This morning in the valley it was cold, foggy, and pleasantly deceptive.  The weather at my house prompted me to put on two sweaters and my heavy scarf, but as soon as my gondola car mounted the hillside, all memory of that frigid fog was burned off by a gorgeous sunshine on the morning snow.  The inversion, a regular valley phenomenon that causes cold air to get trapped in the bottom of the valley while the sun warms the higher and lighter air,  is extra low today, breaking at about the elevation of Thunderhead lift.  So there is no excuse to not get up and get skiing on this pristine December day.

Fog in the Valley

Winter is in full swing.  Holidays are everywhere, the solstice is in just a few days, and this brisk bluebird day is sandwiched between two epic storms.  All the skiers on the mountain are fast and happy.  Today’s terrain forte is groomers, but I imagine that the bump runs are softening up as I write.  Even tree runs are feeling pretty tempting after our two feet of Champagne Powder, so it’s a great day to use your well-earned ski legs to have some fun.


This morning I had the pleasure of riding up the mountain in the SmartWool gondola car.  SmartWool is a local company that makes wool clothing, especially hiking and ski socks.  Today I was wearing nearly head to toe SmartWool as my base layer and I felt luxuriously warm in my gear.  In the groovy green gondola car (number 116), riders are prompted to take a selfie and post it to Instagram for a chance to win some great ski socks.


Today is a great example of one of Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine, and we’re lucky enough to get to play in it.  Tomorrow is Steamboat’s big Holiday Festival, starting at 2 pm when Santa arrives on horseback, there will be entertainment, games and holiday cheer all evening.  Children will have the chance to meet Santa and his reindeer as well as decorate cookies, see music and story telling, and ‘trick-or-treat’ the base area in the Stocking Scramble.  The event culminates with fireworks and a torchlight parade, and the entire event is free.  Get outside today because below chair lifts the snow is sparkling, on the slopes the groom is begging to be sliced … even the trees are smiling at the perfect winter day!

Smiling Tree


Willow Fitzgerald, Telemark skier

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