Hiking to coveted powder stashes is a rite of passage in Steamboat. Two fresh inches atop the 19 inches over the past three days made for the perfect conditions to open new terrain, which is exactly what happened this morning.

Here is an early gift for our loyal Straight Talk readers – Hike-To Pony terrain is where it’s at! The entire Pony Express area is open as of today and covered in deep, fluffy powder; however, the lift is not running yet. So, bring your legs and lungs and hike to the top. To access this terrain, ski across Big Meadow and hike up Flying Z Gulch and Half Hitch. The hike is not for the faint of heart and it’s a leg burner, but the bottomless powder turns at the top are well worth it.

At the top of the Pony Express lift, a couple of feet of powder sat untouched on every run. Every run looked amazing! We scoped out the goods and decided to ski Middle Rib, a ribbon of fun at the edge of the ski area. Setting out at the top, we found bottomless powder at every turn. Each of us had a smile on our faces as we bounced through the untouched snow. Skiing powder in Steamboat is like floating through soft down feathers. The airy snow rolled up over my waist at each turn. This is paradise! I scraped a couple of hidden objects under the snow, but all-in-all the coverage is excellent for this point in the season. Always ski with a friend and be aware that hidden objects exist under the snow.

Fresh tracks at Steamboat

Top-to-bottom Champagne Powder® turns are why we come to Steamboat. Some of my favorite memories are hiking to untouched powder stashes and hooting all the way down with friends and family. Today, Pony was no exception. Steamboat’s snow is special and you won’t find it anywhere else. Holiday crowds are going to love the short lines, long runs, and Champagne Powder® in Steamboat! I can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces out on the mountain!

Go explore – it’s STILL snowing really hard right now,

Meghan Lutterman, Alpine skier

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