March is always full of surprises in Steamboat Springs. Some years, winter sticks around longer than it’s technically supposed to, and some years spring arrives earlier than it’s technically supposed to. And some years, winter and spring get completely mixed up with each other and the weather patterns suffer from an identity crisis.

Fluffy, smooth corduroy dressed many slopes on Sunshine and Storm Peaks Wednesday morning

Earlier last week, colder temperatures and fluffy snow exuded a true winter feeling in Steamboat, and by the end of the week, it felt like mid-April with endless amounts of warm sunshine and temperatures in the 40’s. Currently the weather feels pretty spot-on for mid-March with a base temp of 33 degrees, a summit temp of 23 degrees and 4 inches of new snow at the summit.

Fresh snow softened up the trees a little bit

That 4 inches of new snow at the summit (which fell before the mountain closed on Tuesday) softened up slopes on Sunshine, Storm and Mount Werner peaks. The corduroy was fluffy and soft, and even the trees offered some nice little patches of powder (but that powder was not bottomless and firm patches did still exist). From mid-mountain to the base, the slopes were quite a bit more firm in places, but will soften up as the temperature rises to an expected high around 40 degrees today.

While the base feels more spring-like, the summit is holding onto winter

More snow is expected this afternoon and overnight, and again Friday afternoon and night, before a return of warmer and drier weather through Monday. If the forecast holds true, Joel Gratz is anticipating significant snowfall and colder temperatures next Tuesday through Thursday, just in time to welcome spring to the Yampa Valley.

Snow is on the way as you see clouds building on the horizon

My best prediction is that we’re going to see weather patterns suffer from an identity crisis this March as we ping-pong back and forth between winter and spring on a daily basis. Now, what does this mean for skiers and riders you ask? In all honesty, it means the best of both worlds. It means that on some days in March you can enjoy a fluffy champagne powder® day and on other days you can enjoy the quintessential spring skiing of sun-kissed slopes and warm (almost hot) temps.

A smooth Quickdraw with the Flat Tops highlighted in the distance

We’ve all learned by now that we can’t change the weather; but what we can change is our attitude towards the weather. Different weather brings different opportunities for skiers and riders, and if we all look for that silver lining, we’ll realize the true gift that dynamic weather patterns can bring. Whether it’s a bottomless powder day, a few inches of fresh snow on top of smooth groomers or a bluebird spring skiing day in Steamboat, there is fun to be had regardless of the weather.

Fluffy, smooth corduroy at the top of Sunshine Peak

Enjoy the snow, enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the groomers, enjoy the powder and enjoy everything that a mixed up winter and spring has to offer you in Steamboat Springs!

Ski and ride with care and have a great day on the mountain!

Happy Wednesday!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier & Snowboarder

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