As we near the end of March with only 18 more days left in the ski season, the longer days of spring are upon us. Quiet mornings filled with the happy, peaceful songs of native birds define mornings like today, and offer a welcome sense of solitude in the Yampa Valley.
Unexpectedly high winds ripped through the valley and over the mountain Tuesday night with gusts up to 60 m.p.h. at times. Snowflakes flitted through the air, but with such high winds, accumulation totals were pretty inconsistent and recorded around one inch at best. Evidence of those high winds presented in the shallow drifts scattered randomly around upper mountain.
I found some soft powder turns on the side of upper Buddy’s Run and Over Easy mixed in with the more firm corduroy that dressed most of the mountain early Wednesday morning. Other slopes such as Westside had a more granular texture spread over the firm snow beneath, while lower mountain had mostly firm corduroy all the way down.
As temperatures warm up throughout the day, the snow will soften up as it normally does this time of year. Often I find the softer and more enjoyable turns from around 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. once the sun has had a chance to work its natural magic.
With a summit base of 74 inches and a mid-mountain base of 44 inches, Steamboat Resort is in great shape for the remainder of the ski season. March weather patterns can often be unpredictable and vary greatly from one day to the next. The next few days are expected to bring snow before drier and much warmer weather returns to the valley this weekend.
Night skiing is coming to a close this weekend, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be your last opportunities to enjoy those fresh, evening turns. From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. you’ll have a chance to carve some nice turns in the likely soft and smooth corduroy as the sun sets on Steamboat Resort. Top off your night with a ride on the Outlaw Mountain Coaster (open until 8:30 p.m. during night skiing) and it will surely be one to remember!
Despite the sense of sadness that always comes with the end of ski season approaching, there is a renewed sense of excitement for mountain bike season to arrive. Steamboat Resort hosts over 30 miles of cross-country singletrack as well as the Steamboat Bike Park, which is serviced by the Steamboat Gondola. While we’re still a few months away from mountain bike season, it’s never too early to get excited; just make sure you enjoy some more spring skiing while it lasts!
Ski and ride with care (and with your mask properly on) and have a great day on the mountain!
Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier & Snowboarder
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