Happy Martin Luther King Day! How lucky are we that we can celebrate it on Mt. Werner? After another week of snow, the slopes are still in great shape. It’s worth making it up for some turns today.  When your legs are tired, head to Gondola Square to catch the always entertaining  43rd Annual Cowboy Downhill Race today at 1:00 on Stampede. What the cowboys lack in technique they make up for in raucous spirit and style; it’s the best ski rodeo around! There will be music and fun for the whole family starting at the base at 11:00, so don’t miss the fun.

The skies are a bit murky with fog blanketing the mountain again today. That said, the slopes are still soft and in amazing shape after all of the new snow last week. The crowds have thinned considerably, and even after all of the holiday weekend traffic, groomers are skiing great.

Prepping the course for the skiing cowboys

Upper mountain has the best visibility. Stay flexible as you’ll find patches of fog on your way down the hill and the light is a bit flat. Plan to make a few more turns and bend your knees as it’s hard to see what’s ahead. The forecast is calling for partly sunny skies, which may improve visibility as the day goes on.

 

Morning fog

I started early and opted for groomers off of Sundown Express as they are super nice and carvy today. Some of my favorite routes today were High Noon to 1:00, Sunshine Lift Line and High Noon to West Side, though Rolex also looked great today. The skiing is fast and the groomers are soft, so you can’t go wrong there. Storm Peak just after it opened to Sunset to Lower Rainbow had some delicious, soft corduroy to offer.

Early Morning Corduroy
Light trying to come through

The visibility was better than expected on my last run down Lower Vagabond. To extend the morning just a few minutes, I took a short little trip up Bashor to See Me. Lovely smooth turns and always a great way to end to a ski morning. Whatever runs you choose today, celebrate with a holiday ski courtesy of the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It turns out it was a long road for this day to become a national holiday. People started initiating legislation shortly after Dr. King’s death in 1968 to make his birthday (January 15th) a national holiday. It took six million petition signatures, multiple appeals to congress by legislators and Coretta Scott King, and a song by written by Stevie Wonder called “Happy Birthday” before legislation passed congress in 1983. That same year, it was made official and signed into law by Ronald Reagan. The first Martin Luther King Day holiday was celebrated in 17 states in 1986.

Misty skies off the gondy

If you feel so inclined, dedicate some of your turns today to Martin Luther King Jr. I’ll leave you with some of his many wise words.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Monday!

Jessica Berg, Alpine skier

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