I've got to hand it to the snow Gods. Like any good deity, they seem to always prepare for mass on Sunday. Today was certainly no exception. Our 5am six inch snow report was more like 8-10 inches by the time the gondola opened and it's only getting better.
First tracks down Twilight were filled with buttery goodness. The overnight snow dump left a lot of deep pockets that gave my skis some extra float over the bumps in this area. I wouldn't call it bottomless snow, but still extremely forgiving. Between the gentle aspens I found a lot of cushy clumps of pow that spit upwards to my cheeks as I plowed my way down. There's nothing like the sensation of choking on a little snow debris to remind us why we get out of bed at 6:30am on a day like this. Being part of the early morning crew is essential for any powder junkie who lives for the finest champagne powder snow that only Steamboat has to offer.
Runs like The Ridge to Flying Z have been absolute MONEY this year and today was no exception. A gentle slope with short sections of steeper pitch gave me all the momentum I needed to glide between evergreens with the grace of a ballerina. The snow was so deep and pristine on this section of the mountain that I made several laps before I went searching for greener pastures (actually, "whiter" pastures is probably more appropriate). At the bottom of each run today I was pleasantly surprised to see a sheer lack of lift lines also. That really says a lot about our mountain; that so many people can enjoy our National Forest and yet feel like they've got the mountain to themselves. I absolutely love days like this when the air is calm, the snow is crisp, and everyone is smiling.
For my avid Sunday readers, here's a little nook that's often overlooked. Take the Bashor chair and head skier's right at the top. At the top of Vogue, ski directly past the trail sign that says Vogue/Bashor... through a short, tight section of ankle biters to a wide open powder field. It's probably the best "last run" of the day and it doesn't seem to matter what time of day you ski this. You can almost always find patches of untracked snow and a sheer thrill-ride of an adventure. The trail shoots you out onto Short Cut and down to the base area.
SHHH... don't tell, it's our secret! Ski safe, have fun and don't poach my line (just kidding, I love you).
David Wittlinger, Alpine Skier