Sunny Skies Are Back
Just as quickly as it came, this last storm is leaving the Yampa Valley and the sun is peeking back over the mountain. The 6 inches of snow that fell Sunday night made for a great little powder day yesterday, but the cold and cloudy skies kept a lot of people off the mountain. With warmer temps and blue skies, today is the perfect day to get up on the mountain and enjoy all the powder stashes in the trees.
The recent snow was nice and light and created some great conditions, if you knew where to go. The windy conditions during the storm meant that the snow could be pretty different depending on where you went on the mountain. If you were on an open face, it was probably a bit crusty and wind blow. If you were in the north slopes and trees, you probably found some deep stashes and soft turns. During a typical storm cycle, the day after a powder day might not be as soft, but this storm is different. The open runs have been groomed out and the tracked-up powder has been refreshed a bit by the windy conditions overnight.
The best snow yesterday afternoon was in Closet and parts of Shadows, so I went straight to Sundown this morning to see what the trees were like. To my surprise, the snow actually felt softer in the there today than it did yesterday. It was a little crusty underneath the new snow on Monday, but the ski tracks and wind have cut up the crust and filled in the gaps, creating some pretty fun conditions. It’s not as deep as right after the storm, but the base is softer and the turns are more predictable.
After some runs through the trees, I headed down to the lower mountain for some groomers and to check out the practice runs from the NCAA Skiing National Championship. The groomed runs on the upper mountain were OK, but the best conditions were actually on Heavenly Daze. There was still a little corduroy left on the edges, and the conditions were perfect for carving big turns. I took See Me down below Christie Peak to check out the racers going by and was surprised at how nice the snow was. Even with the warmer weather of late, the snow was grippy and cold.
I’m always impressed at just how fast ski racers are able to get going on our giant slalom course. If you haven’t seen ski racing in person, it’s well worth it to stop by and check it out. The course has a few jumps and off-angle sections that are a great place to watch the racers fly by.
From looking for leftover powder stashes, to just enjoying the sun, it’s a great day to be out on Mt Werner.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder