Waking up to the report of about 5″ of new snow this morning was a pleasant surprise. After a short dry spell we are back into the storm cycle and are anticipating some big totals this week. As always the first part of the storm is more about getting a soft base down on the crusty stuff than it is about riding in bottomless pow. But just because the deep stuff isn’t here yet doesn’t mean you can have fun finding the stashes around the mountain.

Face shots in Priest Creek
Face shots in Priest Creek

First things first, the weather. It was 11 degrees up top when I got to the mountain and it feels that way on the lift rides. So make sure to layer up and bring along a face-mask. The snow is really light up there this morning so there is more than enough to get face shots when you make a hard turn. The best runs on the mountain first thing this were actually the runs that were groomed yesterday. High Noon and 1 O’Clock were awesome for carving with ankle deep snow and perfectly smooth corduroy underneath. These should be in the same shape tomorrow, so head there first if you are doing first tracks.

Catchin' air on West Side
Catchin’ air on West Side

The runs through the trees like Closet, Shadows and the steeper runs off 4-Points were good this morning but a little crusty underneath. These should get better and better throughout the day as the snow continues to pile up. The best runs this for now will probably be the lower angle trees in places like Sunshine Bowl, and up top in Morningside. The lower angle keeps the snow from scraping off when people turn so it piles up a bit quicker. The way it is snowing now, all the trees and the steeps should be pretty good by 1 or 2 this afternoon.

Lift lines? What lift lines?
Lift lines? What lift lines?

With snow funneling in from the Northwest and some awesome free concerts on tap for later this week, it’s a great time to be in the Boat! Check out the Steamboat Events Page for the lineup of free music and things to do in town.

Enjoy the first big storm of the new year!
Dan Tullos, snowboarder

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