28 March 2011: Jen’s Steamboat Update
When my buddy Lev pointed out early this morning that the snow gods have set their Steamboat clocks back to winter and asked to borrow my camera for his Straight Talk report, I of course selflessly offered my assistance. We headed down Rudi’s Run from the top of the Gondola and knew immediately we were in for a treat: 7″ of new snow with an ever-so-slightly dense texture that provides a perfect powder carvy ride on our snowboards. As we approached the top of the Storm Peak chair, low visibility helped us choose the Triangle 3 trees to Cyclone, and what a ride it was, with deep powder and some surprising drifts to get us off the ground.
Back up Storm Peak we giggled our way down The Ridge/Big Meadow. Few lucky riders had gone before us, and we were able to both keep each other in sight and make wide sweeping virgin tracks all the way down the slope. Next we crossed over to the woods off skier’s left of Buddy’s Run, where we played around in the aspens in deep snow, and then we eased our way down Tornado Lane and back to the lift. For a last upper mountain exploration on behalf of our esteemed readers, we crossed Highline from Storm Peak over to Sunshine Peak to see what was happening in Wally World. We traversed High Noon – sweetly groomed with a thick layer of frosting – and the top of Flintlock – ditto – and let gravity funnel us down Quickdraw, playing around the soft and deep edges of the run and in and out of the trees. Next we hit Rolex, beautifully groomed overnight, but ended up in the trees to the right for most of the descent. The snow was a bit less forgiving here, but the perfect spacing of the trees confirmed this spot as one of my favorites on the mountain, despite another upside-down in the snow moment. Then it was Elkhead lift up and on to Valley View, where we found the sun just starting to light up the Yampa Valley in a most extraordinary way. Lev and I have always been big fans of this steep lower mountain run, and as we surfed our way in tandem in gorgeous powder down skier’s right, we actually paused for a contented fist bump.
You know it’s a fantastic day on the mountain when even the final turns down Stampede are fun and fluffy, assuming you stay somewhat tight to the base area fencing…
I feel truly privileged to have snowboarded in Steamboat today. For the 3rd time in four years we’re celebrating a 400″ season, and snow is forecast through the entire week. You’ve got another 14 days to enjoy some amazing Steamboat turns this winter – see you here?