It’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s fun, it’s fast… it’s simply a fantastic Saturday morning in Steamboat!  For one reason or another, Saturday mornings have not been the most agreeable mornings in terms of weather.  Several Saturdays have turned out to be gorgeous sunny days, but I take my turns early, and for whatever reason, the early morning weather on most Saturdays has, let just say, not been what it is today.  So I’m stoked about blue skies, abundant sunshine, warm temps, and most importantly, awesome groomers… happy Saturday everyone! 

Did I mention it’s warm up there?  Choose your layers appropriately on a day like today or you’ll be sweating up on Storm (Peak)!  As I drove past the river this morning, temperatures dipped down to 11 degrees… brrr… but as I unloaded the gondola bright and early, it was warm, registering 34 degrees at mid mountain and 29 degrees at the summit.  The inversion this morning made for some grin-making, giggle-generating, super fast, super fun groomers.

Four Points lift

Soft, grippy, creamy, buttery, pristine, immaculate, euphoric… that’s how I would describe the early morning groomers today.  While it may have seemed a bit firm and crunchy near the base, the inversion created a perfect situation for groomed runs from mid-mountain upwards.  After a quick and smooth little warm-up down Rudi’s, I went straight for Cyclone after seeing the grooming report… ahhh!!!  Cyclone is my pick of the day with its creamy, smooth steepness.  I felt like any minute I would just take off, soaring high into the sky amongst the wispy and lightly scattered morning clouds.

Fresh corduroy on Cyclone

After an unforgettable run down Cyclone, I thought perhaps I should dip into some trees and check out how our oh so coveted tree runs are holding up.  Today, the trees I skied (between Rainbow and Sunset) seemed a bit crunchy and skied out… in fact, I quickly dipped out of them to get back to a sunny, groomed Rainbow.  My husband took some powder turns Wednesday morning and I took some powder turns Thursday morning, and we both were super happy with our pow turns those days.  I’m willing to bet there are still some fun powder stashes out there – maybe a little heavy and slightly crunchy on top, but after the couple feet of snow we’ve already had in February, there’s certainly something out there waiting to be tracked and carved. 

Freshly groomed Rainbow

As most people were heading up Storm Peak, I went to Pony to take a Longhorn run all by myself.  I know I’ve said it before, but I always love this run, and today certainly did not disappoint.  There are a few spots to watch out for, mostly the steeper angles that seem to hide from the early morning sun, but I enjoyed a fast, fun, grippy groomer all to myself. 

Longhorn freshly groomed

It’s already warm up there, it’s only going to get warmer… today is going to turn out to be a nice little spring-like ski day, those days we all dream of in March and April.  Get out early this weekend and enjoy some pristine turns by yourself while most people are downtown watching and partaking in the 102nd Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival.  The Straight Talk Report from yesterday has some great info about the Winter Carnival, so check that out.  Also, don’t forget to go downtown to the base of Howelsen Hill tonight at 7pm for the Night Extravaganza, featuring the awesomely unique Lighted Man, a torchlight parade, fiery hoop jumpers, an incredible fireworks display and more.

Fresh corduroy

Did you know that in the past, the penalty for being caught without a carnival button was to push a peanut down Lincoln Avenue with your nose?

Did you know that the Steamboat Springs High School Band was the first band to ever march on skis?  They started in 1935, and after 71 years, still march down Lincoln on skis for the Winter Carnival Parade.

Did you know that the Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival was named (in 2012) as a Top 10 Winter Carnival in the World by National Geographic

Happy Saturday, happy skiing and happy Winter Carnival…

Erin Campbell, snowboarder

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