Variety is the Spice of Skiing
Steamboat Resort boasts 100% open terrain and a summit base of 102 inches, and I’m not fooling you because today is April 3rd, not April 1st. With 11 days left in the ski season, Steamboat is in fantastic shape and ready to provide some exceptional spring skiing and riding!They say that variety is the spice of life, meaning that new and exciting experiences make life more interesting. Today, that saying held true on the mountain, making skiing and riding different terrain across the mountain more interesting, and more fun. Overnight, Steamboat reported one inch of new snow, although in some areas it felt more like two to three inches. Depending upon when a trail was groomed, some slopes were straight up corduroy from top to bottom while others had smooth corduroy underneath several inches of fresh powder. To me, it felt like variety was the spice of skiing this morning!
Buddy’s Run was by far my pick of the day early this morning. As one of the first people to the top of Storm Peak, I was pleasantly surprised to find Buddy’s so velvety smooth underneath, and so fluffy and fresh on top. I’m typically on my snowboard in the powder and my skis on the groomers, and being on my skis today, I found Buddy’s to have the perfect amount of fresh snow while I gently cruised and floated down the slope. Buddy’s Run was definitely a grin-worthy run in my book this morning!
Other trails such as Tornado and Cyclone also appeared to be in the same fantastic shape as Buddy’s Run, providing a nice amount of fluff atop the right amount of smooth. Trails that were groomed later in the night or earlier in the morning (closer to 8:30 AM) were dressed in corduroy from top to bottom. Rudi’s Run, Rainbow, Moonlight, High Noon, Two O’Clock and Vagabond were all covered in those smooth, snowy ripples that provide the fun, fast and smooth glide we all love.
What I found to be particularly interesting and in line with the saying, variety is the spice of life, was the condition of the corduroy and how it varied from slope to slope. The more northern-facing slopes such Rudi’s, parts of Vagabond and even Two O’Clock had a softer, more fluffy and more grippy corduroy that was especially fun. Some of the more southern and western facing slopes like Rainbow, Moonlight and High Noon were a bit more firm, and the corduroy on those slopes didn’t provide the same amount of grip. Where the corduroy was soft and fluffy I found some of my favorite turns of the morning. Where the corduroy was a bit more firm, it kept me on my skis so to speak as I anticipated that my edges weren’t going to entirely hold and grip the snow as I would like.
Throughout the morning I saw glimpses of the sun’s morning rays, but clouds and a few light snow showers mostly prevailed. Today and into tonight we should expect to see continuing snow showers before some drier weather returns for the next few days. Over the weekend, some sunshine, some clouds and some snow showers are expected, which is very typical of springtime weather in Steamboat.
With 11 days left in a ski season that has received 328 inches of snow to date, and has a 123% snowpack when compared to a 30 year average, I hope you’re able to get out and enjoy some spring skiing or riding before mountain bike season begins in just a few months.
Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier
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