When I got on the mountain today, it took me all of 2-seconds to realize I was completely over-dressed. The temperature at my house was 29 degrees when I walked out the door but the warm sunshine that greeted me at the top of the gondola told a different story. From the moment I clicked into my skis I could already tell that this was shaping up to be an incredible day filled with warm air and glorious rays of light.

The early morning snow was a bit glazed from the overnight chill. But that’s to be expected with spring skiing and riding. I have no doubt that by about 10:30am the surface of the slopes will be creamy smooth and spongy under foot. These are the days I look forward to when it’s January and the weather is cold and snowy. Yep… spring skiing in the Rocky Mountain is, like Lionel Richie says, “Easy Like Sunday Morning.”

As I explored the trails today, I found runs like Vagabond were seemingly groomed by a tailor. The perfect lines of corduroy were sweet and zippy. Carving across the run created a vibration in my lower legs akin to being strapped to buzz saw (but in a good way). The movement was both calming (like a massage) and exhilarating (like a roller coaster). Needless to say that I found it hard not to smile. And as the sun rose higher in the sky, I couldn’t help but come back for seconds (and thirds!).

Another run I explored today was Surprise. It was left ungroomed overnight so I imagine it will only get better as the day wears on and the snow begins to soften. But even still, there was nobody around when I tackled this challenge and I found myself feeling like the “king of the world” as I made my way to the bottom.

I took a look at the terrain park at Bashor Bowl on my way to the base area. This again is another spot on the mountain that fills by day’s end with giddy jibbers and those working on perfecting new tricks. There’s something about springtime that creates a unique vibe at the terrain park that doesn’t seem to exist when these folks are in the thick of competition season. Putting your brain in “laid back mode” and taking one’s time to experience the rush of Maverick’s Super Pipe is something I’d recommend to just about anyone on the mountain today.

Word of advice; as you make your way to the hill today, be sure to lather up the sunscreen. It’s easier to get a sunburn around snow than you might think.

Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier

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