Joel Reichenberger: Tuesday’s snow was tops
April 5, 2009
Steamboat Springs — There are a lot of things I simply don’t understand.
I don’t understand why, when trying to type the word “for” into a text message with my cell phone, it automatically writes “emp” instead.
I don’t understand why snow melts even if the temperature is well below freezing.
And I really don’t understand why Monday was a great day to ski and Wednesday was a good day, but Tuesday was the best day I’ve ever experienced.
Tuesday was the perfect storm for me and for Steamboat.
The mountain was primed to offer locals a day they wouldn’t soon forget.
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The slopes felt nearly abandoned. The Knoll Parking Lot was plenty full, but that the tourist season is on its last leg was never more evident than when it felt hard to find a skier to match each car from that lot.
Tuesday always feels like one of the slowest days of the week anyway, but with NASTAR now gone and spring breakers mostly back in class, there just weren’t many people around.
It wasn’t too cold, either. It snowed all day, but the wind was tame enough everywhere but the tip-top of the Morningside chairlift.
The weather and the lack of a crowd were nice, but the real gift was the snow.
It was the kind of day that made me feel like a great skier.
Despite a season of work and tips from some of the ski area’s best ski school instructors, that’s still fairly hard to do.
I felt like I was skiing in a postcard – blasting through powder with my knees together, a fine mist of fallen snow rising to my face.
I learned to love powder that deep because it’s hard to screw up. It was hard to go fast through that much snow, and I had ample time to correct any mistake. Plus, with your skies buried three feet under the powder, no one can see an ugly turn.
Not that a mistake and a fall mattered much, anyway. Falling in snow like that is about as comfortable as falling into bed.
Skiing has never felt so easy. I covered the mountain, skied everything from the powder below Pony Express to the trees in Morningside, and there wasn’t a single regrettable moment.
I left the mountain at about 4 p.m. and was back early Wednesday, just 17 hours later.
Although another dose of fresh snow ensured it still was fun, it was hard to believe it was the same mountain.
Wednesday’s snow slowed me to a crawl, and, unlike the powder from the day before, it was hard to turn through and difficult to manage. I got stuck with seemingly every adventure outside a previously trod path.
In 17 hours, I went from blasting through a Larry Pierce photo to stumbling down a blooper reel.
The snow and the experience changed entirely in just one night.
And that, I don’t emp one minute understand.
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