After a nice little powder day to end the month of February, March is starting out with colder temperatures and fluffy leftovers.  Much to my chagrin, I only heard great reports of Tuesday’s powder, but from what I skied today, I could tell that Steamboat received some nice and deep champagne powder® from February’s last storm.

The first part of February this year was uncharacteristically warm, so the return of winter with light, fluffy snow and chilly temperatures is by all means welcome in my book.  Despite heavy cloud cover and flat lighting this morning, the snow is in fantastic shape.  Today is a good day to have multiple goggle lenses with you; lighter lenses for the morning clouds and darker lenses for the afternoon sunshine that is in the forecast.  Later in the week you should expect abundant sunshine, so you can stick with your darker lenses from start to finish.  But enough about goggle lenses, let’s talk about this fantastic snow I mentioned!

A very subtle, light dusting of snow fell on top of yesterday’s powder that has since been groomed on runs like Vagabond, Buddy’s Run and Valley View.  With the new snow, groomed runs have nice coverage, zero icy spots, and great traction from top to bottom.  With the cold temperatures, the snow is holding its smooth yet grippy form quite well, and I wouldn’t expect much in the way of push piles by the end of the day.  My pick of the day was lower mountain, whether it be Vagabond, Valley View or Heavenly Daze.  All of these runs were smooth, fast and completely empty.  Being aware of other skiers and snowboarders, I was able to enjoy the entire slope all to my lonesome.

Storm Peak held true to its name this morning with freezing temperatures and 15 to 20 mph gusts of wind.  Despite unfavorable weather conditions at the top of the mountain, the snow was fantastically fun in and out of the trees.  I was quite surprised at the fluffy leftovers just waiting to be tracked in the beautifully stunning, snow-covered pines.  While I wasn’t able to make it to Pony Express this morning, I would expect that you could find some really nice leftover powder in those trees.

Heading towards Valley View, I skied past the Ragnar’s Sleigh that sits so pretty to the side of Arc, awaiting its dinner guests on Fridays and Saturdays during the ski season.  Last winter, my husband and I experienced Ragnar’s Sleigh Ride Dinner for the first time, and had a lovely date night.  A snowcat-driven sleigh whisks you through the trees (and snow on some nights) via Duster to Ragnar’s, located at Rendezvous Saddle Lodge.  Once there, you’ll enjoy a delicious, five-course meal with Scandinavian flair while listening to some great, local music.  Whether you’re visiting Steamboat or living the dream in Steamboat, it’s a dinner adventure that I would highly recommend to anyone!

Happy fluffy leftovers, happy March and happy Wednesday!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier

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