Wednesday morning in Steamboat was a morning of leftover freshies, dynamic skies, chilly temps and gorgeous trees dressed in a delicate layer of winter frost.

Mt. Werner’s steeper, more challenging terrain

I woke up to heavy cloud cover hovering over the mountain this morning, barely able to see a slight shimmer of sunlight from behind the clouds.  Riding up the gondola, I noticed more and more occasional sunlight as the clouds dramatically moved overhead.  Standing at the top of Sunshine Peak, I enjoyed the sun’s rays that would spontaneously touch my cheeks, peeking in and out of the fast-moving clouds.  While not a bluebird day in Steamboat, the dynamic skies provided some magnificent lighting across the slopes early this morning.

South valley view from Quickdraw

Steamboat has seen consistent snowfall the past five days, amounting close to 7 inches.  With a little bit of snow each day, the slopes are in great shape and the trees even have some leftover freshies waiting to be found.  Thick corduroy graced groomed runs all over the mountain, and in the trees, fresh pockets of champagne powder® were carefully hidden.

Top of Mt. Werner, looking towards North St. Pats

With chilly temperatures prevailing this lovely Wednesday morning, the snow maintained a really light texture that I would expect to last throughout the day.  It’s a good day to layer up to combat the cold.  For me, I chose my very favorite SmartWool vest on top of my SmartWool base layers to keep me warm, and it did the trick.  With occasional wind gusts around 20 mph at the summit, those layers were essential on a day like today.  In fact, this may be the first Wednesday I’ve skied all season where there hasn’t been an inversion.  While I enjoy inversion days with more mild temps on the mountain, I also enjoy those frosty, chilly winter days.

A peaceful and quiet Morningside Lift

After a very quiet and peaceful ride up Morningside, I hiked up to the tip-top of Mt. Werner to see what leftover freshies were waiting to be found.  Typically I ski or ride North St. Pats, however, with the position of the morning light and the direction of the wind blowing, I chose East Face as my run of choice.  Solitude paired with shimmering sunlight paired with sparkling frosty trees made for a zen-like experience on Mt. Werner this morning.

Morning light gracing East Face’s slope

Sure the snow had been blown by the winter wind and sure other skiers and riders had been there first, but I found some really fun turns nonetheless.  It’s always fun to venture out onto Steamboat’s more challenging terrain, giving yourself the occasional butterflies and heart flutters.  With all of the rock drops scattered across Mt. Werner’s steep terrain, you do need to be an expert skier and look at a map to have an idea of the direction that leads you back towards Flying Z.

Rock drops scattered throughout Mt. Werner’s terrain

This weekend is a busy one in Steamboat with the 105th Winter Carnival taking the town by storm.  With events all over town and the mountain, it will be hard to miss out on the action.  I particularly love the street events that close down Lincoln Avenue Saturday and Sunday mornings, the street parade down Lincoln on Sunday (after the street events) and the Saturday Night Extravaganza at Howelsen Hill featuring the infamous Lighted Man.  For a complete schedule of events, click on this link to learn more.

Beautiful morning view of the Flat Tops

Saturday is also Steamboat’s Mardi Gras celebration on the mountain, complete with a parade, face-painting, street performers and a free concert featuring Brother Joscephus & The Love Revolution.  Oh, and don’t forget Steamboat Friday Nights, the fireworks are a must-see for my kids every Friday, either from the slopes or from home.  And just in case you’re wondering, yes, Steamboat Springs knows exactly how to have a great time!

Happy Wednesday!

Erin Campbell, alpine skier

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