Here is the first of our reports straight from Steamboat, Colorado. Jenny O'Farrell, Steamboat's International Sales Manager, will be bringing you regular updates during the course of the season on what's what on and off the slopes in Steamboat.

Saturday 19 Dec.

"Today I finally put away the golf clubs and acknowledged winter's obvious intention to stick around for a few months, and boy, am I glad I did!  My first turns on the mountain this year were so much fun!  As we spoiled rotten long-time locals often do, I've been waiting for that first epic dump of Champagne Powder snow for my season debut, but a text from my pal Tele Kelly this morning inviting me out for a few runs changed my timeline.  The 64 inches/162cm of natural snow that have fallen so far, the excellent work of our very talented Steamboat snowmaking crew, and the sustained sub-freezing temperatures have combined just perfectly for some great early season skiing and riding conditions. After having checked to make sure I had remembered all of my gear, we headed up the Gondola.  I was thinking of heading down Vagabond to confirm muscle memory from last April, but Kelly convinced me to head down Rudi's Run to Blizzard to the Storm Peak lift to head up the mountain instead.  And right she was!  My first turns on Rudi's had me hooked all over again, and we enjoyed some fabulous runs.  Buddy's Run is smoothly groomed with about 1 inch /2.5cm of soft frosting from the flurries that have been falling all morning.  Cyclone, on the other hand, is a challenging mogul field, but I was connecting my turns quite well mostly, with one gentle face plant about halfway down.

Even Tornado Lane, known to be a bit firm on the best of days, had perfectly adequate coverage and some loose snow for carving on the flatter bits.  We rode Storm Peak lift again to cross over to Sunshine Peak, where we enjoyed a fast descent down High Noon and across Rendezvous Saddle to Rolex.  Rolex was a bit messy, with quite a few pine saplings showing their tips, but the snow was sweet.  Next we rode Elkhead up and made our way down Heavenly Daze, which is in great shape, and on to See Me, where we stopped to admire the jumps being built on the moguls course for the Olympic Trails coming to Steamboat December 23-24.  They're huge!  Then it was down Stampede and back to my desk to tell you all about my day. Steamboat is ready for you - come check us out! Happy Winter - Happy Holidays! Jenny!