January in the rockies can be one of the most picturesque places in the world. You can expect anything from week long storms to Suny days with endless views of snow capped peaks. This morning was somewhere in between those two options. Don’t worry though, by the end of the week, we will have had blue skies and fresh powder to play in.

The sun trying to come out!

Everyone from the National Weather Service to Open Snow’s Joel Gratz says that we are in for some nice blue skies this afternoon and tomorrow. The clouds hanging over the mountain this morning may feel a bit gloomy, but they are starting to break up and the lighting should get better as we move into the afternoon. Until that happens, the best runs are going to but near the top of the mountain where the light is most likely to sneak through the cloud cover. Even with the low light this morning, the groomers around the Sunshine lift were riding really well and the tree lined runs help add a little contrast to the snow surface.

Groomers under Sunlight

With 160″ of snow so far this year, the mountain is in great shape for January. We are almost 100% open and the from the top of the mountain to the bottom we have great coverage. We didn’t get any snow overnight, but the 5″ we got yesterday refreshed the tree runs nicely so there are pockets of fresh snow to be found if you know where to look. The top of the mountain was pretty windy during the storm, so a lot of the snow was blown into the natural terrain traps and the trees. The best tree skiing today will be in the runs between the O’clocks and the trees on Pioneer ridge.

There is a lot going on around Steamboat this week other than the lift serviced fun. A lot of people are in town for Musicfest and the US Freestyle Ski Team selections. Musicfest is a ticketed event in the big tent at the Knoll Lot, but there are free concerts at the base of the mountain through Thursday, so swing by the base area for some live music after you ride. If seeing world class athletes is more your speed, head up to the freestyle course on Voodoo and watch the best mogul skiers vie for a spot on the national team. Either way, you will see some of the most talented people around doing what they do best.