I will admit that it is much easier to jump out of bed for skiing when it has been snowing all night or the morning sun is shining bright under a clear Colorado sky. There is just something about an overcast morning that takes that extra bit of motivation to get to the mountain first thing.
We were joined at the gondola this morning by only a small group of people ready to make some early season turns. Our quiet ride up the gondola revealed we would be skiing in flat light conditions and even a bit of wind to deal with out there. Although these aren’t always ideal skiing conditions, days like this turn out to be great because you have the place to yourself. Go ahead and make some turns as wide as the whole run — no problem.
Not only were we enjoying solitude on our favorite groomers today, but the snow was actually in great condition. A small dusting of new snow greeted us at the summit of Storm Peak and was just enough to add a fun layer on top of the already soft snow. Each run we took this morning offered up nice carvable conditions that were soft and fairly consistent top to bottom, even on different facing aspects. Initially we had anticipated possibly finding firm and fast conditions out there, but the mountain proved our assumptions wrong, and we were all very glad we made it up for opening bell today. The mountain is always in its best condition first thing, so no matter what the weather is doing those who show up early get rewarded.
The sun has been trying to shine upon the Yampa Valley for the past few hours, but it doesn’t look like the cloud cover wants to give any time soon. But with the runs being empty and the snow staying soft, you should still head up here to enjoy some quiet and un-crowded runs. The holiday season is quickly approaching, and there aren’t too many days left to enjoy an entire run to yourself; an overcast day is a great way to make that happen so don’t miss this opportunity!
Pick of the mountain today is Buddy’s Run: nicely carvable and predictable snow partnered with minimal crowds made this a fast and fun choice to start the day. It was still skiing great when I came in for this report at 10am, so there are plenty of good turns left out there. It looks like there is a potential storm headed our way in the next few days, so do your best snow dance and help bring some flakes into Steamboat.
Early season conditions do exist on the mountain, so please ride with care and respect trail closures. Have a great day on the mountain!
Kevin Olsen, Alpine skier