Winds of Change
When you live in the mountains, winter can seem like it lasts forever. From the first snowfall in October or November to the beginning of spring can last anywhere from 6-7 months. So when we are having a low snow year, it’s always helpful to remember that the weather can change in an instant and we still have a long way until spring. The clouds hanging over the valley today aren’t going to drop any snow, but it looks like were in for a series of storms this week that could get our season back on track.
The first storm should settle into the valley tomorrow afternoon and start to pile up by Thursday morning. After that, we should see on and off snow all the way through the weekend with potential powder days on Saturday and Sunday. The best part is the storm should come in from the southwest and start out pretty warm. Warmer temps means heavier snow that bonds well to the snowpack and fills in the bumps. After the first wave, the winds should shift to the northwest and get much colder. Colder temps are perfect for bigger totals and creating Steamboat’s signature Champagne Powder.
Even though I have my eyes on the rest of the week, the conditions on the mountain today were pretty good for a groomer day. The light was flat, but if you are heading out mid day, there might be a little sunshine. The best runs today were Buddy’s Run and Vagabond. Its no coincidence that both of these runs are north facing. The recent warm weather has caused some melt and freeze cycles on the south facing runs so if you want crisp groomers stick to the runs serviced by Storm Peak Express.
Even though the base area got up in the 30s recently, the upper mountain stayed nice and cold. So if you are looking for some easier runs up high, the runs in the Sunshine area are riding well. Despite the fact they are south facing, they are high up enough to stay cold on sunny days. The base is holding up well, so in a few days when the storms start rolling in we wont have to worry about any bare patches or ice. So get your powder boards ready and pray for snow!