No matter where you are on the Steamboat mountain, there is always a treasure to be found.  These treasures can be anything from a hidden powder stash in the trees to something as simple as an un-crowded groomer on a busy day.  Today we found our treasures scattered all over lower mountain, right under the lift.

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During the holidays, it can get crowded on the mountain as visitors and locals are looking to get out to their favorite spots and enjoy everything Steamboat has to offer.  But one area that often gets overlooked is the lower mountain, which includes everything from Thunderhead down to the base area on the front side.  The majority of our terrain lies beyond the lower mountain area, which is why most people head right past it.  I am often guilty of getting off the gondola and heading right to Storm Peak or Sundown summits as those are usually my favorite spots.  Today, we chose to keep our entire morning to lower mountain, which was definitely the right call.  The slopes were empty, and the corduroy was perfectly manicured on many runs allowing our group to make big, wide turns without anyone else around.

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It has stayed very cold the last few days here in the Yampa Valley, which has kept the snow on the mountain in prime condition.  The groomers are in mid-winter shape, allowing for fast and predictable turns to be carved into the soft snow on every run we took.

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With plenty of groomed choices to pick from, we tried a bit of everything this morning to warm things up.  We toured our lower mountain favorites like Heavenly Daze, Ted’s Ridge and Vagabond just to name a few.  Each run had minimal crowds and plenty of delicious corduroy just waiting for us to carve it up.

Another added bonus of enjoying lower mountain laps is the exceptional view to be enjoyed at the top of Thunderhead.  Certainly anywhere you stand on Steamboat mountain offers outstanding views, but I am partial to what our eyes can take in just to the left of exiting Thunderhead chair and the gondola.  An amazing vista that stretches from North Routt to Buffalo Pass to the top of Mount Werner and beyond is something I could stare at for hours.  What an amazing place we get to play in!

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Pick of the mountain today is Heavenly Daze: The snow is soft, carvable and tons of fun.  The early season features are disappearing allowing for fast turns down one of Steamboat’s most iconic runs.

It looks like there might be a small wave of snow headed our way later today, so do your snow dance so we can ski some freshies tomorrow.

Have a great day on the mountain

Kevin Olsen, Alpine skier

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