What a Little Snow Can Do

I wouldn’t normally just copy and paste an article from the Pilot, but the paper today did put this perfectly (minus the grammatical error in the first sentence)…There is a huge shift in the energy around Steamboat. Is it love in the air due to Valentines Day? Perhaps. But more likely, it’s due to the Champagne Powder that is also in the air. Champagne Powder. Two words magic to my ears, and two words we haven’t been able to use much this season.

We are so spoiled here in Steamboat. No lift lines, fresh tracks, lots of terrain… what a glorious mountain.

“Steamboat Springs — Now, this is what powderhounds in Steamboat Springs are used to.

Almost forgotten were the days when weather forecasters called for a slight chance of snow before noon and it turned into a daylong dump.

It’s mid-February, and some people had yet to take their fat powder skis out of the closet. Others forgot how much work it can be to play in deep snow.

“I can’t feel anything from my waist down,” said Steamboat resident Cherith Whiteman, who was exhausted after Tuesday’s fun at Steamboat Ski Area. “We got a late start on the season, and it’s finally here, and everyone is really enthusiastic.”

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, the ski area had received 28.5 inches of snow at midmountain in the past seven days. That’s 5 inches more than what the ski area saw the entire month of December, and it’s a good portion of January’s total of 39 inches.

“This long storm cycle has just improved everyone’s moods and made them excited to get back on the slopes,” ski area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said. “Obviously, it was a slow start to the season, and this was just the weather we were looking for to get everyone excited about getting on the mountain again.”

Skiers and riders on Tuesday had access to “free refills” throughout the day during periods of heavy snow.

“People are skiing the same trail, and by the time they get back up on to the slopes, their tracks are covered,” Kasten said.

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President Chris Diamond was one of the many local skiers who left the office to take a few runs.

“It’s unbelievable,” Diamond said. “Deceptively deep.”

The snowfall was a welcome sight to the ski area’s guests, many of whom came on their ski vacations despite knowing Colorado’s resorts were struggling in the snow department.

“We landed here and found nothing, but you delivered (and) we’re happy,” Connecticut resident Hal Taylor said.

Taylor also was enjoying the temperatures, which he found warm enough for shorts.

“I play golf in shorts, and I ski in shorts, especially on a day in the 30s,” Taylor said. “This is warm.”

With the most recent storm, the ski area now has 97 percent of its terrain open covering 2,885 acres. Runs still closed include Sunnyside located under the Elkhead lift and No Names, which is accessible via a hike from the top of the Morningside lift.

“This snowfall can definitely help prepare that to be opened,” Kasten said.

Snow is forecast through Wednesday, and another storm is expected to hit the region beginning Sunday.

With the recent snowfall, Kasten said skiers and riders should exercise caution in deep-snow conditions and know that there are avalanche-prone areas just outside the ski area boundary.

“The old adage of, ‘There are no friends on a powder day,’ doesn’t quite exist anymore,” Kasten said. “There is always room for friends, and it’s always the best idea to ski with friends.”

The ski area is trying to get the safety message across, but it has also been focusing on sending a strong snow message across the country using social media and traditional media as the Presidents Day holiday weekend approaches.

“People tend to base their drive-distance trips on where the snow is falling, so for the Front Range skiers in Denver, it’s wonderful to be able to get that message out that it’s dumping snow in Steamboat, and this weekend is a perfect time to load up the car … and spend some time in the ‘Boat,” Kasten said.”

This weekend, President’s weekend, promises to be a lot of fun with something for everyone. There is still time to book a last minute trip out here…get to it, you will not be disappointed.

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1750 Medicine Springs Dr.
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

PO Box 880493
Steamboat Springs, CO 80488
Phone: 970-846-9449

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