When I woke up this morning it was hard to tell what the weather would be doing on Mt Werner. The skies were clear and spring was in the air, but there were some clouds on the horizon and the snow in my yard looked pretty solid. During my ride up the gondola I fretted over where to find the best groomers and how to avoid the crusty snow that was sure to be covering most of the runs. To my suprise, when I took my first turn down Rudi’s, the snow was already soft and in classic spring form.

Thunderhead in the morning light.
Some groms rippin’ it up on Rudi’s

There must have been a bit of an inversion last night because the higher up the mountain I went the softer the snow seemed to get. On top of the surprisingly good conditions, the clouds were holding off and the views of the Flattops and north to Steamboat Lake were beautiful. If you aren’t in a hurry today, I would highly recommend stopping in at 4-Points Lodge first thing for a coffee (or a bloody) and take in the scenery from the adirondack chairs out back.

Morning light at 4-Points

My best runs this morning were actually on the north and west facing runs that have been spared the brunt of the sunny warm days. Since they haven’t melted as much the top layer of snow that re-freezes every night is thinner and will warm up fast. I had good luck on Rudi’s and down Rainbow to Storm Peak lift. Buddy’s was pretty good with fresh grooming tracks, but I might save it for later in the day if you are just getting to the mountain. Whatever you do, steer clear of lower Vagabond until it warms up. The grooming crew did the best they could, but it’s gotten pretty beaten up of late so there are a lot of rough patches.

Upper Rainbow grooming

Like most days in the spring, the bumps and un-groomed runs are best saved for the afternoon. It’s going to hit 60 degrees again in the valley so by noon or 1 p.m. they should be nice and soft and ready for some shredding. For the Slushiest of bumps I would check out Valley View and Concentration on the lower mountain. If you want firmer bumps with a little slush on top, try the runs underneath 4 -Points lift and all the runs off the top of morningside lift.

 

Happy Spring
Dan Tullos, snowboarder

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