As I walked our dogs up the street early this morning, soft, fluffy snowflakes gently fell from the sky — the kind of snowflakes that are fun to catch on your mittens and admire each and every unique design. I noticed a few small patches of blue sky breaking through the misty morning clouds, and I knew it was going to be an amazing morning on the mountain.
While only one inch of new snow was reported in the 5am snow report, the mountain was in perfect condition, and I was able to find way more than just one inch of freshies, mostly in the trees. It’s one of those days that will please every type of skier and rider. The groomers were smooth and fast with a super light inch of snow sitting on top of them, and I was quite tempted to stick to some of my very favorite groomed runs like Westside, Longhorn and Valley View. But I decided to venture into the trees, and that made my morning. I’m calling it the fantastically fabulous Friday.
After a fun, fast run down Sunset to Moonlight, I rode up Sundown, hoping to head straight over to Morningside. I was a little early, Morningside wasn’t open just yet, so I went into the trees to the skier’s right of Tomahawk, between Buckshot and Ramrod (trees I haven’t skied all year), and I was surprised to find some soft, deep little stashes in there. These trees are pretty mellow, good for skiers and riders who want to get a taste of what Steamboat’s famous trees are like without having to commit to a steep, tight, full-on tree run. But do beware of a small creek that runs through the bottom part these trees where it starts to flatten out and the evergreens become a little bit tighter. As I hopped on Sunshine Express, the misty clouds began to lift and that beautiful blue sky became a nice background for the sparkling, shimmering snowflakes that were gently drifting through the morning air.
Hot Cakes is my favorite way to get over to Morningside as there are some really fun little rock drops and jumps in there. (It’s a good area to practice for the bigger drops you’ll find off the top of Morningside.) Again, I was surprised to find even more light, fluffy powder stashes on Hot Cakes, and I knew it would be well worth the hike up to North St. Pats.
There is some really fun and challenging terrain off Morningside, whether you hike up to the top of Mt. Werner or stick to the Chutes or Christmas Tree Bowl. I’m a sucker for North St. Pats, so I hiked up, enjoying the shimmery snowflakes still dancing along the way. I decided to stay skier’s left of North St. Pats, mostly because I wanted to ride the steep, open face, but there are some super fun rock drops toward the middle and skier’s right of that run, too. The snow up top was simply amazing. Deep, soft, light, fluffy, shimmery, sparkly — it certainly made for a morning to remember. The views from the steep pitch on North St. Pats were incredible, those 10 or so turns I got in were absolutely blissful, and the hike out was pretty spectacular with the morning sky.
It’s a rare treat for me to ski on a weekday morning, but today made for even more of a treat with the unexpected powder stashes I found, combined with the out-of-this-world morning weather conditions. Hopefully you too can get out and dance with the shimmering, sparkling snowflakes on a day like today. Happy Friday!
Erin Campbell, snowboarder