Snowflakes that fall on my nose and goggle lenses, these are a few of my favorite things! While the 5 a.m. snow report was not too impressive this morning, reporting only 0.25″ in the past 24 hours, it is currently dumping at Steamboat Ski Resort! By 9 a.m., around 4″ had fallen, and the heavy snow is continuing, likely throughout the day and into the evening. (Check out the Steamboat Daily Snow report for more weather info). I found some really nice, fresh powder this morning (not bottomless, but still fun); however, I’d imagine today will host more of a powder afternoon, so start thinking of excuses now for how to play hooky from work later today!
Yesterday, I put on skis for the first time in years and enjoyed some fun turns on a gorgeous, bluebird Steamboat day. I actually grew up a skier, moved out here as a skier but have since become more of a snowboarder over the years. The transition from skis to a snowboard and a snowboard back to skis really allows me to experience the mountain in two very different ways. For me, nothing beats a powder day on a snowboard, but at the same time, nothing beats a sunny, fast, groomer day on skis. The transition between weather conditions also allows you to experience the mountain in two very different ways. While Tuesday was full of sunshine, stunning views and fast turns, Wednesday is offering up abundant snowflakes, fresh powder and soft turns.
My plan was to stick to groomed runs that had several new inches of fresh snow on them, but as I rode up Sundown, the wind picked up and the visibility diminished. Instead of heading for Two O’Clock or Rolex or West Side (some of my favorite groomed runs in the Sunshine Peak area), I dipped into the Two-Thirty trees. I cannot say the snow in the trees this morning was bottomless, it simply wasn’t deep enough (yet); however, it was surprisingly fun and the solitude was well worth it.
To be honest, this morning was a little tricky. Low visibility was reason to venture into the trees, but a few inches of fresh powder was reason to stick to groomed slopes to enjoy some fast, smooth turns. Oh the ski town dilemmas! What did surprise me though were the fun, untracked powder turns I did enjoy all to my lonesome. Skiing or riding in the trees today certainly calls for more bend in the knees to absorb those unexpected bumps along the way, but I’d say the trees are certainly worth the adventure and were the highlight of my morning!
It’s amazing the changes a day (or even less than a day) can bring. That change can be controlled or uncontrolled. Skis, snowboards, snow-bikes, sit-skis and snowshoes are all different ways you can enjoy and experience the mountain in a different light. What always comes as a surprise is the weather, and it’s crazy how quickly conditions can change. Tuesday sunshine gave way to Wednesday snowflakes, and what I love is how my mountain experience was completely different from yesterday to today, but in the end, both days were fun and absolutely worth the adventure!
Erin Campbell, snowboarder (and occasional skier)