With only a few weeks left in the season, it’s the time of year where I really start to enjoy the little things about being up on the mountain. I’ve been up there for the last few sunny days, but overall it feels like it’s been pretty cloudy this winter. Even though clouds usually mean snow, it’s nice to get some sun in between the storms to enjoy the scenery. With another storm coming in tomorrow and Thursday, today is your best chance this week to enjoy some sunny groomers.

I took a different approach today than I normally would on a groomer day. First of all, I grabbed my skis instead of my snowboard. Then instead of doing my usual laps up on Sundown and Sunshine, I decided to mix it up with some turns off Four Points. After a quick run from the gondola to Four Points lift, I hopped on and started to think about what might be good. The ride up was a bit chilly, but things warmed up quite a bit after cresting the top Twister. Even though the bumps under the lift looked fairly soft, a fast lap down Rainbow seemed like the best choice. The snow was still a bit firm from the cold temps overnight, but the run was wide open, and most of the corduroy was still untouched.

Snowboarding is my main passion in the winter, but sometimes it’s really nice to switch it up and get out on my skis. It’s a great way to make runs that I’ve boarded down a thousand times feel brand new. It also doesn’t hurt to have two edges instead of one when the snow is still firm. Regardless of what you are riding today, it should get pretty soft by the afternoon with temps expected in the upper 30s.

After another ride back up Four Points, I decided that Rainbow was too fun to go anywhere else, so I headed back down for some more groomed turns. Instead of taking a right at Rainbow Saddle, this time I decided to take Moonlight down to Elkhead lift. It’s easy to forget about Sunnyside since I often only ride it when I am trying to get over to the Sundown area. But if you get there first thing in the morning, it’s a blast.

It’s tempting to stay up high on sunny days, but I really like riding the lower mountain, too. Being a bit lower down really gives you a sense of just how close you are to town and how dramatic the scenery is. Heavenly Daze was the best run I did down low this morning, but it might need a little more time to warm up.

As I’m writing this, it’s probably about perfect, so don’t hesitate to take a few gondola laps to start the day. The same goes for See Me. It was in shadow when I went down this morning, but the coverage is still great, so it should be pretty fun later. Overall, it should be a great day for groomers, some steeps up at the gates and then a beer at the base to reward yourself for making it to the mountains.

 

Dan Tullos

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