Today’s 5am Steamboat snow report indicated a small but welcome 5cm/2″ at mid-mountain and 10cm/4″ at the summit. However, when I was shoveling my driveway at 7am and fighting a losing battle against Mother Nature, trying to clear my way out before she erased my hard work, I knew that a lot had happened since the snow stake was checked pre-dawn. And I was right!
Finding myself in a generous and selfless frame of mind and with meetings on my midday schedule, I decided to check out Steamboat snow conditions on the first gondola so that I could provide detailed information to my esteemed friends and colleagues. I rode up the gondola with some nice folks from Fort Collins, CO who were up for a long weekend, and together we planned a ski itinerary for them. Good thing, too. It is definitely a day to have local knowledge or a local buddy, as visibility is as limited as the snow is fabulous. We’re talking superlatives here, folks!
I headed down to the Storm Peak chair with one thought in mind – get thee to Twilight! I nearly got distracted by Tornado, which was virtually untracked, and the beautiful meadow below Triangle 3 trees, but I stuck to my plan. Funnily enough, the new snow in my favorite forest was a bit heavy, and yesterday’s warm sunshine seems to have set up the bumps a bit. What a surprise! I then changed my focus and went for a long gentle groomer down Tomahawk to Baby Powder to the South Peak chair, and it was a hoot! I was riding nearly sightless in the heavy fog, but I just pointed my board and followed the rope without a single turn the whole way down. Next I hit Rolex, and no surprise, it was amazing. The steep run itself had about three days worth of bumps and plenty of soft snow on top, and the snow in the trees on skier’s right was very soft and very deep. I then rode up the Sundown Express to head back over to Storm Peak to hit a couple of groomed black runs, after my success on Tomahawk, and both Cyclone and Drop Out were great fun. What a surprise! – I never say nice things about Drop Out. I made my way across to the BC Lift and took Valley View, a favorite steep groomed black with a healthy layer of fresh snow, all the way back down, and I could finally see more than a metre in front of me from just below Thunderhead at the top of the gondola.
On my way in I stopped by the One Steamboat Place plaza to watch our local boys jump in the Olympic Nordic Combined events on the Jumbotron that’s in place for the week. Steamboat Springs native Johnny Spillane won silver in the individual event last week, and our USA team took silver in Tuesday’s jumping and relay. Today it’s the long course – wish them well!
Very warm regards from a cold and snowy Steamboat