I'm often asked about where to ski at Steamboat. Usually, I base my advice on how much snow has fallen, the time of day, and the general snow conditions. There's a spot on the mountain that comes up again and again, throughout the year, and in varying snow conditions. This pocket of runs is heavenly to ski in all conditions. If I were gambling, I'd bet on these runs. Powder day? Ski here. The fifth sunny day in a row? Ski here. Spring slush? Ski here. Morning? Ski here. Late afternoon? Ski here. December? Ski here. April? Ski here. You get the point. I'm talking about the generally north facing quartet including West Side, Rolex, Lower High Noon, and Daybreak. These runs are flanked by Broadway and Duster and are accessed by cruising down High Noon to Rendezvous Saddle. Check out the section on today's Grooming Map below.
I warm up on the freshly pressed cord on Lower High Noon. My skis zippity-do-dah over the micro ridges left by the Steamboat Grooming crew last night. My legs power through each turn as the corduroy ridges hold my edges in perfect place. Another option in this area is Daybreak, where you'll find powder stashes for days after a storm. The feeling I get skiing Lower High Noon virtually all to myself keeps me coming back to the mountain again and again.
Looking for more, I spin a lap up the Sundown Liftline and venture over to Rolex, a true signature Steamboat run. Rolex hasn't been groomed for a couple of days, but the abundant natural snow has created a soft base. The powdered sugar snow on Rolex is so dry and light this morning that it sprays off the tails of my skis as I carve fast turns. If you're lucky enough to have a First Tracks Pass, this is the run for a powder day!
I finish up my tour on West Side, which was groomed to perfection last night. This run curves to the right, so to maximize my turns, I ski the left side. As I drive my skis into the snow and push my feet through each turn, I feel the grip of the snow and gravity of the mountain holding me up and propelling me through that dance that is skiing. I look around and take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air. I want to pause this moment in my mind forever.
Watching the clouds roll in,