Before we talk about skiing, here’s a little slice of genuine Steamboat off the slopes. Witness this week’s Steamboat traffic jam…

When you come to Steamboat you have all the conveniences of a modern ski area, but a good old fashioned cattle drive could still slow your progress getting around town from time to time. Call it cow congestion – rush hour’s bovine road block? The cowboys on horseback who were moving some 200 cattle down one of the county’s busiest roads kindly tipped their hats to us giggling “city slickers” with ski racks as we slowly worked our cars through the herd. Proof that this ski town still has the heart of a cow town – and far more amusing than an L.A. traffic jam any day.

Cows

By contrast, skier traffic is at a minimal on the Steamboat Ski Area this morning and Storm Peak’s snow fairies have generously sprinkled a beautiful dusting of new snow upon us this morning. Venture into the cloud, because the fresh corduroy up there on Buddy’s Run, Rainbow and High Noon has become a faint shadow below a fresh dusting of fluff and it’s skiing like butter.

Snowy trail map

Take advantage of sweet solo runs and make the turns as big as you like. Traffic is at a minimum on Mount Werner today. You have time and space and the groomers are soft, thanks to warmer temps these past few days and this morning’s fabulous Friday surprise — a half inch since 5 a.m., and it makes all the difference. Thank you snow fairies!

Rumor has it that more terrain is opening tomorrow, too – spreading out the weekend skiers over as-yet-untouched snow off the Elkhead and Sundown lifts. The ski patrollers I talked with this morning (self-ID’d as Maverick and Ice, “Team Top Gun”) shared a little insight into some boot packing that’s been happening around the mountain too. Ski patrol has bolstered their forces this week with extra man and woman power to break up some of the evil crust we earned in that freak frozen rain and release the soft freshies that are still lurking underneath. Also, doing this will make a nice landing pad for all the forthcoming snow to stick.

Chairlift

Thanks bootpacking peeps…we see your tracks beyond the ropes and you are definitely earning good karma and plenty of good pow this season.

Moo-ve it on up to Storm Peak. Your lane is open. Today is a mighty fine day to ski it.

Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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