There’s a comfortable solitude up there today. Perhaps it’s the current weather pattern that’s passing overhead, but everything on the mountain seems ripe with stillness. This is one of the greatest loves of my life. Getting up and getting out to explore the great outdoors.

The snowmaking crew continues to work hard at giving our natural snow a little boost. On runs like Vagabond and Stampede, you’ll see those mighty machines spewing crystal geysers into the sky. Generally speaking, both the upper and lower mountain trails are all in good shape for skiing and riding. My favorites for today include Rainbow and Norther.

The sky is a bit soupy with low-hanging clouds today. Tiny ice particles formed across the protective screen of my goggles as I glided my way around. However, a quick wipe down on the lift ride was all it took to keep me in business. If nothing else, this was a sure sign that there was moisture in the air which is a good thing in terms of the outlook for more snow.

Ski patrol has recently opened several new runs including White Out, which is manageable with a little heads-up attention to your line. Keep a lookout, and you’ll see trails clearly marked with “Caution: Early Season Conditions Exist.” This is your warning to go ahead and explore but to do so with a bit of prudence. The BC Lift Line is another trail I’d recommend giving a try. But don’t be alarmed to see a handful of natural hazards along the way. With a little vigilance in working your edges, you’ll be just fine.

Today is the annual Holiday Festival in Gondola Square. Please join us as we celebrate winter in Steamboat along with reindeer, a visit from Santa Claus on horseback, cookie decorating, complimentary Korbel and cupcakes, and the ever-so-fun “Stocking Scramble.” Festivities begin at 2 p.m. at the base of the mountain.

As always, remember to smile. It’s winter, and this is Steamboat!


Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier

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