My first tracks of the day came an hour earlier which meant lots of incredibly groomed corduroy while I witnessed the sun once again poke its smiling face over the crest of our mountain. There’s just something magical about spring skiing that’s hard to explain, but I’ll try.
The early morning snow was crisp and zippy. Most of the groomed terrain I encountered on runs like Flintlock accelerated my sticks into sweeping, wide, long turns. I could hear the buzz saw sound effects and feel the tingly vibration in my shins and knees that only comes from arcing turns on cold, rigid groomers. It was like a gentle massage that rippled its way up my legs and into my torso. On my lips and cheeks I could feel the refreshing chill of the air while the sun in my goggles brought me back to memories of the beach. Today is turning out to be the perfect combination of sweet snow and shimmering daylight.
One of the biggest and best surprises of the day came from making my way down Ted’s Ridge. This trail is accessed off Heavenly Daze and often overlooked by skiers and riders looking to make their way to the bottom. Freshly groomed with a black diamond pitch, this run was smooth, forgiving, and fast. I remembered tackling this trail late day yesterday and how well the snow holds up in this mostly shaded side of Mt. Werner. If you venture over there you’ll find a perfectly tuned top-layer of snow that your skis or board will enjoy laying down tracks upon. It’s a great alternative to Heavenly Daze and much easier to tackle than the ungroomed surfaces of Oops or Vertigo.
For those of you who forgot to set your clocks ahead one hour last night, THANK YOU. Your absence on the mountain first thing this morning left nothing but wide open, gorgeous terrain for my fellow early-risers and I to enjoy for ourselves. To the folks with plans to hit the mountain later today, you’re in for a treat also. With March in Steamboat comes spring skiing at its finest. Today is shaping up to be no exception.
Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier