Spring has sprung in Steamboat! March in Steamboat means longer and sunnier days that are perfect for spring skiing.  After all the powder skiing I've done this season, today was a refreshing change.  This morning a hot air balloon graced over the base of the mountain and put smiles on faces of people headed up for a day of fun.

The trick to spring skiing is all about timing.  If it snows, head up to the mountain early.  If it does not snow overnight, then consider waiting for the sun to warm and soften the snow.  Ten o'clock in the morning is a perfect time to head up the Gondola on a sunny spring day.  For your first turns on a spring morning, look for runs that are groomed and bathed in sunshine.  Rainbow, High Noon, and Heavenly Daze are the classic spring morning runs.  To find out which runs were groomed, pick up a Groomed Trails Map in the Gondola Building. 

Under the bright sun, I first darted down the freshly groomed corduroy on Vagabond with my skis a-blaz'n.  As I zigzagged down through the perfectly parallel grooming lines, I looked out and admired the beauty of the Yampa Valley.  I made large arching turns down the top half of Vagabond and then decided to stay in the sun so I headed over Betwixt to Giggle Gulch.  The snow on this sunny route is a lot softer than the shadowed snow on Lower Vagabond early in the morning. 

The lesser-known, but best groomer this spring morning was Bashor.  Bashor sits to skier's left of Maverick's Terrain Park.  Bashor is groomed nightly and faces the rising sun.  Today, it was soft and heavenly by 9:00 a.m.  Racing down the steeper, right side of Bashor, I pushed my skis against the snow and laid down some seriously huge turns.  The round shape of my turns atop the straight grooming lines appeared like art on a white canvas. This area was so fun this morning that I took a couple more laps on Bashor before heading down Vogue to do it all again. 

There's only 38 days left to ski Steamboat this season!  Each of the next four weekends features a different free Bud Light Rocks the Boat Concert at Gondola Square.  Lather on the sunscreen and head up here so you don't miss out on the best sun, ski, and après! 

Meghan Lutterman

Alpine Skier


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