As I was riding up Christie this morning I started to wonder what I was doing this time last year. Since we opened a full week early this year I can only guess that I was wrestling my bikes up into the rafters in my garage or working out at the gym to get ready for the season. Fortunately for us, the snow gods came early and the runs have held up well in the warmer temps.

The temperature was right around freezing this morning, so the snow was a little firm before the sun rose over the mountain. Once the sunlight hit the slopes, the top layer warmed up quickly and became nice and soft. Since we should hit the mid 50s again today, the conditions will be a little more like spring skiing than mid winter again. The top portion of Vogue should stay pretty firm and carvy but the lower parts will probably get a little slushy.

When I left, the snow on Vogue was softening up and a few bumps were starting to form here and there. The little ridges and push piles were perfect for jibbing around on and getting a some air. For those of you who want to keep your boards on the ground, it’s a nice morning to concentrate on your form and get ready for the deeper conditions on the horizon.

Even though there is only a limited amount of terrain open, the Li’l Rodeo terrain park is in mid-season form. The crew has done a great job getting a wide variety of rails set up so there is something for everyone. The left side has a line of boxes and easier features while the right side has some kinked rails and a nice quarter pipe like box at the end.

The half pipe at the bottom of the mountain seems to get bigger and bigger every season, and this year is no exception. The snow making team was able to blow a ton of snow onto preview this year so the pipe carving snow cat had a lot to work with. I’m not sure how tall it is, but there is a solid 3-5 feet of vertical wall on the edges so you can really boost out of the pipe. The transitions are nice and wide too, so if you don’t want to get vertical you can still carve on the lower parts.

Blue skies and fast groomers are nice, but I can’t help but look forward to powder runs and a little more terrain opening. Mother nature must be reading my mind because we should see a storm move into the valley this afternoon and tonight. Joel Gratz at the Steamboat Daily Snow predicts that this slow moving storm could drop up to 10 inches of snow by Friday so with a little luck we could have some powder turns in our future.