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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!

More fall colors from from the Steamboat Ski Area

Monday, September 30, 2013

looking down towards Moonlight from Duster It’s remarkable what a day of sun will do to dry out the mountain, as I was able to ride to 9000 feet and snap some more pictures of our rapidly evolving fall landscape. The picture on the left was taken from Duster looking down towards Moonlight and highlights the South Valley of Routt County. The picture on the right is a similar perspective, but vertically oriented. looking down towards Moonlight from Duster

looking up Twilight from Duster Moving further up Duster towards Rendezvous Lodge, the picture on the left was taken from Duster looking up into the Twilight trees. Lastly, the picture on the right was taken near Rendezvous saddle looking up towards High Noon. looking up towards High Noon from Duster

Chilly mountain bike ride, but beautiful fall color

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Looking up at Storm Peak from just below the Creekside/Tenderfoot  intersection

After our first significant wintry mix down in the valley on Friday, some portions of the trail had dried enough by  the end of the day to venture out. I was able to get to just below 9000′ on the BC Skiway portion of Tenderfoot before turning around in chilly 39F temperatures, but was able to capture Storm Peak with snow in the pines and color on the aspen near sunset. I’m guessing around 6” up top based upon a similar amount recorded at the Tower Snotel site located on Buffalo Pass at a similar elevation to Mt. Werner

Fall colors above 9500 feet

Monday, September 23, 2013

After an interminable monsoon and a very wet September, fall colors are appearing above above about 9500 feet, at least as of the fall equinox. A storm blew threw last night and we also have our first snow about half way up Mt. Werner. The colors started later than usual due to the warm and wet conditions in the first part of the month, but it appears the color will be good this year, although not long-lasting due to the late start.

Looking down Sunshine Loop

The picture on the left was taken on the Sunshine Trail in the Priest Creek area looking down toward Rendezvous Lodge. The picture on the right is taken on Pet’s Wicked Trail just above the intersection with Cathy’s Cutoff.

looking up Pete's Wicked Trail just above Cathy's Cutoff

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