Wonders never cease. I woke up to the report of an inch of fresh snow having squelched itself out of clouds I never saw pass through yesterday’s bluebird skies.  And that puts the early morning tally at 231.5” for the season before January’s final weekend storm pummels us with what’s expected to be a foot of snow or more.

I’ve got news for you: The storm started arriving earlier than the forecasters predicted. The clouds are here, and it’s already snowing, piling on for another powder day on Saturday.

Ascending into the clouds on Four Points. #gopro

Ascending into the clouds on Four Points. #gopro

For the moment, it’s a mid-mountain ski day. The 1″ that’s making the bottom so nice is actually  2.5″ of pure velvet in the middle section. It’s snowing consistently at the mid-point, and it’s nice to stay below the dense cloud that’s parked directly upon Storm Peak. Up top, it’s vertigo-inducing white-out this morning and not really snowing inside the cloud.

Find the freshies in the center — laps on Four Points, the gondola, Thunderhead and Burgess Creek are currently ideal for dipping into the deepest snow.

Sleeping Giant is down there, I swear! #gopro

Sleeping Giant is down there, I swear! #gopro

I took a long solo run all the way down Twister where the new snow softened the small, rolling bumps.  It was just me and a bunch of bunny tracks.  Halfway down,  the Sleeping Giant started emerging from the foggy valley below. Heavenly Daze and Ted’s Ridge were prime for long, fast, carving turns — so nice that I made the extra little lap up Bashor on the way down so I could snag a well-worthy descent on See Me.

All the frosting is off the trees now. It has dropped to the ground. Coupled with the storm that’s already upon us, I predict a giddy weekend in the woods for Steamboat!

DCIM106GOPRO

Not what you’ll see today. All the early week’s frosting is on the ground now. #gopro

Before we venture into all the snowy shenanigans of Steamboat’s epic Winter Carnival next week, town offers a weekend packed with pretty outstanding performing arts possibilities to end your ski day.

  • See a Cliburn Piano Competition finalist (who was featured in the new documentary film Virtuosity) perform a solo piano recital at Strings Music Festival on Saturday.
  • Watch Steamboat’s uber talented young dancers (and some outrageously talented adults) rockin’ The Wiz on Friday and Saturday nights at the high school theater.
  • Tears of laughter and understanding will be flowing at the Chief Theater during Nora and Delia Ephron’s play, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, on Friday and Saturday nights. (Another theater hint: If you’re here in February, the Chief Players are reviving their hilarious melodrama, Secret of Yonder Mountain. Bring your boos, hisses and funny bone every Thursday night all month.)

January is wrapping up nicely.  For me, the February click-over of the calendar means we’re over the hump. To be honest, I’m a skier who longs for extended daylight, sun on the slopes, sunset happy hours at the top of the gondola, free concerts and temperatures that sustain themselves at least 20 degrees above zero.

Onward with the sunny and snowy months of late winter and spring … my favorite part of ski season.

 

Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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