Springtime and the Skiing is Easy
The season has changed, the skies are changing and the weather is about to change here in Steamboat Springs. With unusually warm temperatures for most of March, there has been ample opportunity for the highly coveted spring skiing that so many people (including myself) love around here. However, the forecast for the next few weeks is predicting colder temperatures and precipitation to move into the Yampa Valley, which means snow for Steamboat Ski Resort!Due to the warmer temperatures (I’m talking 45 degrees at 5 a.m. at mid-mountain), the conditions are quite “springy” if you will. You’ll find groomed slopes to be soft, forgiving and with the right amount of springtime snow crystals on top. I found the more mellow runs like Flintlock, Moonlight and upper Vagabond to be smooth and really fun to cruise. Steeper slopes like Storm Peak South, lower Vagabond and even Sunset had a few more bumps, divots and the occasional bare spot. Ski Patrol has done a nice job denoting bare spots with stakes, and has started to close terrain that simply doesn’t have enough coverage.One run that I typically don’t do but my husband loves is White Out. As a freestyle skier, he loves bumps and knows how to do them well. As a snowboarder who seems to be on skis more this season, I still haven’t quite figured out how to gracefully ski bumps. On a powder day, I like the challenge of soft bumps on a snowboard and in the spring, the soft, slushy bumps are quite tempting, even on skis. Right now, White Out has great coverage and looks to be in prime, springtime condition. The bumps look soft and forgiving and picking a line seems less daunting. Norther is a great introduction to bumps before moving onto bigger runs like White Out, and right now is a great time to get out there and try them out while the warm temperatures are keeping the snow nice and soft.With 25 days left in Steamboat’s ski season, we’re all hoping the forecast holds true and brings some more snow to the mountain. There is plenty of opportunity in the coming weeks to do your best snow dance with the 18th Bud Light Rocks the ‘Boat Free Concert Series. Get your snow dance on Saturdays in Gondola Square for the rest of March and April, but come April 16th (Closing Day), you can stop snow dancing and start riding your road bike to get ready for another great season in Steamboat Springs: Mountain Biking!Happy spring skiing and happy Wednesday!
Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier