Breaking news: Mother Nature’s own flakes are flurrying at the top of the gondola right now! Throw on your skies, load up and see for yourself because my picture just isn’t capturing their delicate dance from the sky.

Steamboat’s own Powder greeted me at the gondola. Woof!

I made my first turns of the season this morning. The mountain is my happy place, no matter how limited the terrain might be at the moment. My gear is in disarray, and my skis need a tune, but there are plenty of days ahead to get that all sorted out. Today was for making turns, remembering the feel of snow underfoot and being a skier again.

Gondola laps are what it’s about. Long smooth rides down Heavenly Daze. And there is absolutely nothing up there on the mountain to complain about. The runway is firm with a baby-powder soft layer on top. It’s straight-up carvable. This is the time to hone your turn and build up some thigh burn tolerance with top-to-bottom reruns.

Looking forward to what’s to come

So, welcome back to ski season. It’s mighty nice to be here. My own gear may be rolling with dust bunnies, but big kudos to the hard-working gondola mechanics who made such a smooth new ride for us this summer when they built new guts in our “silver bullet.”

We’re having a cloudy day, flat light and temps right at freezing. That bodes well for snowmaking tonight, and there are rumors of an incoming storm at the end of the weekend. Hmm … maybe it’s coming early? A gal can hope.

It’s flat light out there, but I spy snowflakes!

Steamboat never lets you get bored. While we wait for snow, there’s a lot going on. Enjoy a starry night for First Friday Artwalk this evening, then polish off your shopping list at the Holiday in the Rockies market tomorrow. Kick back for some groovy fun bands at the local bars (DeadPhish at Schmiggity’s tonight!) and yoga in the Storm Peak Brewing taproom on Sunday. There’s even a community holiday party with tubing at historic Howelsen Hill on Sunday.

And as the week rolls on, here’s what’s getting me in the winter spirit:

Monday is Mountainfilm at the library! This is one of my favorite nights of the year. A festival tour lineup designed just for Steamboat screens at the Bud Werner Memorial Library starting at 6:30 p.m. Best 10 bucks of the season, I promise.

I helped design Steamboat’s Mountainfilm lineup, which means I got to watch a lot of cool films, and kinda ripped my hair out trying to narrow down which incredible docs we should show here. In the end, it’s a quirky, diverse lineup of adventure, profiles and environmental and social themes. Go skiing in Greenland with a climate change scientist, then ski Iran with local women. Watch a really unusual cowboy story from New Jersey, a tale that’s sure to resonate with local ranchers. Meet hilarious wildlife, and laugh hard at silly human feats.

Then at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Colorado’s most famous landscape photographer, John Fielder, returns to the library with ski mountaineer and author Dr. Jon Kedrowski. The two will put on a multimedia feast with winter photos and stories of the snowy backcountry around Colorado as they launch their new books together in one special presentation. Think big adventure and monumental scenery with these two epic storytellers. And it’s free.

Patience for Powder

See you on the mountain for some turns this weekend. You don’t want that deep, luscious pow to catch you unprepared when it does finally arrive. Then I’ll see you out and about for some of this winter-priming fun on the town!

Will a big Sunday snowstorm be our Monday funday? Cross your fingers!

 

Jennie Lay, telemark skier

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