The days are longer, the temps are warmer and the spring snow is quite accommodating for fun and sunny days in Steamboat… yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like springtime!

Although the Spring Equinox will not occur until March 20th at exactly 4:29 a.m. (MST), spring is certainly in the air!  Despite the brown patches (or even green patches in some areas) you might notice around town, the mountain’s 59″ base is still solid and the coverage is holding strong.  The one exception here is Upper Valley View, which you might notice riding up the gondola with its brown patches, but besides that, the rest of the slopes still have nice coverage.

Early morning corduroy sure is pretty, but this time of year, it can be quite firm as well.  Make sure your skis or snowboard have been tuned so they can hold the edge you’ll need if you’re catching some early morning turns.  Around 11 a.m. is generally perfect this time of year as the snow has had time and hopefully sunlight to warm up.  Late in the day, the snow turns into spring slush, which can be really fun, but on warmer days, make sure you’ve had a recent wax or you’ll have a hard time keeping your speed on flatter terrain.

On this beautiful Wednesday morning, Upper Vagabond was in perfect condition.  The slightly warmer mid-mountain temperature paired with the sun’s position in the sky created a smooth, velvety and soft slope covered in grippy corduroy.  Lower Vagabond was a bit more firm as the sun’s rays hadn’t yet kissed its steeper slope.  Other runs like Rainbow, Flintlock, Westside and Heavenly Daze were well groomed but still firm early this morning; however, by 11 a.m., these slopes will all be in perfectly fun springtime condition.

Skiing and snowboarding are most people’s activity of choice on the mountain, but if you’re up for a new adventure, try snowshoeing.  Yesterday, for my birthday, my family and I partook in some adventurous fun, snowshoeing up to 4 Points Lodge for lunch.  It’s certainly an adventure just with yourself on snowshoes, but when you’re carrying either a 3 1/2 year-old preschooler or an almost 1 year-old baby, it’s quite the workout… whew!  It’s a good thing my favorite lunch in town was awaiting us at the top; check out 4 Points for fantastic food, and my personal favorite, the cedar plank salmon sandwich with a side of kale and quinoa salad… yum!

After a great lunch with stunning views, the snowshoe back down to the gondola was much easier on the legs.  While skiing and snowboarding in Steamboat is hard to beat, one thing I love about snowshoeing is that with the slower pace, you can better enjoy and appreciate the surrounding beauty and simply take it all in.  It’s amazing how quiet, peaceful and zen-like a snowshoe can be, and in the same breath, what a great workout you’ll get climbing up to places like 4 Points Lodge or even to Rendezvous Lodge.  Make sure to follow the purple signs with snowshoes and keep your eyes peeled for skiers and snowboarders that might be crossing your path.  For more information, check out Snowshoeing on Steamboat’s website.

Happy skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and most of all, happy Wednesday!

Erin Campbell, Snowboarder

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