People are always happy about a long holiday weekend, but give us a few inches of fresh, creamy snow and the smiles start to multiply. Every chairlift I rode, skiers and riders were grinning ear to ear about a bonus day on the hill, extra time with friends and family and the surprisingly good conditions.
The mountain only reported 3″ of new, but it is snowing hard and those 3 inches are going a long ways! This storm came in super warm, which doesn’t deliver uber fluff, but is exactly what you hope for when it’s been warm and sunny. The mountain was starting to firm up under the gorgeous blue skies and lengthening warm days we had much of last week. A heavy few inches is just what we needed.
I was slow to the hill this Monday morning. I’m spoiled and a report of only a few inches doesn’t usually inspire me to give up on extra snuggle time with my kiddo. Silly me! I should have hurried, you should maybe hurry on up here, too.
To get a good sense of what the skiing was like, I split up my first run: groom on Rudy’s and then a few bumps on Surprise. Surprise! The mountain is in great shape and the density of the snow is enough even in packed out bumps to soften up my turns and help control my speed. The groomers are skiing fast and beautifully carvy.
Triangle Trees and a freshly groomed Tornado were my first runs off the top this morning after seeing how well this snow had refreshed the mountain. Both runs were again surprisingly fun. The wind is howling out of the west, which blows lots of extra snow into Triangle Trees, and Tornado is always one of my favorites. Next run was Sideburn — again, super fun in the bumps, and the nice wide alleys of Sideburn have let the wind blow in a little extra white to soften your turns.
Another perfect groomer run down Hurricane to practice my GS turns before heading back up Burgess Creek. Even the Daze and See Me are skiing super fun with a couple inches of fresh holding its own and making me feel like a really pretty skier. (Not always the case for me. I love racing through powder, but I’m not always a rockin’ groomer skier.)
While I wasn’t brave enough to commit to the trees off Sundown, I am thinking that with this heavy snowfall and most folks sticking to the groomers, the trees are all going to fill in nicely by midday. The visibility is a bit of a challenge, but if you can’t see, it usually means it’s snowing hard, and that is a great problem to have! For those of you who have the ability to milk this extra weekend day and ski this afternoon, I think you better take advantage. It’s just getting better and better up there. For those of you who can’t, I think you should call in busy, sick or snowed in tomorrow so you can stay in Steamboat and get out on the hill. Don’t the presidents deserve a four-day weekend?
Happy Monday skiers and riders!
Ali Givnish, Alpine skier