More often than not, you can guess why certain mountains are named the way they are. While Steamboat Resort as a whole is named after the Werner family, the second highest point is called Storm Peak. Even though the weather in town this morning was warm and the air was calm, the conditions on Storm Peak were living up to their name. With 30-40 mph winds and a morning temperature of around 8 degrees, the wind chill on the upper lifts was easily below zero. Despite the harsh conditions, the riding was pretty good and the snow that fell last night added a nice soft layer on top of the groomers.
I knew things were going to be windy about half way up the gondola when I started to notice how fast the clouds where swirling around the upper mountain. The morning light filtering through the broken clouds and updrafts made for a beautiful scene. The groomed runs up top are in great shape and even though they are getting tracked up, the open areas like the top of high noon are getting filled back in as the wind sweeps the snow out of the trees. So the best places to ride on a day like today is towards the edge of the runs where all the blowing snow collects.
The blustery conditions at the top of the mountain are likely to continue for the next few days, so make sure to layer up and bring a face mask. Since the air is much calmer on the lower mountain, today should be a great day to explore the runs below the gondola and under Thunderhead lift. I took a run down Upper and Lower Valley View on my way out and had some pretty nice turns in the new snow on the groomed slopes. If you are looking for something a little easier, head over to Vagabond for some wide open turns.
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