Ka-POW! Steamboat delivers. You send us a festival focused on Winter and Wonder, and we deliver 13″ of fresh fluffy snow to start the celebration off right.

Lacy aspens and snow-packed pine cones in Twilight

Good morning, Twilight! Your trees were magical and the snow was deep and untracked this morning — definitely my favorite dose of bottomless I found during First Tracks today.  Straight down the gullet with thigh shots under Sunshine, then a power cruise along the edge of the trees on Westside with a fellow shredder’s pow kicking up light and fluffy to obscure my view.  I call this giggle snow.

Skiing the deep at the edge of Westside

Dare I say it felt a little deeper on the Storm Peak side of the mountain? Whether it’s true or not, Sideburn felt bottomless. Tele turns were absolutely thigh deep in there. And Hurricane, my dear old friend, you’re always an epic choice after a fresh dump like this.

In general, the top half of the mountain is skiing deeper.  Ted’s Ridge is a great trip down, with lots of soft, powdery lines yet to be tracked.

Everyone’s knees are getting a tasty taste today!

Finally, it’s the music festival we’ve all been waiting for: Winter WonderGrasss has arrived. Bluegrass is taking over Steamboat, and an epic dump of fresh snow arrived with the banjos! We’re pickin’ snow and locals and visitors alike are doing the happy dance.

All smiles in line for WinterGrass: fresh flakes and a freshly waxed mustache

Celebrating all the weird wonders of winter, it looks like we’re going to have a mix of sun and snow with our brews and bluegrass this weekend. The air is going to be chilly. Well, maybe frigid. But that keeps the snow nice, so dress warm and stop yer complaining. Plan to boogie in ski pants, warm party hats, mittens. And make sure to intersperse lots of water drinking with your beer tastings. Twenty breweries in the beer tent is fun; dehydration at altitude is not.

Thursday’s après ski was bluegrass with Head for the Hills, but it will be the funky MarchFourth Marching Band on Saturday in Gondola Square — a free show while WinterGrass happens over at the Knoll.

If you don’t have a festival pass (yep, it’s sold out) you can still slide in on some ski-in, ski-out bluegrass by some of the festival’s featured musicians this weekend. Rendezvous Lodge is firing up the grills and icing down the beers for two stellar 12 p.m. concerts on the deck. Ride in and kick back for Rapidgrass on Saturday. Sunday’s nooner is The Lil’ Smokies.

My bet is that the groomers are going to be fast, soft and super fun this weekend. Mother Nature dealt Steamboat a heck of a nice dose of Winter Wonder.

Lookin’ good for bluegrass, Steamboat!

Welcome back Sam Bush and friends! As soon as we’re done lapping up this powder day, Steamboat is ready for some howlin’ at the moon!

Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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