Surprisingly good powder skiing in the trees

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Today is the traditional Scholarship Day when the Steamboat Ski Area donates all ticket sales to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. I received varied reports yesterday as to the conditions up top, and with some of the reports indicating good skiing and others not so good, I ventured out to explore the Priest Creek area myself (encompasses Closet, Shadows, Sundown lift line and then all the way across the O’Clocks to High Noon).

Skier traffic is limited by skiers and riders having to skate/slide as much as 1.25 miles on the Duster cat track back to Rainbow saddle. For those willing to do the work, I thought the skiing in any of the tree shelterd northern and northwestern aspects excellent. There is about 36” of dense base snow, with only about the top foot penetrated by the springy and buttery turns. Coverage is excellent. However, I did find some of the no-so-good reported to be on the open runs with southern or western aspects where wind and sun had compacted the powder into a crust.

Also ripping fun was White Out, which has a northern aspect and thus great snow. That run develops lots of bumps early in the ski season, however today it was soft and flat. I was able to make wonderful long and medium radius turns from top to bottom, and I can’t remember when that was possible!

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