Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Steamboat ski area reported 3” mid / 5” top at 5 am this morning, and by 1 pm the report had 7” mid / 10” top. Interestingly, there was 3” up top at 4 am and it snowed about an 1” / hr between 4 am and 9 am, except for a 2.5” burst between 4 am and 5 am - now THAT is Steamboat Magic!
More magic was in force on the other side of the Sunshine Peak ridge as over 16” of snow was measured in the early afternoon near the base of the Morningside lift! Satellite loops showed a persistent convective cell in the area from about 7 am to 2 pm that was likely the cause of the enhanced snowfall rates. And I measured as much of 20” in the Second Pitch!
Similar to last Tuesday, the skiing kept getting better as the snow accumulated and covered the last run’s tracks. The upper half of the upper mountain skied great all day, while the lower half benefited greatly from the additional snowfall during the day.
The first time I was in Shadows, for example, the lower parts were still crunchy, so I went over to the Twilight trees seeking a flatter pitch so as to keep above the hard surface. The skiing here was soft through the whole run, as expected. In fact, I did about four runs in a row as I kept finding untracked lines, and even the pitch below Duster skied great.
It seemed there was less snow over in the Rolex trees, but the Sundown and Priest Creek liflines skied soft and effortlessly. The 3:30 trees still had big swaths of uncut powder when I finally left that to check out what the additional snow had done for Shadows. By then, I was measuring almost a foot in the favored locations, and the skiing turned great for the entire run as the crunchies were well buried.
After several more runs in Closet and Shadows, I jumped into Morningside and was greeted by the 16”. It was a bit shocking to see that much snow back there, and I had enough time to lap Wake Up Call three times off the top - with face shots on the initial steep pitch. After that, one more hike to the top to ski the East Face, and then over to the Second Pitch to sample the 20”.
It’s always nice to be reminded of mid-winter skiing in the springtime, especially when the snow quality is fantastic!