The next generation of snow-lovin’ cousins converged in Steamboat yesterday. One rippin’ local boarder. Two first-time skiers from Florida.

Between laps on the magic carpet, snack breaks at the bonfire, and intermittent Christie runs to keep things interesting for the young veteran rider, a fabulous time was had by all.

zach

Truly, nothing but smiles.

Laney2

There was a little coaxing to be done before the littlest guy snapped on his skis. But one dangling backward thrill ride pretty much convinced him that skiing is where it’s at.

ConvincingZach

It was a full day of skiing and riding, even though this posse never left the base area. Mom got a tan. Uncles got a workout. Aunties got a lot of giggles. (And this auntie also scored all of the bonus runs on See Me with our little boarder as the snow got softer and softer, and more and more fun, throughout the day). We’re all convinced that they’ll have a lifetime of Steamboat memories to be made on the slopes.

Logan learns to crash

Best of all, two new skiers were launched into the world yesterday.  Future Olympians? The training has to start somewhere.

LoganSkis

Since the Vernal Equinox didn’t actually happen until 4:45 p.m. yesterday, today is the first full day of spring. The sun is out in full force to celebrate, with temps again expected to rage back up near 60 degrees before a tantalizing forecast for a spring snowstorm rolls in early next week.

Temps didn’t drop quite as cold overnight, but they did get to freezing. Early spring mornings are a good time to take it easy, check your speed, keep your legs under you, and stick to the firm groomers. Today, the snow should start to change dramatically by 11 a.m. It begins with a little sugar on top, then the softening progresses deeper into the snow pack as the day goes on.

After lunch, I promise you delicious mashed potatoes will be found all around the mountain – more so, the lower you go. Quintessential spring snow is slower and easier to carve, letting you be a bump hero on Norther or Westside, and a smooth turning goddess on long cruisers like Longhorn, Ted’s Ridge, or High Noon to Westside. When you’re making tele turns in sunscreen, sunglasses and a t-shirt…what’s not to love?

But back to speaking of kids…

Cousins

Nope, not those kids. (Sorry, I’m a proud auntie. And we had so much fun!)

Last week, I spent some time visiting Rachel and Ryan Wattles’ ultra cozy Yampa Valley B&B farm stay, Horse & Hen.  As I arrived at the historic ranch, so did three new baby goats – bringing their spring tally to 47 kids so far. Ski season may be edging in on its final weeks, but the work load for Routt County ranchers ramps up this time of year. Witness all the baby cows you are starting to see when you travel down Steamboat’s dirt roads, and hay meadows that are emerging from winter snow. Real, family-run agriculture is alive and well in Steamboat, and this is Ag Appreciation Week. Cool events honoring ag include exploring the history of local farming, ranching and gardening; hearing the stories of rugged ranch women; getting down at a barn dance; and more.

On the ski area, the Western BBQ even gets in on the action. Sunday night, a special edition of the Western BBQ features local food and a chance to meet local ranchers and farmers, plus a portion of the evening’s ticket sales will be donated to the Community Agriculture Alliance.

In the mean time, don’t forget today’s, like, totally rad ‘80s free concert in Gondola Square. The Six Million Dollar Band will be cranking out the vintage New Wave and it will be, like, totally awesome.  Show starts at 3:30 p.m.

See you on the dance floor!

 

Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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