By Veronica Whitney, El Montas
Blue skies, powdery snow still, 20 degree temperature and trails sometimes all to yourself. Is that what you envision as your perfect day of skiing? If it is, then don't wait any longer and head up to the mountains in Colorado. And I mean now! Not in ten days when the resort areas will be crowded.
Last Sunday, Dec. 15, was the first day we went skiing. I mean alpine skiing since we started the season early skinning up the mountain and skiing the backcountry where you still have to be careful because of the conditions right now: there are still rocks and fallen trees on your way down.
So we went to Snowmass and we had a blast with my husband Charlie. The conditions were as I described at the beginning of the blog. Even though it hasn't snowed for a week, we still found quite a bit of powder on many runs and where it was groomed it was still powdery enough that you could hold very healthy edges without trying too hard.
As we hit the slopes I noticed right away I was a little overdressed wearing a down jacket, which is probably what you needed the previous week with the sub zero temps we had for a week. But today was typical Colorado winter weather: sunny (not a cloud) and pretty warm. Cozy enough to have lunch on the deck (bring your sunglasses!)
I was snowboarding and it was just perfect! When I ski I don't mind when the runs get a little hard and icy, but the conditions were ideal for boarding since it was soft and very consistent coverage.
We were pleasantly surprised with the great conditions this early in the season. We even ended our day skiing down Long Shot (the longest run in the mountain) where we found the best snow in the mountain. Also loved all the Big Burn area trails including very safe tree skiing on many runs. And it is so quiet up there that you feel you are the only one on the mountain. No lines in the lifts and even the restaurants feel very quiet with plenty of space to seat and enjoy a healthy lunch with amazing views of the slopes.
So if you can make it to the mountains, come now and take advantage of great conditions!