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Late spring conditions questions [mid-March at Steamboat]

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey guys!

 

I'm going out to colorado for my first time, and I'm obviously crossing my fingers for perfect conditions. However, I'd like to manage my expectations. I'm curious about a kind of "worst case scenario" for late spring run conditions (specifically mid-march, steamboat): In your experience, if it hasn't snowed in a while and temps are warmer during the day/freeze at night, does the snow get hard and crusty? Will any "main" (ungroomed runs, lift lines, etc) ungroomed areas completely consist of moguls? Will there be any untouched areas out in the glades?

 

Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 13
Yes. Could be all of the above. It could also be 18" of sweet pow. Spring can be incredibly good or disappointing firm at SB. I'd say I've experienced more of the good than the bad though.

Mike
post #3 of 13
Mid March isn't really late spring, mid April is. This year you won't have to worry about the base, just the surface conditions, which can vary.
Spring skiing is all about exposures. If you know the mountain, you can often ski good snow all day.
You might consider taking a lesson from a veteran instructor, just to show you the ropes.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm741852963 View Post
 

Hey guys!

 

I'm going out to colorado for my first time, and I'm obviously crossing my fingers for perfect conditions. However, I'd like to manage my expectations. I'm curious about a kind of "worst case scenario" for late spring run conditions (specifically mid-march, steamboat): In your experience, if it hasn't snowed in a while and temps are warmer during the day/freeze at night, does the snow get hard and crusty? Will any "main" (ungroomed runs, lift lines, etc) ungroomed areas completely consist of moguls? Will there be any untouched areas out in the glades?

 

Thanks for your help!

Welcome to EpicSki!  I get the sense you usually ski in the northeast.  Where do you like to ski the most?

 

Paging @Finndog . . . who is the EpicSki Ambassador for Steamboat.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Welcome to EpicSki!  I get the sense you usually ski in the northeast.  Where do you like to ski the most?

Thanks for the welcome! I'm from the Midwest and I've never skied on a true mountain (I'm excited to ski for more than 90 seconds at a time!)
Edited by mm741852963 - 2/1/14 at 12:49pm
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

Spring skiing is all about exposures and elevation. If you know the mountain, you can often ski good snow all day.

 

Don't forget about elevation.   The higher the better, and Steamboat is pretty low for CO.   March at Steamboat is more like April at the higher elevation CO areas, but that's still pretty darn good.

post #7 of 13

If it's crusty from the previous day's hot weather, just follow the sun.  You may have to wait until 10 AM or so, but there's still fun to be had.  The hottest day I've ever skied was at Steamboat in early April, 65 F and it was a blast.  The bottom of the mountain gets really sloppy, but it's not unskiable.  Steamboat will take care of you.

 

Here's a pic of that day (4/7/07) my kids messing around.

 

post #8 of 13

Here's what the base looked like that day - box race day!  Some bare spots, but still lots of skiable terrain.

 

post #9 of 13

If the weather brings you the freeze/thaw cycle, no rush to get out in the morning when everything's hard.  Relax, go up late morning and start with the areas that have already seen the sun.  Inversions are common at SB, often times the upper mountain is/will warm faster than down below.  The outdoor "apres" is fantastic in the spring.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm741852963 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Welcome to EpicSki!  I get the sense you usually ski in the northeast.  Where do you like to ski the most?

Thanks for the welcome! I'm from the Midwest and I've never skied on a true mountain (I'm excited to ski for more than 90 seconds at a time!)

I'm sure you'll have a great time.  Even though Steamboat is relatively low altitude for Colorado, be good to read up on high altitude adjustment.  I usually don't expect to be ready for a full day of hard skiing until Day 2 or 3, depending on conditions and what altitude I'm sleeping at.  This EpicSki article is a good place to start:

 

http://www.epicski.com/a/altitude-adaptation-and-acute-mountain-sickness

 

I know what you mean about skiing longer before riding a lift.  The longer runs at my home mountain in Virginia take me about 2 min when I'm on my own and not waiting for someone else.  As I remember, Steamboat has some fun long groomers.  I was there for a few days long ago as an intermediate.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm741852963 View Post
 

Hey guys!

 

I'm going out to colorado for my first time, and I'm obviously crossing my fingers for perfect conditions. However, I'd like to manage my expectations. I'm curious about a kind of "worst case scenario" for late spring run conditions (specifically mid-march, steamboat): In your experience, if it hasn't snowed in a while and temps are warmer during the day/freeze at night, does the snow get hard and crusty? Will any "main" (ungroomed runs, lift lines, etc) ungroomed areas completely consist of moguls? Will there be any untouched areas out in the glades?

 

Thanks for your help!

  Sorry for the delay folks I was skiing 15" of blower yesterday....  ;)

 

So actually Greg pretty much nailed it.  If if hasn't snowed in that long yes it will be hard in the AM due to freezing overnight. once it does warm up, spring soft snow is a blast and I really enjoy it a lot. There will be many ares of ungroomed, specifically Pony Express area, The Ridge and of course, all the trees. March is typically a good snow month but we can get heavier snow. It really all depends on the good graces of Ullr.  Feel Free to PM me or post up any other questions. I am in the process of rebuilding the Steamboat page but have already posted up some much better links to weather and such.  

post #12 of 13
Finn described the usual situation, but just for full disclosure, there are days (fewer) when it doesn't warm sufficiently to soften the snow. Skiing isn't much fun when that happens. It's more likely to occur in early March than in April.

But there's always the possibility that you'll encounter such conditions anywhere you go. Because Steamboat is lower than most Colorado resorts it tends to have more thawing than the other resorts. Personally, if I can't ski powder, a good bit of corn/slush is a close second.

Mike
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

Finn described the usual situation, but just for full disclosure, there are days (fewer) when it doesn't warm sufficiently to soften the snow. Skiing isn't much fun when that happens. It's more likely to occur in early March than in April.

But there's always the possibility that you'll encounter such conditions anywhere you go. Because Steamboat is lower than most Colorado resorts it tends to have more thawing than the other resorts. Personally, if I can't ski powder, a good bit of corn/slush is a close second.

Mike

AMEN BROTHER!!!

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