It’s a spring transition day here in Steamboat as we are waiting on the next winter storm to cover our mountains with the good stuff. The past few days have brought us some perfect sunny weather that is now being pushed aside by cloud cover and wind hinting at the new snow headed our way. Although these conditions can make for a challenging day on the mountain, it feels great to be outside enjoying turns high above the views of the Yampa Valley as the weather moves in.
Yesterday held very warm and comfortable temperatures on the mountain, which softened up the top layer of the snow quite a bit. As the cold air and wind of the night set in, this made the snow firm up for the first turns this morning.
Because of the variable spring weather, conditions were a bit of a mixed bag this morning. Some runs were pretty firm, while some of the freshly groomed options allowed for some carvable turns into the corduroy. Runs that face south and west seemed to set up the most firm today, while ones that hide from the afternoon sun were a bit more friendly. There were quite a few people out skiing this morning, so as more people hit the slopes, it should help soften up that top layer. This time of year, we depend on the sun to soften things up, but I don’t think we will be seeing much of that today. Flat light conditions do exist out there right now, so a low-light goggle lens will really help you navigate the mountain.
While the conditions aren’t stellar today, I do think they are going to be incredible this time tomorrow. We are under a winter storm warning through tomorrow evening, and it looks like it is going to be a good one. When you wake up tomorrow, Steamboat will be transitioned back to a winter wonderland covered in fresh powder. With less than 3 weeks left in the ski season, this storm is more than welcome in the Yampa Valley to help continue piling onto the great snow totals we have seen this year. Also, it looks like there are more storms headed our way this weekend, so do your snow dance and bring as much fresh pow as possible to Steamboat!
Pick of the mountain today is Lower Rainbow: On a day that presents tough conditions, Lower Rainbow can often be a good run as it is shielded from direct sun and west wind. I found some of the better carvable turns of the morning on this run while headed back down to Storm Peak.
Think snow, and get ready for a powder day tomorrow!
Kevin Olsen, Alpine skier