Something about the enduring "boom" of last night's fireworks and the lingering taste of birthday cake in my mouth had me jumping out of bed to hit the slopes this morning. The ski area is officially 50 years old and has never felt better.
The overnight dusting of fresh snow added a gentle layer to the mountain that felt soft under my feet. The snow was a bit tacky but was easy enough to plow through. Tiny crystal flakes were falling from the sky this morning which gives me hope that more powder is on the way. Runs like High Noon to 2 O'clock were exhilarating and well groomed. Reaching out for a pole plant and feeling it easily sink to the basket reassured me that the top layer of snow was firm but forgiving. There's nothing better for practicing some gently sweeping turns than a cruise down some wide intermediate trails.
That big fireball in the sky began poking its head out around 9am and seems to be pushing back the looming cloud cover. But on the horizon I can see a dark line of ominous clouds that can only mean one thing... another giant dump. As far as current conditions go, some of my best runs of the day have been our groomed black diamonds. Both West Side and Rolex are silky smooth and steep which is perfect for those looking to introduce a little controlled speed into their lives. The sheer thrill of chilly air on my cheeks and wide open, sprawling terrain was enough to help me forget all about the Broncos playoff loss last night. Funny how fresh mountain air and stellar skiing can do that.
50th Anniversary Celebration festivities continue all week long so wax up those skis, shine up your board, tune up those snow blades, or grab your snow bike and come join us. Conditions are terrific and as the Beatles famously sang... "I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time."
Keep skiing Steamboat and we'll chat soon.
David Wittlinger, Alpine Skier