Deep blue skies, brilliantly warm sunshine and smooth groomers have been dominating the last few weeks in Steamboat. With a solid base from the heavy amounts of holiday and early January snow, the mountain is in great shape for soaking up the January sunshine.

Family turns on Sunset with my husband and two sons, ages 5 and 8.

I must admit, I didn’t get on the mountain as early as I had hoped today as I was skiing with my family, and there were definitely more skiers and riders than I’m typically used to skiing with. As the old saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm” rings true just as “the early skier/rider gets the best turns” does. I also typically ski during the week, which sees less crowds than on the weekends. Regardless, the views were endless, the sunshine was joyful and the slopes were smooth, fast and fun!

Views from Surprise (skier’s right of Vagabond), looking up towards Storm Peak.

Decently long lift lines were noticeable at certain chairlifts, while others were short and fast. When the gondola line is long, you can opt to ride up Christie Peak Express and then ski over to Thunderhead Express to get higher up on the mountain. Also, if you are concerned about being in a gondola car with people not in your party, you may want to opt for the fresh air option of Christie. Masks are required indoors at Steamboat Resort, including in the gondola cars, and if we can all play by the rules and do our part, we can all feel more comfortable together as a whole.

Following my youngest son down Moonlight, which in this photo seems more like “Sunlight”.

Four Points Lift is always a good alternative when Storm Peak Express has a long lift line, and Elkhead often has a shorter and faster lift line than Sundown Express (except towards the end of the day). While it may not be your normal route, sometimes choosing the shorter lift line can take you to trails you don’t typically ski, and after all, variety is the spice of life.

Endless and stunning views from the top of Four Points Lift (a good alternative when Storm Peak Express is crowded).

The week ahead looks pretty dry and packed full of more January sunshine. It’s a great time to get out and ski with friends, focus on and practice your skiing or riding techniques, or just simply enjoy some smooth and sunny turns. If you are a snowboarder, check back next week as I’ll be blogging about the ten best runs for snowboarders in Steamboat, and without my kiddos in tow, I’ll be back on my board!

Smooth, fun and fast conditions on Sunset and most of the other groomed trails.

Ski and ride with care and have a great day on the mountain! Happy Saturday!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier & Snowboarder

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