Call it a Christmas gift, call it a fact of Solstice, or simply call it glorious, but today is an absolutely perfect ski day.  A blue sky powder day is not entirely rare at Steamboat, but every time it happens, mouths are agape with the epic beauty.  Today, chairlift conversations turn to awe at the white plastered trees against the clear sky or to excitement at the fresh snow on the ground.  Everything above 7,000 feet glitters.

Hoping you all had a relaxing and white Christmas yesterday, either skiing or cozying up to a fire.  Now you can enjoy all that winter has to offer on the mountain.  Bumps are soft and rounded, groomers are dusted with powder, and the trees are impeccable.

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Tree skiing at Steamboat is special because our mountain is widely covered with Aspen trees.  Aspens often grow wider apart and have fewer low branches than pine trees.  Our Aspen runs are the perfect place to find solitude and hit fresh snow.

It’s hard to see from the slopes, but Aspens are some of the world’s largest organisms.  The roots of any grove of Aspen trees are connected underground and most single trees are simply clones or root sprouts of a single plant.  So while you’re weaving down the mountain, you’re actually moving within some of the largest living things in the world.  This morning, I recommend any pocket of trees along the Sundown and Priest Creek lift lines or, for more advanced skiers, Shadows.  These runs will keep you in the morning sunshine and allow you to dip into nearby ungroomed powder turns.

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As the powder race subsides and you get your fill of freshies, take a moment to enjoy the glorious wintertime that this mountain holds.  Watch the wind brush glitter from a high branch, see the valley as a topo map, see the crispness of a snow-white tree against the bluest of skies, feel the silence.  I swear that there’s a shade of blue that happens at around two or three in the afternoon on days like these that can only be seen from a chair on Sundown lift, so pull off your goggles and take a moment to recognize it.

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Willow Fitzgerald, Telemark skier

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