Growing up as a youngster in Steamboat, my mom spent a handful of years as an employee of Steamboat Resort. What we now know as an ambassador used to be known as a hostess. Back then, hostesses played much more of an active roll on the mountain, almost as a backup to ski patrol. She would tell us stories about faking answers when she was asked to conduct chairlift surveys, assisting the injured to ski patrol and enjoying the end of the day “sweep.” It was in these stories that she would commonly refer to groomer days as ballroom dancing: Gracefully making your way from turn to turn, letting your edges do the work and your body follow behind.
Today, for the first day, I finally experienced my mom’s analogy. Today’s groomers were a ballroom dancing kind of day. Every skier I saw made effortless turns. Their body language spoke without words as to how enjoyable skiing was with the first light of sun this morning. What an incredible bluebird day it is.
I always love to start my day on the Priest Creek side of the mountain. Then I slowly make my way over to Storm Peak, then down to lower mountain, hitting all my favorite runs as I go. I love to make wide-sweeping arcs across Sunshine Lift Line, and today was no different. My smile arced across my face just as wide. Even with these last couple of bluebird days, the corduroy is still soft and supple like fresh-groomed powder.
I took a moment to revel in the beauty of our surroundings. On a clear day you can see almost to Utah looking west, and to the east Winter Park resort is visible from the top of Sunshine Lift. As I made my way over to the front side of the mountain, I couldn’t help but let the sun’s rays bake on my face while I relaxed on Elkhead chair. I did catch a couple people enjoying Sunnyside (how appropriate) as I sunbathed.
Storm Peak chair supplied more sunbathing and taking in the perfection of the day. I said my routine hello to Buddy, who was showing his Mardi Gras style. Skiing top-to-bottom Buddy’s Run was my favorite run today with perfectly soft, carving conditions.
Days like today I have to respect those who love to ski bumps. You’ll never find me on White Out, but I am inspired by the people who call it one of their favorites. I’m sending a quick shout out and congratulations to Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athlete Jaelin Kauf for her recent podium finish in a Dual Moguls World Cup competition in Park City, Utah. I used to coach her in ski cross, and I’m happy to see her excelling in freestyle!
We all know it’s not spring yet, but it is wonderful to see sunny, bluebird skies. After a nice thaw, there’s sure to be plenty more snow to come, as February and March are the snowiest months of the season!
Enjoy the ballroom dancing days while they’re here!
Brett Buckles, Alpine skier
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