I love January.  Now don’t get me wrong, December is really fun, but it sure is busy with the holidays.  Every year, right around the second week of January, the quiet calm arrives and settles into Steamboat.  The mountain feels calm, the valley feels calm and even the air we breathe in feels calm to me.  In our house, we like to call it, The January Calm.  

This morning, the mountain exuded a sense of calm, a sense of peace and a sense of serenity.  The gentle morning light slowly dressed the slopes in soft rays of sunlight, providing excellent lighting and a welcomed feeling of calm.  Having received 9 inches of new snow since Monday, the corduroy was quite possibly some of the best corduroy I’ve ever skied (and that’s coming from a past ski bum, past ski instructor and current ski blogger).  If you don’t believe me, check out the below photo.

In the Sunshine Peak area, the slopes were seriously groomed to perfection.  Soft, fluffy, velvety, smooth and dreamy corduroy made for some fun and easy turns from top to bottom.  With the fresh snow we recently received, the corduroy had the perfect amount of fluff to it, providing the right amount of grip paired with the right amount of glide.  And if that wasn’t enough, combined with the morning sun’s rays, the corduroy sparkled and shimmered in the gentle sunlight.

The only thing that didn’t feel calm was the sheer excitement I felt about the mountain’s conditions this morning.  While I wanted to enjoy the feeling of calm serenity that was pouring out of the slopes, I also wanted to rip down the perfectly groomed slopes that were absent of other skiers and riders.  I did a little bit of both, bouncing back and forth between calm and peaceful turns and more aggressive and fast turns.

In addition to great snow and beautiful sunlight, a temperature inversion made mid-mountain and the summit the definition of perfection this morning.  While the valley temperature was a chilly 1 degree and the base temperature was 14 degrees, the mid-mountain temperature was 33 degrees and the summit was 22 degrees.  Pleasant temperatures, no winds, nice sunlight and fantastic snow conditions made this Wednesday one to remember.

According to Joel Gratz’s Steamboat Daily Snow report, we should expect to see some drier weather through the weekend, and possibly into next week.  Some winter storm systems may head our way later next week, but we’ll have to wait and see how the weather patterns develop.  Steamboat boasts a snowpack of 108% when compared to a 30 year average, so let’s enjoy a little bit of sunshine and reap the benefits of the incredible early season snowfall we received.

Embrace The January Calm, enjoy the brilliant sunshine and have a very happy Wednesday!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier

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