Looking back at the last few weeks, Mount Werner has been unusually brown for this time of year. We had a pretty long dry stretch that would have spelled doom for our early season if it weren’t for the heroics of the snowmaking crew. Oh what a difference a week can make! With over 30″ of new snow since last Friday, the mountain is now 60% open and the coverage is looking great.

Leftovers on Two O’Clock

I’ve lived in Steamboat for 12 years now, and if there is one day a year that it almost always snows, it’s Christmas Eve. Christmas morning powder days are so regular that I need more than one hand to count the number of times it’s happened while I’ve lived here. I spent the day at home celebrating my daughter’s first Christmas morning yesterday, but there were some good leftovers today to make up for it.

Sundown and Elkhead lifts opened Sunday along with everything from Three O’Clock all the way to Rolex and West Side. With all that new terrain, there are plenty of great spots to find a powder stash or just a fast groomer to carve down. My first instinct this morning was to look for powder, so I headed straight for Two O’Clock and stayed skier’s right by the trees. It’s a little bumpy, but a lot of snow was blown in between the moguls last night, so there are some decent pockets of powder in there.

It’s not too cold up top, but the high humidity in the fog makes it feel colder, so today might be a good day for an extra layer and a face mask. The visibility at the top of High Noon isn’t great, but after you get past the first pitch, it clears out and the run is in good shape all the way back down to Sundown lift. Ski patrol is working hard to get Sunshine running to open up all the blue and green runs on that side of the mountain. Until that happens, beginner and intermediate skiers are better off staying on the lower mountain or taking laps down Buddy’s Run on the Storm Peak side of the mountain.

It looks like the rest of the week should be sunny, so get ready for a great view of the valley when these clouds clear out. The first glimpses of sun after a big storm are one of the most enchanting things about the Yampa Valley. From the snow-crusted trees at the top of the mountain to the Yampa River snaking its way through pillows of powder, it finally feels like winter in Steamboat.


Dan Tullos

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