There are no crowds at Bolton Valley Resort, VT. When you ski, you have the mountains and trails all to yourself!
Best Kept Secret in Northeast
by Christine Lynn Harvey

Bolton Valley Resort, ( located in the town of Bolton, VT exit 10 off Interstate 89, is the best-kept secret when it comes to winter resorts in the northeast. There are plenty of trails to explore for every level of winter sports enthusiast. The feeling is intimate and there are virtually no crowds mid-week, so you feel like you have the trails yourself. The view is spectacular through the valley with Camel's Hump at its pinnacle, the second highest mountain in Vermont. The view from Bolton Valley's 3,303 feet high Vista Peak takes in a breathtaking panorama of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks to the west and Mt. Mansfield to the north.

With a base elevation of 2,035 feet, the second highest in the northeast, and a total vertical drop of 1,634 feet, Bolton Valley boasts more annual snowfall than Keystone and Sun Valley. Bolton Valley has 61 groomed trails on 165 acres and over 100 km of pristine cross-country ski and snowshoeing trails.

The resort recently won a $650,000 community development grant for its "Vista Bowl Project" which includes: a new quad chairlift, new trails including "Vista Bowl High" on Vista Peak, 20 acres of natural, open glades for skiing and riding, additional lighting for night skiing, additional snowmaking, an improved beginner teaching area with Magic Carpet Lift (2006), an improved terrain park, expanded parking, an expanded sports center and hotel improvements.

Bolton Valley's groomed trails are second to none, and that is perhaps why so many early and late season races take place here. The instruction school offers affordable prices with PSIA ski instructors and snowboard professionals. The trails are well designed so that any skier or rider can explore trails outside their comfort zone with support and encouragement from their instructor. Bolton Valley's instructors help you improve your technical skills and boost your confidence which make it easy for you to progress rapidly. One of Bolton Valley's instructors, Cindy Morin, says, "I learned to snowboard three years ago and I still take lessons. It reminds me when I was first learning to ride, what every beginner skier goes through. I encourage the snowboard instructors to take ski lessons and the ski instructors to take snowboard lessons. It really helps us understand what it's like to be a learner so we can be better instructors," she says.

With this philosophy, taking a lesson at Bolton Valley is an investment that rewards you ten-fold. Women are encouraged to take advantage of Women's Wednesdays, a $24 package that includes a 4 hour ski clinic lesson, day lift ticket and rentals; daycare is only $15. Bolton Valley also offers a challenging terrain park and night skiing/riding as well. Bolton Valley's accommodations include a slope side hotel and suites that can accommodate up to a family of 6 for $249/night during peak season. The suite includes three baths, a full kitchen, 2 bedrooms with 2 pullout beds and a fireplace in the main suite. Kids under 18 stay free and kids under 6 ski free. You can also rent Bryant Cabin or Bolton Lodge for a real Vermont woods experience and condos are available for rental daily, weekly or seasonally. Guest amenities include an indoor sports center with heated swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, jacuzzi and tennis and basketball courts. The resort's village center includes a tavern, restaurant, shops and a deli. Bolton Valley is a great family vacation destination for all seasons. The resort offers golf packages, mountain biking and other activities during the warmer months.

Owner Bob Fries says, "We're real friendly. Our staff is dedicated to providing the best guest experience possible. We're very proud of our resort." Bolton Valley is a half-hour from Burlington, a charming waterfront New England city whose heart is Church Street Marketplace, a closed off pedestrian street lined with outdoors stores, art galleries, coffee houses, bistros and chique apparel shops reminiscent of Soho.

Promoting Self-Mastery in Individuals & Executives

Perhaps the most interesting highlight of Bolton Valley Resort is its new Bolton Adventure Center, (; 802-434 6831), located at the Bolton Valley Nordic Center. BAC offers a variety of winter outdoor activities, environmental education tours and adventure quests for all ages, abilities and interests. Wintertime activities include: telemark, alpine and nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, orienteering, ice climbing, backcountry skiing/snowboarding, ski mountaineering; warmer weather activities include: rock climbing, kayaking, spelunking and hiking. Other adventure activities include flying through the air on a zip line, climbing and standing atop a pamper pole then jumping to a trapeze, and balancing on a giant teeter-totter that can hold up to twenty people at a time.

Chip Schlegel, Executive Director of Bolton Adventure Center is in charge of scheduling these activities as well as designing and implementing challenge courses which are geared for team-building and corporate leadership. "We've taken the reality TV show idea, Survivor, Fear Factor, The Amazing Race, and turned it into cooperation instead of competition in an outdoors environment."
Schlegel says BAC's programs are fully adaptable and customizable since there are two kinds of people who participate. The first are those who have an adventurous spirit and love doing activities in the great outdoors; the second are there at the insistence of their boss who wants them to learn better communication skills or to increase productivity. "If they sit behind a desk all day, we're not going to make them hike to the top of the mountain, but we'll make it a little more thought-provoking to challenge them mentally."

Schlegel puts all inquiries he gets through a thorough needs assessment to help him implement the right program to serve everyone's needs. The team who works in the trenches every day has a very different impression of what the problem is, so Schlegel's job is to meet the needs of both the decision-maker and employees. "We highly encourage that the executive get involved with his or her employees in BAC's programs. In order for change to really occur in a company, it needs to be holistic. Everyone needs to be involved."

"If there is a problem in the workplace, we get participants involved in a low element activity that's not even remotely related to the perceived problem. We focus on the activity and build a common bond between the participants." Low elements involve ground activities that concentrate on problem-solving, while high elements involve activities above the ground that concentrate on eliminating fear and building confidence.

The high element adventure course involves climbing a 45-foot tower and swinging from ropes and doing other stunts that strongly rely on team communication, trust, camaraderie and cooperation. BAC's programs center on changing behavior, understanding communication styles and different personality traits so that every participant can come to an awareness of their own unique ways of relating to others. For example, some people process their experience internally and are very quiet while others process information externally and are very talkative. There are people who are the "I don'ts", "I can'ts" and I won'ts." Schlegel reminds participants those words don't exist in his realm and challenges those who say "I can't" to be more specific as to why they can't so they're not able to just "check out."

After experiencing an adventure course as a teen, Schlegel says he found his calling in life. He loves giving people those "ah-ha" moments, where they come to a profound self-awareness about themselves. "Conquering things you never thought possible and exceeding your own expectations are some of the things you can learn by participating in the high elements of BAC's adventure course," says Schlegel. He says his reward comes in the letters he receives from participants. "The focus is on how they came against their will to where their thinking was totally changed around by the experience BAC offered them."

You can get a group of family members, friends or co-workers together and let BAC design a competitive or fun challenge event that includes a mix of the activities described above. For only $33 pp (minimum group of 6 people) BAC can have you do a snowboarding/skiing slalom race and scavenger hunt on the mountain. The price includes an 8-hour lift ticket and equipment rentals.
For more info about Bolton Valley Resort, contact 4302 Bolton Access Road, Bolton Valley, VT 05477, call 1-877-9BOLTON or visit; for more information about the Bolton Adventure Center, call 802-434-6831 or visit

Getting the Right Ski Boot Fit

Let the Bolton Valley Adventure Center put an exciting adventure package together for you and your friends!
At Bolton Valley Resort, there's a fireplace in every suite. Quatershare second home ownership is also available
Bolton Valley Resort is home to many ski races and telemark events
A view of Camel's Hump, the second highest mountain in Vermont, is visible along Cobrass Trail, a blue run that's challenging at the top
Bolton Valley Resort is a riding haven