Bolton

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Return of Winter (Part 3) | January 21, 2014

What a ride it’s been.

So grateful to have a patient touring crew for Tuesday, -10 degrees and not a single complaint all day from anyone. We checked out an old zone that I haven’t ventured into this season and it paid off pretty well. Bolton was reporting like 10″ since the weekend started but it seems as though this East aspect we were skiing (Bolton being West) had atleast another 4-5″. Our crew consisted of John Howland, Sam Chalek, Ryan Kinner and a wonderful new addition – Morgan Marzo. Enjoy!

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One Winter Day

A look back at a wonderful sunny day last season in Vermont.

One Winter Day from Ryan Denning on Vimeo.


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Fall on the Seacoast | October 1, 2013

Finally! What a release.

After a long, flat, ordinary summer and a dismal hurricane season (so far?), we’ve received a welcomed autumn swell. The small Easterly swell direction and funky tide made for wobbly and sometimes walled out conditions in many of our favorite spots. Alternatively, it lit up some not-so-frequented spots along the coast that accept the E swell exclusively. Regardless, I spent most of the morning Tuesday doing the run around bullshit. The ‘is it better over there?’ complex.

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I face this conflict all the time when we go skiing. I ski at Bolton enough to know what spots will be poached first and which spots don’t see much traffic. The conflict often arises on powder days, evaluating the risk/reward for going to spot A on first chair vs. spot B or C? The classic maneuver is leaving your super secret stash for later in the day because you’re confident no one’s going to poach it. It’s more practical to ski out the more popular and usually better/steeper/deeper terrain until it’s tracked out.

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Short but semi-relative tangent – My brother used to tell me that when he arrived in Bozeman, MT in 2007 and got his first season pass to Bridger, The Ridge terrain was preserved until the afternoon. Skiers wouldn’t hike The Ridge from first chair, primarily because everyone was under the ‘code’ that inbounds terrain was first to get tracked out and when it’s done, then everyone can pillage the ridge. This was well before the Slushman’s backcountry access lift was put in.

You’d think that a new lift put in place to turn previously out of bounds terrain into new resort sidecountry might help to spread skiers out but instead it seemed to just add more chaos, and with the chaos came the cave-in and relinquishment of the ‘code’. It’s difficult to draw a parallel here and I guess there’s really no way to compare the two sports in this manner.

…..BUT if there ever was a similar code in surfing, the last bit of the foundation caved in when the first stand up paddled into a wave.

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Crowds aside, most of the time these small one day swell windows make for crunch time decisions on the high tide. My solution is simple, and probably common:

Follow the speed limit and scope every friggin spot in question.

At the least get some recon from a friend. As annoying and unnecessary as it may sound, I can relax knowing I made the best possible decision. Additionally, for as long as I can remember I haven’t had to endure any ‘Oh man, you should have been there’.

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I’m sure everyone scored on this last swell. It looked like there were good waves at every spot I passed but for me, in the end it’s about the adventure and maximizing the potential of the day, the lighting, the subject or the equipment and it’s also about producing an image I’m happy and confident showing to other people. Unfortunately for me, these photos just don’t come from simply driving down to Rye and clicking the shutter.

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The photographer has the ability to reference the images and prove that the team has made the best decision, in the case that they did make the best decision. Unfortunately Matt and I didn’t win on any images Tuesday, we didn’t even come close – but it’s good to work the rust out, remind the surfer of his weaknesses (just kidding, not his flailing arms) and explore new spots that we’ve never seen break.

DAMNNN it feels good to be shooting at the ocean again.

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A little all over the place on today’s blog – it’s been a while since I posted anything and I may be in a state of seasonal confusion.

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Spring

Spring is here and there’s been some nice weather down on the Seacoast. The skatepark is dry, there’s been some trace of surf the last few days and the sunsets have been gorgeous. I think it actually hit 60 the other day but it’s still Winter up in Vermont. Stowe is reporting 7-12″ in the last 48 hours! It’s going to be an awesome spring up there for sure – the resorts close down pretty soon but it’ll be prime for spring touring. There are deals galore if you’re looking for a touring setup, this is the time of year to shop.

On another note, I started a new website for my own personal work – check it out at www.ryandenning.com

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Bolton Valley | Part Three

Conditions were all time & the goods…were great! Still reliving the powder filled weekend up north with the boys, cold IPA’s & close to 14 inches of fresh snow. I spent a while on this one, but stoked on how it turned out. In the words of the great Kenny Powers… “I’m going to Shaboom’s!”


Also, here are the rest of the photos from the best day of the season.

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Thanks again to Bolton Patrol, Brett and Jenny Walker, Jason Plouffe, Luke Ingram, Nick Wilkins, Drew & Ryan Flynn.


Ruffin’ It – Rangeley, Maine

With winter rapidly approaching & all this crazy hurricane weather lately, got me thinking thinking back to last winter and the absurd amount of snow that fell in the North East. I was lucky enough to get invited up to my good friend Eric’s camp, in Rangeley, ME – that was absolutely amazing. Views of Rangeley Lake right off the back deck & thousands of miles of trail to ride just outside the front door. Definitely one of the highlights of the winter – can’t wait for round two this season!


Bolton Valley, Vermont

My favorite place in the Northern kingdom. There is loads of steeper terrain elsewhere in Northern VT but this place just has the perfect vibe. Back in early March they got pounded with snowstorm after snowstorm, the season total was just over 330″. This was one of my best days this season, or of all time for that matter…. (a season which also included a 22 day trip to Montana and Wyoming)

I’ll dedicate this one to the employees at Bolton and all they’ve done to preserve the wonderful tree skiing the mountain provides us season after season. Thanks guys!


Bolton Valley | March 22, 2011

Bolton received 8″ overnight — pretty crusty underneath but the resort was empty like usual so there was plenty to go around.

