With 7″/17cm of new snow reported overnight and the weightlessness of the abundant fluff I cleared from my driveway this morning, I knew there would be some product testing involved in my Monday morning. I found a willing and eager companion in James, one of my best snowboard buddies, and we headed out late morning to work in our outside office, the White Room. I commented on the Gondola that despite 27 days on mountain so far this winter, I’d not yet ridden up the Pony Express over in Pioneer Ridge, so James chose our first run accordingly. We took Norther from the top of Thunderhead down to Blizzard and then down to the lift, and we knew we were in for a treat! We followed our noses down through the trees between Longhorn and the Pony Express lift, whooping and hollering as we found the deepest patches of the freshest powder and twice meeting up unexpectedly coming around the same stand of trees; I’m glad James has fast reflexes! We celebrated back on the lift again and at the top decided to make our way over to Storm Peak via Flying Z and the Four Points Lift Line. Another excellent choice!
We then rode up Storm Peak and visited the Buddy Werner statue at the top, as you do, only to find that he’s lost a lot of stature of late: he’s over 14 feet tall in summer, and with all of the Steamboat snow, he now hits me right about shoulder level.
James and I then headed off to the right of Buddy’s Run onto the Ridge, where we found more perfectly untracked deep snow on a favorite steep hillside. A happy skier approached and announced he had no idea where he was, so we took him with us on one of THE BEST runs ever: from The Ridge we rode through my precious little munchkin forest, crossed over Buddy’s to the trees on skier’s left, turned right down the Bar UE lift line, crossed over the bottom of Cyclone into the woods above Tornado Lane, back down Four Points lift line and through the trees above Storm Peak Lift back down to the chair. What a long, random, crazy, playful ride – we just leapfrogged along making decisions on the fly and having a blast. (Our tag-along skier accused us of trying to kill a flatlander, but he was smiling as he said it and then skied away with a wave.) James and I next decided it was our duty to inspect the Shadows/Closet trees and share our findings, so for our final upper mountain run we entered the forest just at Side Burn and stayed right most of the way down, where to our delight we found plenty of untouched and bottomless stashes. We traversed gradually left as we descended and came out of the trees midway down Moonlight and then headed down to the Elkhead lift. We chose upper Valley View for our last big run, where I enjoyed the on-piste messy snow, and James rode the trees, and then we eased our way down Sitz/See Me/Stampede and back to the office. WOW!
Here are the numbers for today, February 7 , 2011:
- Cumulative snowfall to date: 287″/729cm
- Snow base at mid-mountain: 81″/205cm
- Snow base at the summit: 108″/274
- New snow 24 hours: 7″/17cm
- New snow in 48 hours: 20″/50cm
- Current conditions: still DUMPING snow (I’m going to have to clear the driveway again when I get home…)
Wish you were here!