Mother Nature is playing Cupid today. Who wouldn’t fall in love after a cozy night under the twinkly Yampa Valley stars, a day filled with bluebird skies, endless views over the Flat Tops Wilderness and skis under your feet? It’s February 14 and little signs of spring are peeking out of our weather pattern. Happy Valentine’s Day, Steamboat!

360-degree blue sky and a brilliant sun on the rise over Steamboat.

Also, the official snow report actually declares the conditions are “packed powder spring.” So, there you have it. Officially.

It’s firm in the shadows, sweet in the sun. A sweet tart morning? Sweetness is going to win out as the sun takes over the entire mountain, however. Follow the grooming report, and the sun, and you’ve got a sure bet. The snow gets increasingly sugary as your work your way down the mountain.

All of the skiing is above the river’s blanket of fog. Follow the sun, and the grooming.

My favorite run of the morning is See Me—definitely worth a few lower mountain laps. Up top, ski past the romantic rose someone left for their sweetheart and grab a long screaming run following Storm Peak Face to Sunset to Moonlight. Unless you have knees of steel, skip the bumps on skier’s right until this afternoon. Over on the sunny side of the mountain, off the Sunshine and Sundown Express lifts, conditions are softening nicely on High Noon, One O’Clock and Quicksilver. Westside should be tastier than your favorite Valentine truffle this afternoon.

Tricky Valentine-themed trivia at Storm Peak Express today. Liver…LOL! (And nice touch with the artwork, Liftie Jordan!)

And yes, it’s true. Three O’Clock is groomed from top to bottom today. A sweet little Valentine from the snow cats, perhaps?. This morning, it was all corduroy, skiing the full range of firm at the top and sugary at the bottom. What a treat.

Take your Valentine to lunch at Ragnar’s today. Or make lunch extra romantic with a little extra initiative at the Broadway picnic table. Carve some interconnected S-turns on Heavenly Daze. Smooch under the fireworks tonight, then watch the wee ones ski with torches. Soak your weary bones and your mushy heart in the Strawberry Park hot springs—naked if you so desire (but only after dark).

We’ve received 238 inches of snow this season, so the forecast for several days of sunny skies ahead sounds pretty good to me. The snowpack certainly isn’t in any jeopardy with nights in the single digits and days in the high 30s. In other words, don’t get too hung up on spring yet; it’s not like we spied an actual bluebird flitting about the valley.

Mother Nature’s Cupid loves us—and there are sure to be snowy days ahead. Enjoy today’s blue (sky) Valentine and a little kiss of spring.

Happy Valentine’s to all my Steamboat sweethearts! (Also, kinda dying to know who the lucky skier is for whom the rose was left today!)

Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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