Good morning skiers and riders, it's a Champagne Powder® day in the Boat! The mountain was alive this morning with hoots and hollers from powder hounds enjoying the 8 inches of fresh snow that piled up mostly overnight. On a big powder day like today, it's best to grab a friend and make a plan to enjoy the most of Steamboat's famous snow.
Tips for Intermediate/Advanced Powder Hounds
If you have the art of the powder turn down, then your powder morning should be focused on maximizing your exposure to untouched powder fields. If you rallied and got on the Gondola early, then skiing Rudi's to the Four Points Lift will usually work out well. Rainbow, Hurricane, Twister, and Nelson's are a dream on an early powder morning. Today, I found super light snow on Rudi's and Blizzard. My powder skis popped through the light fluffy stuff like a dream. Storm Peak Express opens at 9:00 a.m. and is usually next on the agenda on a powder day. To maximize your wide open powder turns, hit the classics first: Storm Peak South, Closet, and Shadows. These are popular runs that tend to get tracked out quickly. Then head to the top via Morningside and hike up to the double black diamond runs and enjoy. The wind whipped up the snow on Upper Mountain today, so head into the trees for the best snow.
Tips for Beginner Powder Hounds
If you are learning to ski powder, start with groomed runs because they will usually be an easier learning environment and will have ungroomed powder stashes to play in on the sides of the runs. Today, I found skiers enjoying the challenge of learning to ski powder on Buddy's Run. A fresh groom left a couple of inches of perfect learning snow on the run. As riders got the hang of making linked powder turns, they ventured off onto the ungroomed sides of Buddy's Run onto the full 8 or 9 inches of fluff. This is a great way to learn because if you get tired or uncomfortable, you can zip right back on the easier groomed run, as opposed to making a commitment to a full ungroomed run. My favorite runs for learning the art of the powder turn are Vagabond, Buddy's Run, and Flintlock/Sunshine Lift Line. I am recommending all intermediate (blue square) runs because when learning to ski in powder a little steepness will help.
[Natural Rainbow off Buddy's]
Tips for Late Riser Powder Hounds
If you missed First Tracks and arrived to a longer Gondola line, head over to the Christy Peak Express Lift and then ski down and board the Thunderhead Express Lift. This combination of lifts will take you to the same place as the Gondola. On a powder day there will be snow in the stashes throughout the mountain. Your best bet to find powder later in the day can be found in the Lower Mountain trees and the trees off the Sunshine Peak Express area. Steamboat's recent removal of trees throughout areas below the top of the Gondola has opened many new powder paradises to explore. Below is a picture of one of those areas today. These are pretty coveted stashes, so you'll be well served by doing a little hunting for these gems.
We're in for more snow through Saturday and it looks like additional storms are headed our way next week. Keep those power boards handy, because you are going to need them.