If you were staying high enough on the hillside last night, you probably woke up with a view of a pretty strong valley inversion hanging over Steamboat. While those of us down in the valley can only see a thick layer of ice fog, once you get high enough you are treated to blue skies and a perfect morning. Inversions are pretty common in the mountains but the sea of clouds enveloping the town always feels magical to me. The inversion may mean the temps at the base are in the lower teens, but the sun is shining and the air is warm(er) up top.

We didn’t get any new snow overnight, so this morning will be all about the groomers. After heading down Rudi’s to Storm Peak Express, I made the mistake of traversing over to High Noon for my first run. The first run on High Noon is normally groomed and the view of the south valley is incredible. While the view was still great today, there isn’t enough snow on the run to groom out the bumps. High Noon and West Side were both pretty crusty this morning, so the Sundown runs will be best this afternoon when things soften up a bit.

The best option for a long groomed run this morning is taking Buddy’s Run down to Rainbow. The upper portion of Buddies has a few icy spots but otherwise its riding well and is very carvable. Upper Rainbow was probably the best run I took this morning. The grooming was perfect and the run was wide open and soft.

On my way out, I took a run down Heavenly Daze and was surprised at how soft it was. Since its the main way down from the gondola during the early season it can get a little icy at times. The early snow and snowmaking efforts this year paid off on this run and its in mid season form. As you get below Christie Peak and onto See Me, you will notice a significant temperature drop as you ride back into the cold valley air. Fortunately its pretty low so you can still enjoy the lower mountain without layering up too much.