The weather in the Rockies can vary pretty drastically from year to year. Some winters are filled with sunshine, plenty of groomed skiing and apres out on the decks. Other years, you never see the sun, and the snow just keeps piling up. This is one of those years. Foot by foot, that powdery white stuff keeps coming. After a big storm like the one last weekend, you don’t need much snow to create a full-on powder day. This morning, 7 inches was more than enough for face shots and deep turns on the mountain.
The first runs on Sundown this morning were pretty soft but not bottomless. I went through Twilight on my first run and was able to find some really deep spots where the wind had blown the snow. The best runs in this area were in the trees next to the Priest Creek lift line both above and below Duster. The wind blew a lot of snow into this area, and the little gullies that run through the trees there were the deepest.
As usual for a storm like this, the best area at the top of the mountain was in Closet. The wind at the top last night made the upper section a little thin, but once you get halfway down, it gets much deeper. The open areas in Closet weren’t as good as the lines through the thicker trees, so if you can handle some tight turns, these areas are your best bet. As I started to work my way down the mountain on the way out, the snow seemed to get better and better. Typhoon was relatively untouched when I went through, and it was worth the effort to get into.
When the base is this good in Steamboat, a little snow can really go a long way. Every little storm that comes through freshens up the mountain and makes it ride much deeper than it should. With more snow coming throughout the day, the riding out there should be good both this afternoon and again tomorrow morning. So even if you missed out on First Tracks, you will still be able to find fresh powder.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder