Sunshine and Skis
Wednesday morning was nothing short of spectacular, stunning and simply breathtaking in Steamboat. Negative temps, heavy frost and a chilly morning fog blanketed the Yampa Valley while warmer temps and plentiful sunshine kissed the slopes in the Sunshine Peak area. Normally I’m a snowboarder when I Straight Talk, but today, clear skies and fresh groomers were reason for me to break out my skis.
Temperature inversions seem to be a theme this ski season, and today was no different. While it was -5 in the valley as I drove to the mountain, it was 15 at the summit, a good 20 degrees warmer. Despite warmer temps higher up, the trees at the summit were covered in a gorgeous, heavy frost, providing some nice eye candy with the deep blue skies in the background. And down below, the mystical morning fog paired with clear skies and stunning views of the Flat Tops and Hahn’s Peak left me breathless. This morning was nothing short of magical at Steamboat Ski Resort.
I grew up a skier and moved out here a skier, but have since become more of a snowboarder over the years. It’s always fun to switch back and forth, but for me, sunny days with fresh groomers are more fun on skis just as powder days are more fun on a snowboard. First Tracks in the Sunshine Peak area this morning was beyond perfect. The scenery was stunning, the sunshine was radiant and best of all, the slopes were covered in fast, grippy and fun corduroy. Remembering a few tips my incredible skier-of-a-husband recently gave me, I enjoyed some fast turns on empty runs. Flintlock, Sunshine Lift Line, High Noon to Westside and Sunnyside were in great condition today.
Temperatures around 15 to 20 degrees are great for keeping the snow fast, and with the 195 inches we’ve received this season, and a 60 inch base, there is nice depth for the snowcats to create consistently pristine, grippy and luxuriously smooth corduroy.
Lower mountain was just waking up as I was heading down. The colder temps below created a firmer snowpack, but as the day progresses and sunshine blankets the rest of the mountain, those runs will also provide you with smooth and dreamy slopes to get you over the hump and closer to the weekend.
Another theme this season has been snow, snow and more snow. I’ve enjoyed seven snowy and powdery Straight Talk mornings thus far, so today was a nice little treat to mix things up. Per usual, the forecast holds abundant snowfall, so you’ll find me back on my snowboard and back in the trees; but for now, get out there and enjoy what the sun gods and goddesses have to offer because it’s nothing short of spectacular in Steamboat!
Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier
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