Stepping off the gondola today was surreal.  The morning light was breaking its way through the quickly sweeping clouds which provided some jaw dropping effects in the sky.  My head felt almost dizzy with the swirling of the puffy fluff above.  It was too amazing to properly describe with words and just about the coolest feeling I’ve experienced in quite some time.

Electing to glide and ride my way down the front side of the lower mountain first thing, I dropped down Heavenly Daze and felt the exhilarating chill of the fresh morning air on my cheeks.  What I found was truly pleasant.  The groomed terrain was completely dry and soft on top of packed powder below.  Sinking my edges was honestly quite easier than I had anticipated.  The white coverage on these groomed trails is soft and slick.  Like a million tiny ball bearings underfoot, my skis wanted to glide faster than my body felt comfortable.  So rather than fight with my skis, I elected to pop into the fresh powder on skier’s left of the run.  Along the edges of “the Daze” you’ll find plenty of leftover snow from yesterday’s storm.  Once again, this snow is dry and fluffy with just the slightest feel of crunch below.  A wonderful surprise if you ask me.

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Towards the top of the mountain off both Four Points lift and Sundown, the early cloud coverage made visibility a bit tough.  But the sun won out in the end and by the time of this report, the skies over Steamboat are clear and sunny.  There’s a lightness in the air that can’t help but put an extra spring in your step and smile on your face.  The corduroy I found on Moonlight was as seamless as you could hope and the run funnels you nicely towards the brightness of a rising sun.  For those who enjoy bumped out mogul runs, I’d recommend shooting down the very upper section of Three O’clock.  The lines are zipperlike and pockets of powder fill in the gaps nicely.  Not too hard on your knees or back and forgiving enough to make even an intermediate skier feel like a hero.

View of the valley

So today is ‘Big Game Sunday’ and I’m sure that most of our readers will be kicking up their heels to watch some football later this afternoon.  But for those who like to earn their couch time, I’d highly recommend getting out for some fresh Rocky Mountain air before settling in for four hours of the best commercials on television.  At least that’s what I say. 

View of the Yampa Valley

Happy Trails,

Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier

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