I'm not sure that it's entirely possible, but it seems the recent storm Nemo who all but shut down the east coast, has made its way to the Rocky Mountains. Ok... that's a farce. But I'm here to tell you that whatever name you give Steamboat's latest storm; it translates to "DEEP!"
Now usually, the word "insane" carries with it a rather negative connotation. Except when used as an adjective, like "insanely good." That's what today's conditions are. Knee and above depths of the lightest, most "Champagnesque" fluff you'll ever ski. I take the job of ranking my ski days very seriously and I can honest put today in my Top-5 of all time. There is just something about floating your way down the hillside with nothing but untouched powder fields in front of you that add a natural spring to your step. I was about an hour into my morning when I realized I had forgotten to chug the Red Bull I had in my pocket. Frankly, I didn't need it. The adrenaline surge I got from breezing down Three O'clock and Rolex while most of the town was still sleeping was all I needed as a wake me up today.
Today is one of those days that all of your bad ski techniques rear their ugly heads. Leaning back too far on your tails, initiating turns from your waist and not your knees, and forgetting to absorb the terrain with you your legs. I was guilty of all of these today. But guess what, it's also the kind of day where none of that really mattered. When you're surround by puff-cakes of powdery goodness, who the heck cares? Doing a gentle hip check in the snow as I rounded my turn beneath a nearby aspen tree was all part of the fun. This is the type of day where you can strap on your sticks, point 'em downhill and let 'em run. Booyah!
Flying down Flying Z was one of the best runs of the day. Across the trail and from deep within the tree fields you could hear the laughter and excitement of just about every snow junkie on the mountain today. The cheers and shouts sounded like a group of cackling monkeys at the circus. You couldn't help but laugh at hearing others laugh, which made us all laugh even harder. In a word, it was contagious.
So if you're in Steamboat today or planning a trip here in the near future, just know that the 100th Winter Carnival has brought with it a load of fresh and fluffy snow. Thank you Carl Howelsen... for smiling down upon us this year. Can't wait to see what the next 100 years bring us.
David Wittlinger, Alpine Skier