Smooth Like Velvet
They say to never judge a book by its cover. Just the same, I would say to never judge a ski mountain by the weather. This morning was a perfect example of that expression. I woke up to cloudy skies, warmer temperatures and heavy, almost pellet-like snowflakes starting to fall. With only a couple inches of new snow and weather that looked quite uninviting, I wasn’t feeling very motivated to go skiing today.However, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with my first few turns, and continued to be pleasantly surprised throughout the morning. Rudi’s Run sparked my excitement for the day, and that excitement continued to build on Buddy’s Run, Rainbow, Hurricane and Vagabond. With warmer temperatures, the snow was soft overnight, which allowed the snowcats to lay down impressively smooth corduroy from top to bottom. Now, I didn’t actually see any of that corduroy today (but I could feel it there), because several inches of snow fell overnight, covering up those soft snowy ripples.The several inches of new snow that fell overnight was not too heavy yet not too light. It was this really great texture that made for amazingly smooth and velvety slopes, providing the perfect combination of grip and glide where it was needed. Groomed trails from top to bottom were smooth like velvet, making for a surprisingly fun morning on the mountain. Even some of the more mellow terrain in the trees provided some fun little turns, as long as your knees were ready to handle the bumps underneath. Visibility below 9,500 feet was not too bad, as long as you chose to wear your low-light goggle lenses today. The summit was covered in a thick cloud, almost like pea soup, but as you started to ski down, it quickly cleared, giving you the depth perception you need. Now, as I’m writing this, I’m also looking out the window and seeing massive snowflakes pouring out of the sky, so that visibility very well may have changed. Either way, it’s a great day for low-light lenses to help improve your visibility across the mountain.When I’m not skiing or riding for my blog, I’m generally skiing with my kids, ages 2 and 5. Last Thursday I had a great little ski day with my youngest as we enjoyed the thrills of Why Not together. Here and there I love to give little pointers about skiing with kids, and today, my focus is on a 2-year-old’s epic run of Why Not.Starting at the gondola, you’ll find Why Not ready to take you on a winding adventure through the snowy pines. Make sure to be on the lookout for all of the various animal signs posted along the trail, and take the time to read them to your little ones. My son loves finding the next sign, guessing what kind of animal it is and having me read him the information. It’s almost like an animal treasure hunt for little ones. You’ll find these signs posted all of the way down Why Not, featuring different animals native to the area.Another thrill of Why Not, and possibly the most epic thrill of all, are the two teepees located midway down the trail. Not only are they fun to go into, but they are also fun to have snacks in, making for an epic and memorable adventure with your little skier.The snow continues to pile up in Steamboat, and this week is no different. Several rounds of winter storms are in the forecast, the first one currently upon us. Thursday morning and Saturday morning are predicted to be the best powder mornings, so start making your powder day plans now. Another winter storm should arrive mid-week next week, and after that we may see some drier weather and sunshine, giving us the spring skiing fix we all enjoy in the month of March.
Enjoy the snow and Happy Wednesday!
Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier
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