I have a Steamboat hangover. This weekend was just too much fun — the kind that leaves my lips sunburned, my legs tired, my gear a little stinky, my perma-grin stuck in the on position, and my love for this town taking on gigantor proportions.
I skied the mountain all over during the past few days: Why Not to North St. Pats, Ramrod to Chute 1, Sunshine Lift Line to B.C. Lift Line and Heavenly Daze. I skied bumps, powder, groomers and secret kid trails. It was just a perfect weekend, and I am so grateful that Mother Nature chose to shower Steamboat in copious amounts of new powder and glorious bluebird days to show all our visitors just how over-the-top amazing this mountain can be.
This morning’s skiing was like taking a walk down the weekend’s memory lane. I was moving a little slower, the mountain was hushed in early morning shadows, and there were very few early rising skiers. I could take my time and drink in the views, poke through the trees and make GS turns down entire runs.
I had to give Rolex a go after my Sunshine Lift Line warmup. It was not atrocious, but it wasn’t pretty either. The bumps aren’t super firm, but my legs aren’t supercharged, either. I just had to give it a try. Report on bumps: Wait until the sun softens them up helps with visibility. Stick to the sunny groomers on an early morning like this.
There is still great snow up high in the north-facing trees. St. Pat’s skied really beautifully — not deep powder — with carvy, steep turns. And the wind that brought this most recent storm in deposited a lot more snow up there than it did on the rest of the mountain. Tight, steep chutes through the trees are filled in and super fun to charge.
They’re skiing fast and fun, but word to the wise: Be aware of what aspect your chosen groomer is facing. Those that got late-day sun got a bit baked by the glowing orb yesterday and need more time to soften up. Lower mountain groomers need more time as they got warmer temps yesterday, as well. High Noon and One O’Clock were perfect. Flying Z was skiing surprisingly lovely with the sun peeking in from the east and melting the corduroy perfectly. Vagabond needs more time — not my prettiest skiing.
Secret kid trails
Not nearly as much fun without my 3-year-old shredder to follow, but it’s always good to pretend you’re a kid for a moment. I can’t even tell you where they are as they are secret, and I can’t seem to find the good ones unless he shows me where they are.
Take it easy this Monday morning. The mountain is still skiing great, and there are plenty of soft turns to be had. Enjoy the scenery and the warm sun on your back. Rest your legs a little extra from this big weekend, and get ’em ready for winter to come blowing back in tomorrow if the current forecast holds.
Happy Monday, skiers and riders!
Ali Givnish, Alpine skier