Good morning from another spring-like day in Steamboat! Although, I'm happy to report that there were flakes flying through the air as I made my way up Storm Peak Express! Even thought the forecast isn't calling for much, we'll take anything we can get at this point. Yes, we're spoiled here in Steamboat, but that's why we live here after all!
This morning I was on a mission for the best, freshly groomed runs on the mountain. This led me to Cyclone which I had to myself. Conditions are still incredible for our variable weather. Groomers are like butter, and non-groomed runs still have plenty of coverage for your sliding enjoyment.
I look at these days as a work-on-my-technique session. As the temperature on the hill changes, so does the temperature of the snow. Up top the snow was more firm, but as I made my way to lower mountain, the snow softens. Mid mountain is where the best "butter" conditions exist. Hard enough to hold an edge yet soft enough to sink nice carves into the hill. As you descend to lower mountain, the snow softens and you find conditions us ski racers like to call "chicken heads:" balls of snow that attempt to take your skis out from underneath you. This is when you are forced to focus on your body position and keep your weight over your downhill ski at all times. This ensures that the "chicken heads" won't steal your outside ski's edge and take it out from underneath you causing you to fall onto your inside ski. You're also forced to keep your hands out in front or you guiding both your eyes and upper body down the hill and where you're headed.
Even though we can usually get away with less-than-sharp edges out west, today's conditions are nice to have a nice tune and layer of warm-temp wax on your skis. Do yourself a favor and bring your skis or board into one of our may ski shops around the base area or downtown and get a simple tune and wax. Trust me, you'll get much more out of your turns and your day on the hill.
Make the most of these days, think safety first and be thankful for our blessed life in the Yampa Valley!