I have to call the ski report every morning now because what was a beautiful view of the south side of Sunshine Peak is now an eves deep load of snow. My kitchen windows are literally buried! All around town I hear things like: “There hasn’t been snow like this since ’96” or “Has it even been different fronts? Or is it just one looong storm?” and “That’s the biggest pile of snow in town, wait, I think that one’s bigger.” Today and tomorrow the city will take all of those crazy piles of snow and spread them down main street for horses, skiers, snowcats and snowmobiles to play and compete on. The street events and diamond hitch parade are some of the most impressive facets of Steamboat Springs history, but I still think that the best part of the Winter Carnival is the plow trucks that push all the snow from the streets afterward.
Skiing this morning felt like a calm before the storm of this busy weekend. Up early, the mountain was crisp and the snow was diverse. The slopes aren’t too crowded, and they sky isn’t too cold (and it will be getting plenty warmer). Excited to catch some of yesterday and this morning’s glorious snow, I was caught off guard to be totally digging the groom. I wove speedily down a rather empty High Noon and One O’Clock straight back to the bottom of Sundown.
On to something a bit more serious, I caught a Ski Patroler dropping the rope on Priest Creek lift line and rode the first silky line through two days’ worth of freshies. Traversing skier’s right and skiing trees got me some great snow and silence in Shadows; the run that the adults used to have to bribe us down with chocolate is now a staple in my days. Offering mixed trees and plenty of open shoots, Shadows is a perfect taste of Steamboat’s trees. Today there was plenty of pillow-y snow, and the pines were heavy and beautiful.
If you’re visiting Steamboat Springs this weekend , you won’t be for want of things to do. When Winter Carnival meets Mardi Gras meets the Broncos in the Superbowl, our town gets flooded with nonstop fun. The Steamboat base area will be festive all afternoon with a Mardi Gras parade, a crawfish boil and MarchFourth! kicking off the Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert series. Tonight’s Night Extravaganza offers an impressive showing of Steamboat Springs history as well as a record setting fireworks show.
Tomorrow, get downtown early for some horse-drawn ski racing before the historic Diamond hitch parade. Then check out the ski flying that first made Steamboat Springs a famous ski town at Howelson Hill. Finally, if you’re not exhausted, ask a local where to watch the Broncos win the Superbowl! And hey, try to fit in some time to ski this weekend of perfect conditions and beautiful days, too!
This week during Mardi Gras, remember that throwing beads onto Wilderness trees is littering, the best way to be festive is to wear your gear, not leave it in the forest.
Willow Fitzgerald, Telemark skier