Over the last week or two there has been a feeling of change in the air in Steamboat. The sun is a little brighter, the air is a little more fragrant and the temps have been creeping up to the 50s in town. With just under two weeks left in the season our deepest days might be behind us but there is still plenty of snow up there and spring riding is in full effect. So it’s time to switch gears and enjoy the daily cycles of spring and the warmth that comes with it.
I’ll be honest with you here, the conditions at 8am this morning were rock hard up top. The temps were hovering somewhere around 0 and the corduroy from last night was frozen solid. Fortunately if you are reading this then you made the right choice and waited for the sun to come out before heading up. The temperature at the summit is already up to 10 degrees, the sun has crested the ridge and the snow will rapidly start to soften up. Since everything was frozen in place this morning, the best time to head up today will probably be around 11am when the top layer gets softened but stays firm enough to carve.
The sunny skies we’ll see this afternoon and for the rest of the week is really what spring riding is all about. This time of year we trade champagne powder for slushy bumps and soft wet snow. Nothing compares to powder, but my second favorite condition is spring snow. The warm snow is easy to push around and feels like riding on a bed of mashed potatoes. The lower mountain will warm up fastest so stay low to start the day and head up to the top for some views and tree skiing in the afternoon.
By late afternoon the very top of the mountain will be warm and even the runs in Morningside and the summit will be nice and soft. For an easier run you can take the Morningside lift up and take a left to drop into the open snow field right under the lift. For a steeper run I would head up to the upper gates and drop into east face. Not only do you get to ride one of our best expert runs but you can enjoy some of our best spring time views across north park to the Never Summer Range.