The pitch black sky consumes me every morning as I drive down Route 2, making my way towards the place I’ve considered home away from home for the past five years. As I make the trek up the four mile stretch of road that transports people up almost 1800 ft, I continue to feel so grateful for the amazing job that I have the honor of holding.
This winter season, I started that new position here at Bolton Valley. It was one I was a little apprehensive about because it was unlike anything I have ever done, but my love for it has flourished quickly in the short time I’ve been able to sit at this desk. The same desk that has housed many great storytellers before me. The desk deemed the Snow Reporter Desk.
My day starts promptly at 6 am when I sit down at my desk. I fling open my computer and switch on my radio, quickly changing my quiet, peaceful commute into a bustling workday. I radio out to the groomers to ask how the conditions are and what people can expect from the snow. I then take into account the conditions from yesterday evening and the weather over the past 12 hours to craft a narrative of what people can expect for the day when they are out enjoying the snow.
Sometimes I crack jokes to spice up a weekday at 6:15 am, or maybe I’ll dive into the snow conditions a little too much, but my day doesn’t stop there; that’s only the beginning.
After I send out the Snow Report and publish it online, I take a deep breath and make it a point to take in the silence of our ski resort at 6:45 am. By 9 am, Bolton Valley is usually lively, whether it’s families walking around the circle or snowmobiles powered by snowmakers heading up the hill and out of sight. Not many people get to experience the silence of a ski resort surrounding you or the faint hum of snowcats out on the hill.
After my few moments of silence, I like to grab my camera and head out towards the lifts and see if I can capture the sun peeking up behind the Bolton valley. All in the hopes of capturing images that not only remind me but others just how special this place is. After walking around making sure that all the signage is out, checking the snow stake, making sure the lifts are up and spinning and all the trails get open, capturing images, and doing countless other tasks that pop up throughout my early morning, the morning hours usually fly by undetected.
By mid afternoon, you can usually spot my blue jacket and black backpack as I’m skiing around the mountain trying to get photos and videos to showcase how magical this place truly is. From skiing, Shermans Pass to Adam’s Solitude, there’s not one run that doesnt continue to excite me even five years later. I’m always finding new nooks and lines to ski around the mountain.
After skiing for a good portion of the day, I make it a point to check on and maintain our brand new snow stake before heading back to my desk. Maybe you’ve seen it peeking through the trees towards wilderness? It’s hot pink. Yup, HOT PINK. Even on the greyest Vermont winter days, it brings a little light and happiness to my day by seeing the tall, vibrant snow stake. Some might ask, Why Pink? I ask, Why not? A Vermont Winter’s palette is filled with whites, blues, and greys; everyone can use a little more pop of color in their life, especially during Vermont winters.
After clearing off and leveling out the snow stake so that it’s ready for the next snowfall, I walk back and start to pack up. I make my way to my car with images of how the day played out to start preparing for the next. Whether it was good or bad, slow or hectic, it’s essential to understanding what’s to come. Present and future weather patterns, UV index, and current snow conditions flood my mind as I make the short drive back to Burlington each night.
No matter how early I have to get up or how bad the day turns out, I am continuously amazed at my job. I get to combine my love for snow and reporting every day in one of the prettiest places in Vermont. Plus, I get to share that love and information with our guests each day.