Ahh, spring. It was straight up hot yesterday on my back deck. I could have been on the beach in Mexico, fruity umbrella drink in hand. It got me thinking about spring break vacations in high school and college on the beach, coming from a long Colorado winter where we were just looking for a warm breeze to thaw our bones. All weekend the mountain was full-on spring conditions: goggle tans, slushy bumps, people with not enough clothing on. But don’t get carried away, warm weather fans, winter is scheduled for a comeback!
Today is decidedly different. The temps are by no means blistering cold — I was plenty comfortable at the top of Storm Peak without my midwinter bundle layers — but the storm is definitively coming, the winds are picking up, and it is snowing. We had a few inches overnight, and the top of the mountain is skiing surprisingly nicely.
Definitely stick to groomers as the snow surface is firm, but my turns on Rudi’s down to Storm Peak, High Noon and One O’Clock were super carvy and fun. North facing is softer, but with this storm blowing in and visibility diminishing, knowing your north may be tricky! Lower mountain conditions leave a bit to be desired, I must admit. The most fun I had on Heavenly Daze was standing up top watching this storm move in. The mountains to our north and west are completely out of sight — usually a great sign for Steamboat snow. The Flat Tops still have moments of sun poking through.
I am a snow snob, no doubt. I love bad-weather, snow-all-over-everything skiing. And I love sunny, big-view spring days with pals on the hill. Hard-pack groomers in the grey leave me thinking about breakfast, or yoga, or actually buckling down and getting work done. Snob, I know. I was all ready to write off today and tell you about the hot springs (must do!), my favorite bloody mary in town (Paramount!) or napping while I wait for the storm (don’t tell my husband!). But I rode up the gondi this morning with a super excited family from Minnesota (they’ve had pretty much no snow all winter, and they’ve never skied powder, period). It was a great reminder to me that spring break Steamboat style is about all kinds of different things: skiing with friends and family, seeing a new place or maybe returning to a beloved favorite vacation spot, getting a goofy spring goggle tan or skiing powder for the first time ever. Talking with them about where to ski and what they were looking for reminded me how lucky and spoiled I am to live here. Good conditions are relative. Just being here is vacation.
Enjoy your Monday, skiers and riders. Go ski, go adventure, and remember how great it is to be here now.
Ali Givnish, Alpine skier