It’s another beautiful day in sunny Steamboat! I’ve been extremely lucky the past few days, getting to spend some quality time on the mountain. If you read the Straight Talk reports from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, then you already know that it’s been great. Before the snow fell last week, I was getting a bit worried. I think we all were. But with a little luck, the spring snow gods delivered 10 inches midweek, and my, oh, my, was it nice. Thursday was awesome! New snow, colder temps, a touch of spring and a kiss of winter made for perfect conditions. Don’t believe me? Check it out.
With granparents in town, Friday night was date night. A little bit of night skiing, a gorgeous sunset from the perfect chair and a great dinner at the base of the mountain was perfection! Night skiing ends Monday, and the forecast looks sunny, so get up there and enjoy a pretty sunset with your sweetie and take some soft, slushy runs on freshly groomed trails like See Me and Vogue.
This morning, as I woke up, I admired the early morning glow backlighting the mountain. I could tell that a great day was in store for all of us. Driving to the mountain, I admired a hot air balloon, quietly drifting through the morning sky. Riding up the gondola, I admired the solitude on this Saturday morning. Sunny skies, fresh corduroy and empty runs — blissful!
This is the time of year when you might want to sleep in a little, enjoy breakfast at Creekside, Winona’s, Freshies or Paramount (my favorites in town), sip your coffee a little longer, watch the hot air balloons gently drift through the valley, and then grab your skis or your board and head to the mountain. While the runs are empty and there is fresh corduroy, it is a bit firm and you’ll want to watch for some icy patches. The best rule of thumb for early morning skiing this time of year is to follow the sun. Runs like Tomahawk, Flintlock, Sunshine Lift Line and High Noon catch more early morning sun, and with that extra little bit of warmth, provide softer and more grippy corduroy. Save runs off of Storm for midday, and let lower mountain catch some more rays before heading that way.
Spring skiing is about a lot of things: soft, slushy runs, skiing with friends, drinking a cold après beer, enjoying a free concert, sunny skies, warm temps and most of all, FUN. Good news, today is 100% one of those days. I can feel the vibrant energy, and hope you get a chance to get out there and have a blast as well. Make sure to check out The Wheeland Brothers today in Gondola Square at 3:30pm. And don’t forget to check out the U.S. Freestyle Championships going on this weekend on the Voo Doo aerial course and Mayer’s Mogul Course (named after local Olympic medalist Travis Mayer). My hubby was a freestyle mogul skier, so I’ve learned a lot about the sport and love to get out there and watch such amazing athletes compete. Today is aerials and tomorrow is dual moguls. Ski down the right side of Voo Doo and catch early morning training runs, or better yet, wait a little bit and watch the competition. You’ll be impressed!
One more thing: Make sure to cheer on participants in the STARS Mountain Challenge this weekend, a super cool charity event that raises money for STARS, which provides amazing opportunities for athletes with disabilities.
Smile, laugh, dance, have fun and make sure to follow the sun. Happy Saturday!
Erin Campbell, snowboarder