It's funny. If you look back at the last several posts here on the Straight Talk you'll see that the mountain conditions have been changing almost daily. We've seen some wild swings from warm weather, snow melt days in the 50's to winter storm advisories. Welcome to March in the High Rockies.
Seems like all I kept hearing yesterday was how disappointed people were that they were losing an hour of sleep last night; what with the time change and all. Well consider me a "glass is half full" kind of guy because I saw springing the clocks forward as an opportunity to hit the slopes that much sooner. Ha.
Zooming runs like the meticulously groomed Rolex was a thrill that any avid skier would enjoy today. There was a perfect blend of dusty top layer to soften the response in my skis while at the same time providing a stiff undercoat that held my edges nicely. My thighs were on fire from the muscle burn I felt from carving turns like a champion. Not a bad way to warm up my legs before searching out some lower mountain terrain. The sunlight swept across the upper mountain this morning like a crystal geyser, and made me mindful of how special this mountain really is.
On the lower mountain trails of Heavenly Daze and See Me I felt a bit more crispness in the quality of the snow. The symmetrical corduroy ridges produced a reverberation in my knees much akin to a hand-held vibrating massage up and down my calves and knees. Hearing the rip of a buzz saw as I traversed in wide, sweeping giant slalom turns couldn't help but make me laugh out loud. I'm sure you'll read the headlines tomorrow ~ "Mad lunatic ski area employee spotted guffawing to himself, for no apparent reason whatsoever." When in all honesty, the giddy-up chuckles stemmed from the sheer joy I was experiencing from another blissful day on the slopes.
So as we progress through the final weeks of the ski season, don't be surprised by the swinging weather patterns we might expect to see. There's sure to be more fresh snow, sunny skies, slush-bumps, fast groomers, overnight freeze, mid-day thaw and everything else Mother Nature can dream to throw our way. That's called springtime in Steamboat and I embrace every unexpected, miraculous forecast with pure enjoyment. Just think, if it weren't for changing mountain conditions to keep us on our toes, we'd all just be sitting. Waiting for life to happen.
David Wittlinger, Alpine Skier