Off to the Olympics!
At this point, it’s OK to admit the snow report is leaving you feeling a little confused. Friday’s 5 a.m. ski report tallied just 5 inches of freshies, but the ski area’s own powder cam showed us this:
That was practically 15 inches up top (a parting gift I’d like to think came from the late Warren Miller standing in for Mother Nature).
But then today’s 5 a.m. snow tally gives us only 8 inches in the past 48 hours.
So, all I’m going to say is that there is some unaccounted-for depth out there. There’s essential discontinuity mid-mountain vs. summit this weekend. The result is that there are ample stashes left to be had, dear skiers and riders. Head for the trees, the edges, the runs that aren’t on the grooming report.
I caught the gentle leftovers off Surprise on my way down to Storm Peak Express, then scooted past the short line to ski right up to Pony Express instead. This is Day Two for the season on Pony, and it’s a welcome new expanse of lift access. Middle Rib was a lovely place to start the morning.
If you’ve been reading the local newspaper over the past couple weeks, you’re probably starting to feel a twinge of Olympic fever. And if you haven’t, this afternoon’s Olympic Sendoff in Gondola Square will surely shoot you up with the dose of Steamboat’s ever-contagious virus: Olympic-itis.
Our weensie little town is sending 15 young superstars to the snowy mountains of Pyeongchang, helping show the world America’s best. Our hometown kids will be shredding moguls, ski jumps and superpipes. In a final coup this week, Steamboat’s superstars snagged four of the five spots on the Nordic combined team — a particularly strong point of pride in this community. And Steamboat still has two more contenders vying for spots at the 2018 Paralympic Games!
Our 2018 Olympians have so many local mentors who’ve been down this trail before that they get a big Steamboat Olympian reunion and sendoff party to start them off right. Old timers like Billy Kidd, Nelson Carmichael and Johnny Spillane will help them start off their journey to South Korea right. Today, they’ll light Steamboat’s own Olympic cauldron, and there will be fireworks, too — of course.
Meanwhile, you get to stand right there in the thick of the anticipation, helping cheer them on, stoke them up, share their pride and start biting your fingernails like a whole boatload of Steamboat parents. Or if you’re a kid like me, you might score one of the cool “Future Olympian” badges that the Ambassadors are handing out today.
It’s official: Olympic season is ON!
Jennie Lay, Telemark skier
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