Starting out on my first few turns, I could already feel the chill on my cheeks. The morning temperatures were hovering around 5-degrees when I got going but the sun was utterly amazing. This was a morning where the glistening of snow crystals was almost blinding and I expect it to continue as the mountain air warms.

I stuck mainly to the groomers today. I suppose I just felt like taking it easy and letting my mind absorb the natural beauty in every direction. Floating down runs like Quickdraw and Flintlock while I basked in the morning glory was nothing short of wonderful. The fresh snow that fell throughout the day yesterday blended nicely on the slope’s surface with the packed base below.

As I made my way over to West Side, I did manage to duck over a bit on skier’s left of the trail. There was a softness to the ungroomed terrain that I found to be very forgiving. I was thrilled to see how well yesterday’s big dump was still lingering around. I would guess that any of our glades would be a great choice today. Especially areas off of Buddy’s Run and the Morningside lift, like Crowtrack and The Ridge.

I’m not sure if it was the need for fresh wax on my skis or the snow itself, but I definitely felt a little stickiness under my feet today. The snow seemed a bit grippy in places, which was actually just fine. A slower pace on a day like today might actually be the right call. I considered it a strong reminder to take a moment and soak in the endless views and gorgeous landscape in all directions.

Honestly, the combination of fresh snow and bright sunshine might just make today a contender for one of my best days on the mountain this season. As our local Winter Carnival tradition continues today, just make sure to take a moment to thank your lucky stars you’re in Steamboat. This is truly a special place to be on a wintery February day such as this.

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Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier

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