Groomed to Perfection
With fresh snow yesterday and more snow on the horizon, today is kind of an off day for the weather here in Steamboat. However, a break in the storms doesn’t mean the riding is bad, it just means it’s a groomer day out there. Fortunately for us, the snow we got yesterday during the day was groomed into some really nice corduroy this morning. The conditions were best during First Tracks, but the runs were still nice and smooth when I left so it should be a great day up there.
Skiing and snowboarding requires a lot of gear, so when it’s easy to put off replacing something to save money. After a few years of riding on an old snowboard that was way past it’s prime, I finally got a new board the other day. Having a new snowboard not only makes powder days better, but it’s revitalized my love of carving on days like today. A fresh edge and the confidence to really lean into a turn makes a world of difference when you are making turns at speed. So with that in mind, I spent the morning with some friends making our mark on the fresh corduroy.
The groomed runs below Sundown like the O’clocks and High Noon were in the best shape this morning. They get groomed most frequently so a little snow goes a long way towards keeping them smooth and soft. With the sun peaking out over the top of the mountain, this is also the best place to ride if you are on the mountain first thing. If we haven’t had snow in a bit, the steeper sections of these runs can get a bit firm, but today it was in perfect condition.
The next best run for a day like today is actually Storm Peak face down to Rainbow Saddle. Since this is one of the steepest faces on the mountain, it’s best after a medium sized storm like we had yesterday. The bumps have all been smoothed out and you are free to really set an edge all the way across the face. The run-out below the steep face is also really well groomed right now so you don’t have to worry about carrying too much speed into the lower sections. From the bottom of the face, I would take Rainbow all the way down to Storm Peak Lift. The lower section of the run is as good as it gets with the grooming path going all the way across the run instead of leaving some moguls on the side.
We have a lot to look forward to later this week, but don’t overlook a day like today. It would be a great day to demo a board or some skis at one of the mountain equipment shops. Because the runs are in such good shape across the whole mountain it’s a great opportunity to try out a few different boards under the same conditions. No matter what you are riding on, today is great day to be up on the mountain.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder
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