Apparently Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow yesterday. That means Steamboat didn’t get the message — or we’re just hunkering in for one of those long, notorious snowbound springs in Colorado. If you’re shoveling as well as skiing this season, the groundhog may have offered his greatest blessing — and curse. Since I’m making turns in freshies this morning, amidst an insane work week, I’ll throw down with the blessing.

In a nutshell, it’s pure winter out there. Another seven inches of fresh snow piled on the seven that we reported yesterday. It’s still snowing. My tele turns just earned an entire run of untracked thigh shots on Valley View. But layer up because were starting near zero today, and the forecast calls for a high of 15 degrees. It was no small sacrifice to remove my mitten to snap a few photos for you this morning.

Well-frosted, everywhere.

Well-frosted, everywhere.

This snow has some heft. It’s substantial vs. bottomless fluff. It’s perfectly carvy, offering a tad bit of resistance to keep the pace on the slow side. It’s sticking, as in every branch of every aspen, pine and willow is well-frosted. That means you should go for an extra lift ride up to ski down vs. a long traverse like Flat Out right now.

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More lifts, less people, more runs.

Fresh snow and probably a tad bit of wind over the past few days have filled in the bumps just about everywhere. Hurricane has a few harmless little rollers under there somewhere, but mostly it’s a long, deep delicious cruise. Sunshine Lift Line is creamy. No one has touched the well-spaced aspens near Quicksilver and Tomahawk. Skier’s right on Westside is pretty much epic this morning. (Sorry, but I already tracked that line out for you … twice.)

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Westside dreamin’.

The 103rd annual Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival kicks off tonight with Opening Ceremonies and some of the cutest little carnival royalty you’ll ever see. (Think princess dresses and puffy jackets.) Your first step — before you start enjoying kids on shovels flying down the street, the Lighted Man and our skiing marching band — is to get your winter carnival button. An adorable commemorative button is $10 and it supports our hometown kids in the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. You can buy them all over town.

Also, rumor has it that the historic penalty for being caught without wearing your carnival button was to push a peanut down Lincoln Avenue with your nose. Don’t risk it.

Happy Winter Carnival, everyone!

Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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