All About that Base
As the season rolls along, there are a few things that stand out to me about this year. First of all, the storms just kept coming from around Christmas all the way into the spring. Not only did we get snow up here in the north, but all the mountains in Colorado had pretty good snow totals this year. Secondly, we stayed cold for the whole winter so even when we had dry spells, the base stayed deep. The constant cycle of storms sweeping through steamboat allowed us to reach a high water mark of an 89″ base at mid mountain and well over 100″ at the top. With totals like that, we should end up having one of our best spring seasons in years!
The last few days I’ve been up on the mountain, I have been keeping my eyes out for brown spots. I found a few hillsides that had some grass poking through, but despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find any dirt on a single run up there. So with that in mind, It’s hard to point you towards any specific area of the mountain to recommend riding. The conditions are great no matter where you go! So the only strategy you need on days like today is to follow the sun and enjoy the warmer temps. If you were up there first thing this morning, the groomers would have been a little crispy. But by around 10 am they started to soften up and the spring conditions were in full effect.
The lower mountain warms up a bit faster once the sun hits it, so in the afternoon you can really pick which season you want to ride in. The temps on the upper mountain wont get very far above freezing, so the conditions will stay pretty cold up there. Sure, the south facing runs will get a little spongy, but the north facing runs at the top of Morningside lift are still feel like Mid winter. The lines coming through No Names and North St Pats are nice and soft with plenty of fresh snow from the last storm.
If you want to enjoy the slushier spring conditions, all you have to do is ride a bit lower on the mountain. The high temp at the base today is going to be all the way up around 50 degrees, so the lower mountain runs will be nice and slushy. My personal favorite for these types of days are riding the lower mountain bumps like Concentration. Lapping the Thunderhead lift lets you access both the best lower mountain bump runs and the terrain parks. So you can alternate showing off your form in the bumps with getting some air in the park.
It’s hard to go wrong on a day like today. Just get up there and enjoy the spring time in Steamboat!
Dan Tullos, snowboarder
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