Spring will officially begin at 3:58 PM today in Steamboat Springs. As we transition into a new season, let’s not forget to reflect on the incredible winter we’ve had with 317 inches (over 26 feet) of snow falling thus far throughout the ski season. All of that snow has piled up to create some pretty impressive bases on the mountain: 80 inches at mid-mountain and 106 inches at the summit. With a very solid base covering the entire mountain, Steamboat Resort is absolutely ready for some spring skiing fun for the next 25 days of the season.
The spring equinox is an exciting time in our part of the world as we shift to having more and more daylight hours each day. In Latin, “equinox” means “equal night”, giving the impression that we have exactly 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night on the actual equinox. While this is a widely accepted belief, the reality is that the hours in an equinox day and the hours in an equinox night are very, very close to 12, but not exact. This phenomenon applies to the entire world as the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the sun’s rays, meaning that the Earth is not tilting toward or away from the sun. When you consider how the equinox gives everyone, everywhere the same amount of day as night, it gives us a sense of unity as we transition together in this ever-changing world.
Being in the Northern Hemisphere, each and every day will grow just a little bit longer, giving us more and more of that springtime sunshine that we all love. Today feels like a classic springtime day in Steamboat with its chilly start but forecasted highs in the mid-30’s on the mountain and even the low 40’s in town. This time of year there is a certain magic about 11 AM as the sunshine settles into the slopes, warming up the snow that perfect amount to create smooth, fast and soft groomers that aren’t too firm and aren’t too slushy.
Early this morning, all of the groomed trails I skied were fast and smooth, but perhaps a little on the firm side. Once the sun has dressed the entire mountain, those trails will soften up and be in excellent skiing condition. Don’t wait too long to hit the slopes as slushy conditions can occur later in the afternoon on sunny and warmer days like today (although, slushy conditions with the right amount of glide can also be really fun if you ask me).
We’ve had an amazing winter full of powder days and mixed with some memorable bluebird groomer days as well. As much as I love winter, I also love spring skiing in Steamboat as it exudes this feeling of fun, this feeling of being simply put, happy. At 3:58 PM today, salute the sun for the growing warmth it will provide in the months ahead and salute the world as we, nearly 7.7 billion people strong, unite on the same axis to celebrate transitioning into a new season.
Happy Spring and Happy Wednesday!
Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier