I’m back. After an incredible, amazing and beautiful morning on the mountain yesterday, I was curious what today might have in store. Yesterday, I went to the tip-top of Mt. Werner, sitting very pretty at 10,568 feet, and enjoyed some fluffy, soft, untracked turns on super-duper light champagne powder®… today, I’ve only been to the top of Thunderhead Peak, sitting very pretty as well at 9,080 feet, and enjoyed some fun, fast, grippy turns on pristine corduroy. While my Friday and Saturday mornings on the mountain were very different, they both proved to be loads of fun in their own, unique way.
At 9am, the mid-mountain temp was 17 degrees and the summit temp was 8 degrees. With this in mind, I decided to do something I normally don’t do, and stick to the lower mountain groomers. A quick look at the Steamboat App grooming report got me pretty excited to make some sweet turns on untouched corduroy. A little secret for you… most people (like myself on a normal morning) are so excited to get to the top of the mountain – why not, there is some really, really great terrain up there – but, if you want to enjoy some fun, fast groomed runs all by your lonesome, check out what lower mountain has to offer and you’ll be quite pleased.
Vagabond and Heavenly Daze are always groomed, and generally, always pretty fun. There are a decent amount of people who skin up Daze on Saturday mornings, so I found the corduroy on Vagabond to be less tracked and a bit cleaner, if you will. I particularly love lower Vagabond with its wide, open slope and great views towards downtown and Sleeping Giant. The corduroy on that portion was simply amazing – grippy, soft, fast and not a hint of ice… basically, perfection. When I stick to lower mountain, I generally always try to ride Thunderhead Express and avoid going back to the base area where there is usually, well, let’s say, a lot of excitement on a Saturday morning around 9:30. Riding up Thunderhead, I chatted with a man who loves, loves, loves to ski – so much that he tracked, in one day, 80,000 vertical feet in 41 runs… holy smokes! That’s crazy! Crazy awesome! That’s what you’ll find in Steamboat… people who have skied for years and years and have never lost that passion, that drive to ski more, to ski better. I love that about Steamboat.
Ted’s Ridge and my very favorite lower mountain run, Valley View, were both groomed today… and they were both in fantastic condition, Valley View in particular. You know the corduroy is in perfect condition when you can ride Valley View, top to bottom, without finding a single, tiny patch of ice. Ahhh, once again, perfection!
I have not ventured into the trees today – as of yesterday, they were still riding pretty sweet, so I’m guessing you might be able to find some fun stashes in there today as well. It also might be a nice day to get out there and enjoy some nice, grippy groomers before the snow returns. Good news on the powder front… there is a lot of snow in the forecast for the next five days, so you might want to start planning your powder morning excuses now – check out a more thorough report on Open Snow. With the mountain in great shape, it’s not necessary to do your best snow dance, but why not, we all love powder, and generally always want more powder no matter what, so do your best snow dance and have a great Saturday!
Erin Campbell, snowboarder