Ascutney Trails Conditions
We haven't started doing any fatbike grooming, but I thought you might like to know the skining and skiing/riding conditions. The snow varies a great deal in depth and texture by elevation. The above picture is from the top of the old triple chair, looking at first tracks being laid on the top of Broadway/Snowdance. 20" here at 2,200' elevation, versus 6" at the base (800' elev.). The top layer is dry, but not quite powder. You don't sink in very deep, but that top 3" is nice and smooth, and you're unlikely to hit any rocks.
Coming up there had been some nice scenery:
Halfway down it was still smooth and deep, but offered more resistance. You could feel it packing underfoot - starting to get warmer and into snowball snow. I ducked into some woods and conditions changed radically - choppy frozen chunks that had fallen from the trees had packed it down so I was hitting rocks that I knew weren't very big - so I popped back out on the slope. A bit further down I saw several spots where melt water was running under the snow and in places melting our snowpack from below.
With a lot of time above freezing over the next 4 days, we'll lose some of these patches, but the following week stays enough below freezing to counter the melt from below, elsewhere, There is very little frost in the ground, but I am letting myself believe that we have established an awesome base for the winter.
The bottom third of the run was very wet, heavy snow - point and shoot - very few turns. My snowboard friend was praying to make it without having to walk. It was 36° then. By tomorrow morning, that bottom section could be treacherously frozen, but will loosen up again in the afternoon. The top will remain excellent. Enjoy!