There's simply nothing like the crinkle of crisp mountain snow under your skis on the first few runs of the day. With temperatures falling below zero last night, the slopes are icy smooth and fast.
The early morning groomers I hit up were grippy and slick. The thing about cold mountain air is that it seems to suck all the moisture out of the snow leaving dry and light puff cakes behind in its place. Zigging and Zagging my way down runs like Flintlock and Quickdraw left me nothing short of footloose and fancy free. The icy zest on my cheeks was like a blast of exhilaration that would get anyone smiling in no time.
The early morning sun left long shadows that swept across entire runs. The euphoric feeling of whooshing down Sunshine Lift Line left me in a state of sheer bliss. There's something very peaceful and serene about these southern facing runs in the early morning light. It's an experience I highly recommend to anyone looking for a quintessential Rocky Mountain skiing experience. Looking behind at the tracks I left across the well groomed trail, I couldn't help but envision a slithering snake slicing down the mountain. The interwoven edge tracks seem to lay in perfect harmony to each other, creating an intricate design no artist could ever hope to replicate.
On one of my final runs of the morning I cut over to skier's right off South Peak Lift Line. My friends and locals might not approve of me making this public, but there are quite a few untracked lines through the aspens in this area of the mountain. Consider this your "stash alert" and get over there while the gettin' is good.
Beyond that, enjoy the sunshine and don't forget to check out the FREE concerts all week long. MusicFest is in town and the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square plays host to daily free shows beginning at 1:10pm today through Wednesday. Get your groove on and mozy your way down the slopes in time for those. You'll be glad you did.
Have a delicious day...
David Wittlinger, Alpine Skier