I caught the last lift yesterday, and the first ride up today. Thanks to icebox temperatures (which are happily inverted and delightful up top), I’m happy to report that not a thing has changed. The powder is holding light and dry, and the sun is shining fierce in the best possible way.
Late yesterday afternoon, the clouds parted to reveal pockets of deep blue behind snow-encrusted trees. Long afternoon sun rays shined through. That was a preview for what we’re settling in for today. Enjoy this crisp spot of sun before the next storm. What a delicious way to continue enjoying this week’s three feet of snow and especially the light fluff of the last heavenly dump.
And don’t worry, it’s only a one-day break. There is a heap more snow on its way for Steamboat.
Ski the places in between today. Sure, the corduroy is gorgeous — and they laid down a ton of it last night. I thoroughly enjoyed my long, smooth ride from the top of Storm Peak this morning, skiing the face to Cyclone and down Drop Out before lapping back up to the top. My end-of-the-morning run down a newly groomed Ted’s Ridge was divine. Revel in those long, fast turns.
But there are tons of untracked freshies left in the trees and the edges are soft as can be all over the mountain. Ski between the spaces, between the cord, off the lift lines, between runs.
Much pow in the Wally World aspens remains untouched. Shadows was extra fun and fluffy this morning. The snow on Lights Out is soft, keeping the off-kilter pitch thoroughly enjoyable on a slope that always yields a few wacky turns.
And when I popped out of the trees onto Sunset, I had an up-close encounter with a grouse who had been doing a little powder grazing herself. Duly noted, she wasn’t thrilled about my poaching her line.
We’ve got a full moon this weekend. Any local will tell you that this is one of the best times to get out and experience our mountains. The Yampa Valley under moonlight is magical. Experience it on skinny skis with a full moon glide around Haymaker on Sunday. The moonlight is guaranteed to be bouncing off everything from the ski area to Sleeping Giant. Tickets are only $10, and when you’re ready to warm up, they’re serving cheese and chocolate fondue in the Nordic Clubhouse that night. Sounds like a perfect date to me.
I leave you today with one of week’s most irresistable videos from Steamboat Springs. Take two minutes to watch this snow drawing that more than 60 local volunteer artists created with snowshoes a couple weeks ago on Lake Catamount, just south of the ski area. It’s an artistic testament to the historic flow of the Yampa River, our stunning landscape and a passion for the wild and winding nature that surrounds us. Snow storms have long rendered the image impermanent, but before the flakes filled it in, a drone beautifully captured the patterns on the snow.
This is a day to ski all day, and definitely enjoy outdoor lunch with a bluebird view from the Four Points Lodge deck. Get out there and enjoy it. Then I hope to see all you hipsters and hippies celebrating this glorious ski day on the dance floor tonight, when Colorado’s own DeadPhish Orchestra rocks the stage at Strings.
Jennie Lay, Telemark skier