It’s another powder day in the Boat! 6″ in the past 24 hours and an additional 1″ at mid-mountain and 3″ at the summit since 5:00 AM.
Our local newspaper, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, is running a contest to determine the best run at Steamboat Resort. It’s down to two: Closets and Shadows. With all the fresh powder, I went on a quest to settle the long-standing question: Which is better, Closets or Shadows? Let’s get ready to rumble!
I tackled Shadows first. My skis floated atop the creamy goodness as I launched into the dark timber. I could feel a hard layer atop each mogul and adjusted my line into tighter trees. The main line down Shadows needs some more snow (which is coming, hint, hint, go skiing tomorrow). Off to either side, the trees are skiing beautifully. Halfway down Shadows, the trees change from pine and spruce to aspen.
Skiing aspen trees at Steamboat on a powder day is the closest I’ve come to a religious or magical experience on skis. Popping between pillows of powder through stoic, quiet, aspen trees is like nothing else. Finding a rhythm on the fall line, time disappears and the world stands still. This is Steamboat. I come back to reality as I land on Moonlight and head back to the top to see how Closets is skiing.
I have to admit, I’m biased. I love Closets. I have “my line.” I ski it often, and today was no exception. Warmed up from Shadows, I enter Closets near the top of Sideburn and find limitless fresh, untracked powder. I dropped straight down the fall line and ripped through the open pine trees. The trick to Closets is to study the fall lines. Ski for about 30 seconds and then head to the right. There’s an amazing open meadow here where my skis popped through the light snow.
After the meadow, I head right again into the dark timber and down a different fall line (toward Storm Peak). This section of Closets is one of my favorite lines at Steamboat Resort. Steep tree chutes that twist and turn through the woods always put a smile on my face.
Today, Closets won, hands down. Fewer moguls, more untracked lines and softer snow. With another foot of powder, Shadows would have taken the cake (I love those aspen trees). There’s another storm rolling in, so go decide for yourself. What’s your favorite, Closets or Shadows?
Meghan Lutterman, Alpine skier