Side Note: We will be covering Snoe.Down this weekend at Killington for Swany Gloves…be sure to get in touch with one of us if you want to join in the fun.


March Madness | March 7-8, 2011

The Alpine-Live.com team constructed new mount for the Gopro this week and just as we came up with the idea a blurb on the weather showed up. At first it was a mild rain event, then a huge rain event, then a huge snow event. Places like Sugarbush were reporting 32″ before dark on Monday evening. I got up there Monday morning and stayed the night at the Bolton Hotel – super awesome experience and I will be staying there again in the near future.A few of the boys joined me today (tues.) to get some leftovers at Bolton, Vista Quad had shut down around 1pm the day before and it was still snowing extremely hard so the hopes were up that Vista terrain would be real sick this morning, one because nobody had skied it all afternoon yesterday but also because the winds were wild and would refill the tracks from the morning. We got up around 8:00am to bluebird skies and zero wind, pretty much went all out from there until 1pm – pretty stoked on the whole trip, I’m always telling myself this but it may have been the best storm of the season. Below is Part 1 and Part 2 from March Madness at Bolton this week and a Bonus edit from our friend Ryan Dunfee over at SASS Global Travel from his latest trip to Powder Week at J-Hole.
Part 1 on Vimeo


Part 2 on Vimeo

Ryan’s Jackson Edit on Vimeo


March 3, 2011 | Bolton Valley, Vermont

Pretty stoked on today, bluebird skies with some old windblown powder. Scope it.


Paradise | February 25-27, 2011

What a weekend, so much to write with so little energy. Firstly, I’d like to introduce our new rider Nick Goinos, a.k.a. ‘Mick Jager’, a.k.a. ‘THE Cuban Missle Crisis’. Nick was introduced to us through a mutual friend a few years back and we’ve been trying to schedule some riding time since. Finally this weekend we put it together, starting with a 9pm-3am night session at Crotched on Friday. It was super fun, they had gotten 12″ of snow during the day and wind was minimal on the lower mountain. We met up with Adam and his cousin Christian around 10:00pm and took a few laps down the park. Lucas and I were really impressed with the terrain park they have, some pretty serious hits towards the end of the big section. We all had a great time but theres limited terrain at Crotched and we needed to get up North.
Saturday | 2:00am – we left Crotched and the journey began, another 2 hours up to Lyndonville, VT to Nick’s cabin in the woods. The cabin is located half a mile from the main road and wasn’t plowed. Our hike in at 4:30am was pretty difficult but it kept the blood flowing — the cabin is off the power grid and is heated by a wood stove so that added to the adventure. ‘Mick’ had told us he had a sled at the house but that it had broken down the last trip up there, after getting the fire started and putting our packs down we went straight into the garage and took a peek. First pull this thing started up and it was on. After we got wood together and had a little nap we took the machine for a few runs around the field and initiated the festivities. We started in on the Jagermeister, Brandy and Bud Light and stopped operating the sled all together – not riding on the 36 acre field of deep blower powder what-so-ever, no over the head powder whilst screaming at the top of my lungs going 75 mph, nada, zero. After a sweet gas powered bonfire and some deer blood we passed out — waking bright and early at 6:00am to another 3″ of new snow on the field. We packed up the gear and lapped it back to the car with the sled, onto Bolton. Below is the sunrise in Lyndonville at Nick’s pad.Nick’s first rodeo at Bolton and it was a blast, a little bit dust on crust but they were reporting an 18″ storm total since Friday morning. The whole weekend is still a blur, we already have the next trip in the makings so stay tuned.

Side Note | Andy called today – he’s back in Jackson, WY from his 13 day adventure living in a snow cave out beyond the gates at Grand Targhee. They received over 30″ of snow in one 24 hour period, but he’s making a big trip report and I’ll let him chronicle the expedition.


Bolton Valley | February 8, 2011

What a day, just another untracked powder day at Bolton. We arrived nice and early — skied the resort with less than 6 other people for the first two hours and then headed into the backcountry. Pretty stoked on what we could take away from today, a few good photos and a good video edit — strong day at work.
Above – Lucas behind the camera | Below – Lucas in front of the camera.


Bolton Epics

Photography by Andy Madea – All Rights Reserved 2011


Cloud 9 – Bolton Valley | January 4, 2011

UPDATED 2-5-11 | 10:00pm I’ve skied so many days this past week they’re almost all blurred together. Friday was special though, two other bros and I sought out some secret lines we have had our eye on for a while now, just waiting for the right day. We got one hell of a workout…skins breaking, icing, falling off, frozen bindings but also long untracked gullys and steep powder lines. Once again (for the 3rd time this season?) I heard “This is the best East Coast skiing I’ve ever experienced”. Bolton Valley ladies and gentleman.

We also had a pretty awesome time today up at Mad River Glen, the Ski The East Freeride Tour was going on and everyone was throwing down huge, stoked to be up there shooting and enjoying ourselves for once, instead of skating around like maniacs trying to pounce on every ounce of powder we can. That update will be up around Wednesday as it will be available to the STE fellas first.
2-4-11 | 8:00pm — Well today was unreal. I’m gonna reserve this space for a post later on — prolly tomorrow morning. I’ll leave some photos just for a place keeper.

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Alpine-Live.com photographer Andy Madea and Ryan Dunfee from SASS Global Travel crushing it.


Weather Update

The Storm Chasing page has been updated for this weekend’s upcoming Nor’ Easter, check it out on the menu above.
In lieu of the upcoming storm I found an old Bolton Valley POV video (not HD sry). These guys are rad though.
The Alpine-Live team was up at Bolton a ton last year and we pretty much thought we had the place on lockdown. Well aparently not, but these guys do….check out Devil’s Playground.


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