20th offered a rare opportunity to ski/ride the Thunderbolt before the December Holidays. A handful of intrepid alpinists ventured as far as the summit with one reporting: the very top had crazy scouring; the Big Bend & Steps looked sketchy, but AT to Bellows Pipe skied very nicely; the Needle’s Eye had the usual moments of fear [can you say rock ledge!]; the Big Schuss through the Bumps stayed nice. A few TSR Board members took advantage of the 12+ inches of snow and skinned to the top of the Big Schuss on Tuesday and Wednesday. The snow had settled in nicely and made for some good carving on the way down with a bit of crust in the Meadow and then boney conditions on the Bellow’s South to the trailhead parking lot.
…and first time visitors to the new Thunderbolt Ski Runners website.
The first of our 2016 Thunderbolt Ski Runners Trail Days that took place on Sunday October 23rd was a huge success!
I wanted to send out a hearty thank you to the two dozen volunteers who made up the work force on our October 23rd Trail Day. People and equipment were ferried up in cars and pick up trucks encountering wintery conditions on the auto road.The “Summit Down Crew” encountered 6-8 inches of snow and a temperature of 31 degrees which meant it was a wee bit colder with the wind blowing up there. From down below the “Base Up Crew” hauled our equipment up to and began clearing the underbrush from the Finish Line up through The Bumps which had a dusting of wet snow.
As a result of the year long drought conditions and our annual fall clearing, the steeps on the Big Schuss did not require our attention. From there the snow cover went from a dusting to about two inches around the Needle’s Eye and maybe three inches of wet snow on The Steps where we met up with the “Summit Down Crew.” Together we cleared the nasty hobble bush in the gentle glade on skier’s left after the Needle’s Eye. At the same time, Dave Birrell and Chris Busch worked together to remove blowdowns from Whitetail and The Bumps.
After taking a break at the bridge both crews worked together to clear all of the goldenrod from the new trail called the North Slope which was part of the 1970’s era Greylock Glen Ski Area that was never completed (see attached map & B&W photo). In addition to the work done on October 23, Dave Childs, Dave Birrell and Heather Linscott worked together to last week to mow the meadow through which the Bucket Trail passes. A big shout out of thanks to Sean Loomis for loaning the club five gas powered weed whackers which our volunteers put to good use.
Because of volunteer efforts on October 23rd, the Trail Day this weekend, Sunday November 6th will focus on upwards of 8-10 blowdowns on the Bellow’s Pipe and David’s Pass.