A Misty Mountain
By looking at the mountain, you might not be able to tell that spring is arriving in Steamboat. After all, the lower mountain is still completely covered and the open runs are still white from edge to edge. The real difference you will notice up on Mt Werner this time of year is the type of storms we get. This storm came out of nowhere last night and dumped a few inches of dense powder to cover up the sun crust that had formed. Now that the snow is done, the clouds are hanging around down low but the visibility is pretty good up high.
It’s not just the clouds that feel different this time of year, it’s the way the snow feels on your board. Most of the snow we get here is really light and fluffy, so when you cut through it you feel like your floating. They don’t call it Champagne Powder for nothing. Even though the snow out there this morning isn’t as light, it’s exactly what we need this time of year. Even a few inches of heavier snow can cover up the crust that forms as the top layer of snow melts and freezes every day. Since the snow came after the grooming crew finished up, there was a great soft layer on the runs to carve through this morning.
The depth of the fresh snow seemed to vary a bit from run to run out there, but most every run I took was pretty soft. High Noon and 1 O’clock were both perfectly smooth this morning and should stay in pretty good shape most of the day. There aren’t many people up there today, so you should still be able to find pockets of fresh snow on a lot of the open runs.
The combination of fresh snow, warm temps and empty slopes made this morning one of the best groomer days I’ve had in a while. There is something about making huge carves across the runs with a couple of friends that takes me back to my first days snowboarding. Before I got pre-occupied with waist deep powder and steeps, a good groomer was all I could ask for. Fortunately for us all, there are plenty of those on the mountain today.
I stayed up high this morning, but there should be some good runs down low today as well. If you have spring wax on your boards, the lower mountain might actually be better for you. It snowed as much down low as it did at the top, so don’t hesitate to stay low and find those secret powder stashes. We only have a week and a half left in the season, so the most important thing is to just get out there and enjoy the awesome winter we’ve had.
Dan Tullos, snowboarder
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