First thing I noticed about the sky as I rode the gondola today was an over-abundance of gray. At first reading, you might think this is some sort of bad news for today's report but quite the contrary. In the world of a Steamboat skier, gray is good. Gray means clouds. Gray means SNOW.
I'm not trying to say that today is overly overcast. In fact, periodic glimpses of sun are what have made the snow soft and forgiving. My runs down Heavenly Daze were fast but controlled. Chunks of snowy, white goodness gave the feeling of skiing through a graham cracker crust. But diving my ski through the center of the trail as I shifted weight from edge to edge was more like slicing through a Dutch apple pie. There's a sense of security in today's snow that dissipates any concern that our base is too packed to sink a delicate edge. As the morning pressed on, I could already feel some outward moisture forming on the surface which leads to soft and easy snow you can enjoy all afternoon.
I certainly wasn't the only soul on the mountain this morning. There were a lot of other outdoor enthusiasts gliding their way down Mt. Werner with smiles on their faces. Seems like the early season coverage we've maintained through challenging weather patterns is holding nicely. Not an ill word was spoken anywhere within ear shot of where I was today. In fact, the pure enjoyment of breathing crisp, clean mountain air while making turns and participating in one of my favorite sports was enough to transcend any dream of chest deep powder for the moment. Those days will be upon us soon. For now, enjoy the calm relaxation of nature-packed exercise and tidy Rocky Mountain snow.
Until next report... have fun, enjoy the day and Happy December.
David Wittlinger, Alpine Skier