First day on the mountain this season, and it feels amazing!  There is always something magical, even spiritual about your first day back on your board (or skis).  Simply put, it’s part of who I am, part of my Steamboat identity.  My husband, son and I traveled to North Carolina for Thanksgiving, and as we drove through epic early season snow to catch our flight from Denver, we were questioning our decision to miss out on opening day this year… and then we heard about the rain.  The rain that froze.  Driving to the mountain this morning, I had no idea what to expect, but regardless, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning, butterflies in my stomach, so excited to take those first few turns. 

Riding up the gondola spiked my excitement even more as I planned my morning route.  Rudi’s to Storm Peak Express was my first choice, and it was a good one.  Now, I love deep champagne powder in the trees, as do most locals, but I also love groomers.  Rudi’s Run was an incredible Saturday morning surprise… not just any groomer, but a super grippy groomer with immaculate corduroy (and not a hint of ice).  Now, if you don’t believe me, check this out…

At the top of Storm, I took a quick minute to appreciate the beautiful views that we sometimes take for granted.  Breathtaking…

Sunrise over the mountains

From there, I went straight to High Noon to check out the NEW TERRAIN that opened this morning… some of my favorite runs on the mountain!  I couldn’t resist a High Noon to Westside run for starters, and again, I was blown away at what great shape this groomed run was in – tacky and pretty much, well, perfect.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Steamboat employees who have been working your tails off to get the mountain in the absolute best shape possible.  Job well done!

Terrain at Steamboat Resort

As of today, Elkhead and Sundown Express chairlifts are open, giving skiers and riders access to 11 new trails across Sunshine Peak.  After Westside, I had to check out upper Flintlock, which is generally the run I like to ride switch for practice.  For starters, I didn’t see a soul over there, but even better, there was about an inch of fresh snow sitting lightly on top of the groomer underneath.  Super fun little run with the fresh dusting, but do make sure to watch out for hidden obstacles.  Ski patrol has done a great job marking those obstacles, but just remember, it’s still early season and those tree tops and rocks may exist.  From there I rode down Rolex, always a favorite steep run on this mountain… great to kick my early season legs into gear!

Sundown lift line

I would highly recommend checking out the new terrain, I think you’ll find it to be a nice little Saturday surprise as well.  To end my morning riding, I chose Heavenly Daze to See Me.  While a bit crunchy, both runs were fun groomers.  Stick to the right side of See Me if you go that route, super grippy and untouched corduroy.  I hope you get out on the mountain and enjoy another great day in the ‘boat, and afterwards, make sure to check out Merry Main Street downtown from 5:30-7:30pm.  Have a great day!

Erin Campbell, snowboarder

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