Calm Before the Storm
With warmer temperatures, more cloud cover and a low pressure system moving into Steamboat, Wednesday morning felt very much to me like the so-called calm before the storm. Groomers were in great condition, noticeable winds were only present at the summit and a snowy forecast is in store for the entire week ahead.
Today is a good day to ski or ride with your low light lenses as the heavy cloud cover that is moving in ahead of this storm is flattening our light quite a bit. I was lucky to catch some morning rays in the Sunshine Peak area for a couple of runs, but once I moved over to Storm Peak and Pioneer Ridge, heavy clouds hid the morning sun from Steamboat’s slopes.
Heavy clouds also mean warmer temperatures, and those warmer temperatures mean a few things for Steamboat. First, it means that skiing and riding will be quite comfortable without the worry of your hands, feet, face or anything else getting too cold. Second, it means that snow is on the way. We typically see our heaviest snowfalls when there is relatively warm air near the ground because warmer air can hold more water vapor. And last but certainly not least, it means that Steamboat’s groomers are grippy, soft and smooth like butter from top to bottom.
From the summit to the base, I found groomed runs like Flintlock, High Noon, Rolex, Rainbow, Longhorn and Vagabond to be covered in really nice corduroy, perfect for holding your edges while enjoying some really smooth, soft turns. These warmer temperatures do not allow for firmness on the slopes, so you can really trust your edges and have fun cruising.
While I was cruising down BC Ski Way, I spotted a mother and baby moose off of skier’s right, grazing on some shrubs and bushes poking through the snow. I enjoyed watching these beautiful wild animals for a few minutes from a safe distance, but respected the fact that they are just that: wild animals. There have been moose sightings on Why Not, Boulevard and BC Ski Way, so keep your eyes peeled but do remember to keep a safe distance for your own safety and the safety of these amazing native animals that call Steamboat home.
Yesterday I was able to enjoy some sunny groomers of a different kind at Haymaker Nordic Center with my youngest son in tow. It was a beautiful and warm January day to be outside enjoying the glide and burn that my super skinny skis provide. Haymaker grooms about 10 kilometers of rolling terrain for classic and skate skiing, and also maintains a trail for snowshoeing and fat biking that is about 8 kilometers in length. Your dogs can enjoy a 2 kilometer trail with you on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and if you’re a season pass holder at Steamboat Ski Resort, you can get a discount on your daily ticket.
The panoramic views of the surrounding mountains from the valley floor are incredible from Haymaker’s terrain. Every turn provides you with a different yet stunning view that makes it easy to ski for hours and hours on end. When you’re finished skiing, Haymaker’s clubhouse provides a full lunch menu, perfect for the hungry and thirsty winter athlete.
Happy calm before the storm and happy Wednesday!
Erin Campbell, snowboarder
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