Sunny Skies and Empty Runs
All the major holidays have passed, and the short days and long nights of winter are over. Just as frigid powder days make the winter great, sunny spring days are just as much a part of the season. Today is shaping up to be a great one for enjoying the scenery, finding some leftover powder and lovin’ life in the mountains. The best part: No one is out there!
As I’m sure you know, we got some snow over the past few days. Even though it’s pretty much gone in town, the top of the mountain is a different story. The heavy spring snow has really covered up the bare spots near the summit and made for great late-season riding. The biggest benefactor of the recent snow is our groomers. Instead of bone-jarring, bumpy trails, this snow has allowed our team of snowcats to craft grippy, smooth runs. All the runs I took this morning from the top of Sundown were great. The Sunshine area is riding well, too, with a lot of mini powder fields to jump off into.
Once you have your legs warmed up and the sun gets higher in the sky, I recommend looking for the untracked stashes of pow from yesterday. You can find them pretty much everywhere there are trees, usually just by traversing a bit farther than you normally would into the forest. My choice for this morning was the Broadway trees. To get there, you ride the South Peak lift and hang a left into the woods at the top. There are a few ways to go here. If you stay far left, you will hug the boundary line and find some nice open glades. Just make sure to pay attention to the signs and ropes, or you will be walking out to Highway 40. Go straight, and the options are fewer, but there are some great shots through the trees. The final option is to go all the way down to West Side and drop in as soon as it opens up. I stayed left toward the boundary and made some great turns through the aspens. The views over there aren’t half bad either.
On the way down the mountain, I happened to ride by Voo-Doo and noticed that the moguls course and freestyle aerials jumps are set up. After a little investigation, I was treated to a great show during the warmups for this weekend’s U.S. Freestyle Championships. With sunny skies, great live music and world-class athletes in town, it’s shaping up to be a great weekend in Steamboat!
Dan Tullos, snowboarder
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