I was elated to wake up this morning to dumping skies! Although the report was only 2 inches, I made the decision to bring my powder skis up for today. Am I glad I did! Mother Nature is gifting us with some dry, wintry snow here in Steamboat. Get ready for some fun if you’re headed out on the mountain today!

Snowy Yampa Valley

The visibility may have been the only downfall today. Definitely challenging, so please take it slowly. These are the days, like most, that I bee-line it over to Sundown Express and straight into my favorite tree lines. More visibility alas! The 2-plus inches was a powder-skier’s delight. Light, fluffy and just enough to make the spring crust underneath hardly noticeable.

Visibility and fresh tracks in the trees

Three laps off of Sundown Express had me grinning from ear to ear and hollering with the rest of the thrilled First Tracks skiers. On my last ride to the top, I crossed over to Storm Peak face to see what the front side of the mountain had to offer. I noticed a little more wind and the conditions were slightly windblown. I took my time navigating down to lower mountain as my googles began to form a layer of ice due to the change in air temperature combined with precipitation.

Top of snowy Sundown
Top of snowy Sundown

Lower mountain didn’t receive as much snow as upper mountain did. I would recommend staying higher up today. I made the not-so-great decision to ski upper and lower Valley View, and it was a struggle. Frozen, un-groomed crust under a trace of snow and very low visibility was not nearly as enjoyable as my first few runs. Of course there are much easier ways down.

Please be SlopeWise and have patience for those around you today. I had a run-in with a snowboarder yesterday, and it was a scary one. I’m glad it ended up as well as it did.

Enjoy the return to winter in the ‘Boat!

Brett Buckles, Alpine skier

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