Let me start by wishing you a very happy Easter. The bunny came to our house last night and left a load of deliciously sweet treats in a basket filled with fake grass. Making my way to Gondola Square, a well-attended Easter mass was taking place on the Steamboat Stage. From the short snippet of the sermon I overhead, the preacher was explaining the importance of living as a community and looking to each other for help when we need it. This, of course, got me thinking about the community of skiers and riders that collect on our mountain trails every day. This is the community I love being a part of no matter what the snow conditions may be.

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With just one week of the 2014-15 ski season left, I’m officially starting the countdown. Things on the mountain get really exciting this time of year, and those who spend this week in Steamboat are extremely lucky. There are discounted lift passes available this week, Sunset Happy Hour, Cardboard Classic, free live music at the base area and a complete array of fun and exciting events.

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As I made my way around the mountain this morning, I couldn’t help but think about the talk around town about how quickly the snow is melting. Of course it is. It’s April in the Rocky Mountains, and the warm sun is melting things all around. But let me just say that our mountain still has a lot of wide-open, snow-filled runs to slide and ride. Many of the main trails I skied this morning were in great shape considering the time of year. High Noon, Storm Peak and Rainbow were all well covered and groomed like a teen on prom night. Some of my favorite runs like Two O’clock skied well with just a slight natural hazard toward the bottom. Caution signs are well placed in these areas. Keeping your eyes up and being prepared to slow will ensure a safe and healthy Easter Sunday out there.

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As far as the overall mountain vibe these days, I’d sum it up with the word “loose.” The people I’m seeing are filled with huge, toothy smiles and everyone seems to be more relaxed. There doesn’t seem to be any urgency or stress about making our way around the mountain these days, which I love. Something special happens when we all throw off the pressures of daily life and just enjoy the glory all around. Surrounded by the peace that lives within the natural beauty of Steamboat gives my mind rest and widens my heart.

So be sure to enjoy some incredible skiing in Steamboat today and know that today of all days, peace is in your hands. Take a moment to cast a friendly nod or quiet “hello” to your friends and neighbors enjoying our mountain the same as you.

Happy Easter. Just 7 more days to go!

Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier

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