Hitting the mountain first thing today was one incredible experience. The air was dense and the cloud cover was initially very thick. There was fresh snow in every direction atop every trail and here I was virtually alone to enjoy it. I’m not sure what the masses were doing this morning but they sure weren’t up where I was. So get yourself up and at it today, it’s a powder day in the ‘Boat.

My first few turns were made down Three O’clock and into Twilight. I could see that the tracks laid down by yesterday’s enthusiasts were all covered up nicely. I could still see the indentations from where these folks had put down lines ahead of me, but for the most part, everything was fresh. I’d report that the overnight groomed runs had about 3 inches of fluff whereas there was closer to 5-7 inch pockets to be found in the trees. With a fairly thick fog in the early morning air, sticking the trees where visibility was best seemed like a wise decision.

I ventured my way over to Morningside today, something I hadn’t done yet this season. As I hiked my way up to North St. Pats I could sense myself getting giddy with excitement. Pockets of “the goods” were everywhere and plowing through and down seemed almost effortless. I found myself stopping every 100 yards or so just to enjoy the peace and quiet of winter in the Rocky Mountains. Skiing Steamboat on a day like this is extremely special and I take none of it for granted.

Near the bottom of Last Chance, I followed two ski patrollers on a hike over to Pioneer Ridge. The Pony Express lift isn’t running for the season quite yet but preparations look to be in full motion. Hiking to this peak is open for those who don’t mind earning their turns. And the trek was completely worth it! Deep, deep pockets of snow could be found the entire length of Royal Flush and I was near exhaustion when I reached the bottom. My early-season legs weren’t quite ready for the rush of adrenaline and it felt like time for a hot coffee.

Generally speaking, the clouds are lifting out there and visibility is clearing up dramatically. With the overnight snow and temperatures in the upper 20s, this is a glorious day to be enjoying Steamboat Resort.

Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier

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