What a fun day on the mountain this morning. The snow is coming down hard on the top.

I committed to ski my favorite groomers today. The freshly groomed trails have been in great condition throughout the week. Allow me to break down my top four favorite intermediate groomers at Steamboat, which I just so happened to ski this morning.

No. 4: Buddy’s Run

It’s a right of passage saying hello to the Buddy Werner bust atop Mt. Werner.

Haters gonna hate for me ranking this No. 4, I know. Buddy’s is an AWESOME run accessed from the top of Storm Peak. The snow is typically the best of all the other runs on this list. It’s a somewhat steep run with rollers on the sides that you can catch some air off of, random bump fields scattered on the edges and tasty corduroy on the main run the entire way down. Buddy’s is an excellent choice when skiing with skiers of all abilities.

Buddy’s Run = groomers, rollers and bumps!

The tree skiing is superb if you cut skier’s right. When you arrive at the bottom half of the run, jump on Bar U.E. lift or cruise down to Drop Out, which is less traverse and more skiing than the other route back to Storm Peak Express.

No. 3: Longhorn

Longhorn is a great groomer accessed off the Pony Express lift. It’s one of those never-ending blue/black groomers that is easy to get in a rhythm and ski from top to bottom. Not only is it a great groomed run, but there are also plenty of bumps and thinned out tree skiing on both sides.

View from midway down Longhorn

I like Longhorn because it’s narrow and feels a little more technical for a groomer. Not to mention there is typically nobody on the run, but only if you’re into that stuff, of course.

No. 2: Vagabond

Oh Vagabond, sweet and smooth Vagabond, you soothe my soul. I will always have a special place in my heart for Vagabond. Best accessed from the top of the gondola or Thunderhead, it’s a fast cruiser, the snow is always in awesome shape, and it’s my favorite run for laying some fat GS turns on.

Sweet views of the valley from lower Vagabond

Vagabond is one of my all-time favorite runs on the mountain. Every time I go down it, I recall some of my fondest skiing memories: skiing down the lower half when my kids were younger with both kids in my arms because the lower half was too steep. Ty Rotella catching HUGE air off the catwalk turn on right side of the lower half. And my favorite moment of all, the first time my wife (a knuckle dragging snowboarder) finally started making nice turns on skis, and I mean really, really nice!

No. 1: Heavenly Daze

The name speaks for itself: Heavenly Daze. If you’ve skied at Steamboat, you’ve most likely made a couple hundred turns on the Daze and will echo my praises for it. Heavenly views, turns, steeps, rollers, jumps, single and double fall lines — you name it, this groomer has it.

Never-ending views and turns on Heavenly Daze

Halfway down, I typically will go skier’s left down lower Valley View as there are significantly fewer people than on the other runs when you take skier’s right. Perhaps there’s not as many people on it due to this terrifying sign.

Do you think they’re being serious?

Yes, I am poking fun at the funniest ski sign ever, but looks can be deceiving. Behind the sign it appears to be a catwalk yet quickly turns into a steep run-out bomber to the base with little to no people on it.

This is lower Valley View, seriously.

I hope you enjoyed my top four intermediate groomers at Steamboat. Keep doing those snow dances! The snow appears to be picking up as I wrap up my blog.

You should seriously go skiing this afternoon. There should be a couple inches of fresh up there waiting for you.

Byron Carney, Alpine skier

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