March madness — that weather pattern known as Steamboat spring — has officially turned into March radness. It’s another powder day in the Boat, and we remain under a winter weather advisory all day long. Mother Nature added another 6” to yesterday’s 8” report and snowflakes are falling, continuing to fluff our 349+” pillow of snow.
These are mighty fine days for First Tracks. I took the advice of my Sundown Express compadre and made Three O’Clock my warm up. They groomed it, then the snow fell, and it’s just one long ribbon of smooth sailing fresh tracks all the way down. The snow is soft, so it will undoubtedly get bumped out again as the day goes on. Grab your fun run early, then lap back around for the relatively light loveliness in the 2:30 trees.
It’s a fresh slate in Shadows again. Everything filled in so we can enjoy fresh lines in Steamboat’s most famous trees. Also, the snow feels lightest in the trees — I suspect it enjoyed some protection from the forces of nature last night.
The cloud is dense up there, but flakes continue to fly. Wind that howled through in the wee hours is nowhere to be found. The air is still. But it did leave its mark on the snow, packing it denser on the Storm Peak side of the mountain. I cruised down the steeper parts of The Ridge on skier’s right, then zipped out to Flying Z, where the snow is looking sculptural and skiing plenty deep. It’s also got enough girth that it’s keeping the pace a little slower today. Drop Out, which I haven’t been loving the past month, to be honest, has been redeemed by this dump .
The NASTAR Championships are happening all over lower mountain this weekend, if you are willing to steer yourselves out of the pow to root for a few racers. Saturday’s free concert is Jakubi, rockin’ Gondola Square as we edge closer to the Springalicious celebrations. And it’s Easter too — which means Steamboat’s annual Eggstravaganza is on. Watch for a helicopter dropping a stash of prize-filled eggs out there on the Yampa Valley floor. That big bird makes a pretty epic delivery for the Easter Bunny, thereby creating fun local mayhem.
Unless you’re toting youngsters and bearing Easter Bunny responsibilities, I’d suggest you prioritize enjoying Mother Nature’s fun local mayhem on the mountain this weekend instead. Ski season is waning. These are precious days on snow — heaps of blessings that now render most of us taller than Buddy’s bust at the top of the mountain.
Get after it, skiers, riders and Easter Bunnies alike!
Jennie Lay, Telemark skier
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