If snow is what you’re looking for, then Steamboat Springs is certainly the place to be! Since last Wednesday, Steamboat Resort reported over three feet (38 inches to be exact) and it is currently still snowing with more on the way. The season total is now 266 inches, which equates to over 22 feet of snow (but check that number tomorrow as it will certainly increase throughout the day and overnight tonight).

Several inches of soft and light champagne powder® greeted skiers and riders Wednesday morning in Steamboat across the mountain and in this photo, on Storm Peak South

Snow, snow and more snow is the continually awesome theme for the month of February, and it has turned Steamboat Springs into a magical winter wonderland from top to bottom. Soft, light champagne powder® resting peacefully atop smooth groomers amidst grand pine trees dressed in their finest white winter gowns is exactly how I would describe Wednesday morning in Steamboat.

Fresh turns on Velvet and looking up towards Shadows and Closets

The 5 a.m. snow report did’t report any new snow overnight, but by the time lifts opened, several inches of dreamy new powder welcomed smiling and giddy skiers and riders.

Soft turns on Heavenly Daze

Of course the temperatures were on the colder side, which means that firm patches did occasionally exist underneath the fresh snow (especially on steeper terrain), but if you ski or ride on the side of a trail, you’re likely to find some extra grin-worthy turns today.

Longhorn Trail off of Pony Express

Steamboat’s gorgeously grand pine trees dressed in a blanket of snow certainly create a magical winter wonderland, but they do also pose a danger to unaware skiers and riders. Evergreen trees with low lying branches can often have what is known as a tree well, which is an unstable hole that forms around the base of a tree. A fall into that tree well can be suffocating and even fatal, but fortunately the risk is completely avoidable and preventable.

I have personally been enjoying Steamboat’s amazing trees for the past 14 years, and as long as you follow these guidelines, you should have no trouble with tree wells:

  • Avoid skiing/riding too close to trees, particularly evergreens, in deep snow and after heavy snowfall
  • Assume all trees have a potentially hazardous tree well
  • Be aware of your surroundings and stay in control
  • If skiing/riding in deep snow or near trees, stay with a partner and remain in visual contact. Stay close enough to dig your partner out if necessary.
  • If your partner becomes immersed, first try to clear an airway, then call Ski Patrol (970-871-5911)

For more information on deep snow and tree well safety, please visit Steamboat’s website page featuring Deep Snow and Tree Wells.

Looking up Longhorn Trail

With gently falling snowflakes Wednesday morning, that magical winter wonderland I’ve been describing was even more of a reality. Snow is likely to continue throughout the day today, into tonight and possibly through midday Thursday. With the colder temps and a storm with limited moisture, only about one to five inches is expected. However, the next chance for significant snowfall is Sunday into Tuesday with a potential for 6-12+ inches of new snow. Check out Joel Gratz’s Steamboat Daily Snow for more forecast information.

Fresh snow on Ted’s Ridge

On Friday night, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Steamboat Resort is hosting the Steamboat Light the Night Celebration at the base area. Six spectacular hot air balloons will illuminate the Mountain Village from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a Torchlight Parade (down the mountain) and a firework display. Night skiing will also be open from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday night, along with Steamboat’s infamous Outlaw Mountain Coaster, the longest coaster in North America. These nights are always magical ones in Steamboat, especially for the kiddos.

A 2018 Balloon Glow lighting up the Mountain Village

Enjoy the magical winter wonderland that Steamboat offers and have a very happy Wednesday! Until next time, ski and ride with care and have a great day (or night) on the mountain!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier & Snowboarder

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