Snow is on the way and you can feel it in the air!  Wednesday morning on the mountain was defined by mild temperatures, intermittent wind gusts and views of winter storm clouds en route to Steamboat.  It was a fun morning to enjoy soft groomers before the powder returns later this afternoon.At 9 AM, the summit temperature was 21 degrees, which really is a nice temperature for skiing and riding.  The base and mid-mountain were both a little bit warmer at 25 and 28 degrees respectively, which makes for a pleasant and comfortable morning on the mountain.  Also recorded at 9 AM were the various winds swirling around the mountain.  Winds at the base and the summit were recorded anywhere between 3 and 12 miles per hour, coming from the southwest.  However, winds at mid-mountain were recorded coming from the southwest anywhere between 20 and 40 miles per hour.  Obviously there is a large variance in these recorded wind gusts, and from what I saw on the mountain this morning, there were intermittent strong gusts followed by periods of calm.  This can be typical weather as a winter storm is approaching but not yet in Steamboat.  Around 11 AM, the radar showed the first wave of the winter storm right around the Colorado-Utah border, and the second and larger wave around Salt Lake City.  I’d expect to see these occasional strong wind gusts throughout the day, so please do be prepared if you’re planning to take some turns this afternoon.  Storm Peak is obviously named for a reason, and in the blink of an eye, those calm and peaceful moments can turn into a quite chilly and very dramatic winter fury.The best part about temperatures in the 20’s paired with the consistent snowfall we’ve seen throughout the winter is that the groomed trails are soft and quite forgiving.  They hold your edges well, they give your achy knees a break, they allow your skis to glide the perfect amount (because it’s not too warm) and they just feel oh so soft, luxurious and dreamy.My favorite thing to do on a day like today is to check out the Steamboat Ski and Resort App (called exactly that in your app store) as I’m riding the gondola to see which trails have been groomed, and plan my morning accordingly.  The mountain does a great job of updating this app, so it really is the quickest and easiest way to plan your ski day.  Also available in the app is a trail map, weather information, current views of all of the webcams scattered across the mountain, a quick way to contact Ski Patrol, dining, event and shopping information on the mountain, and my favorite, the most current trail and lift status.  On a day like today when we can expect to see changing weather and likely strong winds, it’s really nice to stay updated on the latest lift status so you can maximize your time on skis or a snowboard.As the snow continues to pile up in Steamboat, keep your eyes peeled for the various snow art formations featured at the bases of many chairlifts.  Four Points has a brick wall with welcome letters and the lift operations crew was working on another form of snow art this morning.  Storm Peak typically does a good job with snow art (I’ve yet to see what they are working on) and Pony Express has built a snow castle fit for snow kings and queens.  Thanks to the lift operations crew, any time spent in a lift line (which today was completely non-existent and generally is very minimal) is entertaining and you are sure to be impressed.A winter storm warning is in effect from 5 PM today through Noon on Friday.  With snow, and perhaps quite a bit of it on the way, enjoy the soft and smooth corduroy for now because it looks like several powder days are in store for Steamboat.

Happy Wednesday!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier

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