My brother and my nephews were taking a VT vacation and my son had a race at Cochran’s so I suggested we meet up at Bolton Valley. Cost was a factor for my bro and Bolton is cheap so it seemed like a good fit. I had never skied there before and probably won’t again. Bolton appears to have money issues and were not making snow despite the very cold temps that makes really great snow. One pod only had two greens the were almost all just run out to get to the lift and back blown and if the would have groomed the natural snow that was 2-3 feet deep it would have been good but it was all breakable crust that was unskiable. The main section of the Mt has a weird flat spot. And they had not blown the other pod that looked steeper so it was not open. Frankly they were not really trying to hard given that with the weather the skiing should have been excellent. It was freaking cold and the lifts are slow fix grips not being run at full speed. They do have a good bar and restaurant. Too cold for photos outside.
In the afterrnoon I did the 10 drive to Cochran’s which is a 500 Vert ski area with good snow making coverage and two t bars. Every generation of the family puts at least one member on the clan onto the US team. The lodge is like stepping back into what skiing was in the 70’s. Lift tickets are 20 bucks. Burgers are 5 bucks and made on a grill out on the deck. I loved the place.
The race was huge with 160+ men and 120+ women. There were several US team members and Red Neck Racers there plus numerous college teams. Robby Kelley was the low point man at 6 points in SL. The penalty for the race was only 15 which means it’s a very competitive field. My nephew and godson had never seen a ski race before and he came along and had a good time watching them bash plastic. I live the click click sound of SL. My son started 115 and finished 90th so he moved up 25 places and had a good experience.
"It is better to go skiing and think of God, than go to church and think of sport."
Artic Explorer Fridtjof Nansen
Nice succinct report. Disappointing that Bolton is having a tough time of it but I’m impressed that little Cochran can host that size of an event. I’ve always wanted to do a tiny-ski-areas-of-Vermont road trip. They’ll have to go on the list with Middlebury and Suicide Sixi guess.
Cochran's is definitely on my list to check out some day. Apparently they reduced the price of a family season pass for 2017-18 to $295 and first time family pass purchasers get a free day at Sugarbush. Clearly continuing the tradition of making skiing affordable for VT families.
And as for money issues.. They sure do.. Blowing snow is expensive as you know and their pond could be low and it might be too cold to blow snow. Pico didn't blow any snow either - though everything and all the lifts were open.
Good on your son to be racing - moving up 25 places too.