Sun Before the Storm
Blue skies and views for miles. That’s life in the Rockies….for now. By tomorrow the storms will roll into the mountains like a freight train and Steamboat will look very different. Today will be the last sunny day this week as a series of storms move into the area leaving up to 20″ of snow by the weekend! But for now there is no point looking forward when we have such a beautiful day enjoy right now.
If you are down in the valley near the river, you will notice that despite the sun, it’s still pretty cold out. Because heavy air sinks to the lowest point during the night, this part of town stays coldest even on sunny days. Fortunately for everyone going riding today, the conditions are much warmer up on Mt Warner. In fact, by the time I got from my house to the gondola, the thermometer rose from 4 degrees all the way up to 12 degrees. From the base to mid mountain, the temp jumped all the way up to 24 degrees. So remember that you might not need to dress as warm as you think today.
For such a nice day, there aren’t a lot of people on the mountain so you can ride pretty much anywhere you want without the threat of lines or crowded slopes. There were still some clouds hanging around the top of the mountain when I got there, so I decided to make it a lower mountain morning. Even though it got a bit cold towards the bottom, the snow conditions made it worth it. My best runs on the lower mountain were Heavenly Daze to See-Me and then Teds Ridge. The groomers are very grippy and soft enough to enjoy some deep carves.
Since we have had so many powder days this year, I haven’t had much of a chance to make it into any of our terrain parks. So instead of heading to the top to check out the conditions I took a few laps through Bashor Bowl and the Rabbit Ears Terrain Park. Rabbit Ears is a great place to go if you are a beginner/intermediate park rider. The jumps aren’t too big and there are rails for all levels of ability. Towards the bottom, the features get progressively more difficult so you can test yourself on some gnarlier features. If you are looking for bigger airs and more difficult features, I would recommend going to the Super Pipe in Bashor Bowl. The park crew is still perfecting the big jumps so they might not be open yet, but check back throughout the day if you want to get some big air.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder
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