Hooray for a couple inches of fresh Presidents’ Day powder! Two inches at mid mountain and an inch at the summit are just enough to soften the slopes. I know everyone was hoping for more of the white and fluffy. That said, upper mountain groomers are soft and ripe for fast turns and carving. The sun is shining, and though it’s a little chillier this morning, it still feels like springtime in the ‘Boat.

Sunshine Lift Line to Rolex was smooth, fast and groomed and some of my favorite turns of the early morning were on Two O’Clock. It wasn’t groomed last night and had a luscious layer of fresh on it that made for soft carving.

It feels early to have such warm temps and abundant sunshine, but it looks like a storm is headed our way later this week. Stay tuned to the forecast and think snow! In the meantime, it’s beautiful out there. The misty layer that blanketed the valley this morning is disappearing and I hope the sun will burn off the clouds that just moved in.

This morning, the groomers are skiing the best. This afternoon, with temperatures warming, any slopes that face directly into the sun should be soft and slushy as they were this weekend. Lower mountain runs should soften as the day goes on, and the runs off of Elkhead as well as Sunset and Three O’Clock should be super nice if the sun bakes them.

There was great corduroy to be found in the meantime on Upper and Lower Rainbow, Hurricane, Heavenly Daze and Ted’s Ridge.

A little frost in the trees

For something new and different, I tried a set of locally made bamboo Grass Sticks ski poles. They are crafted out of a super durable bamboo sourced from Calcutta and owners Andrew Bowlin and Andrew Beckler sand, treat and finish the poles right here in Steamboat. I like the light swing weight and more substantial hand grips. The larger baskets will be great for powder (when we get some!), and the Andrews customize the poles to suit your needs.

Pretty and functional Grass Sticks poles

My husband and I met Andrew B., while having a drink at The Cabin bar at The Grand over the holidays. He was there delivering a set, and I thought they were the prettiest ski poles I’d ever seen. He said they started the company three years ago because they were tired of their aluminum poles bending. The pair had previously taught skiing on the mountain and coached with Winter Sports Club for seven winters. Joining forces to craft high-performance, good-looking ski poles, they set up shop in Steamboat because of its supportive environment, and the way it embraces entrepreneurs. You can find Grass Sticks at Ski Haus, One Stop Ski Shop and Blacktie in town.

Dexter directs cars with style and a smile at the Knoll lot

Lots of people are out enjoying the Presidents’ Day holiday, so be aware and ski safe! If the line at the gondola looks daunting, you have the option to take Christie Express to Thunderhead Express. Once you get up to mid mountain, everyone spreads out, so you’ll will be fine. Get on out there. It’s a great day!

Happy skiing and riding!

Jessica Berg, Alpine skier

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