Steamboat CO Jan 6, 7 and 8


New member
Our visit to Steamboat Springs this past weekend helped remind me why it's such a great place to be (and ski)
We found an el cheapo deal thru central rez on lifts and lodging, in an older motel (but clean and quiet, with a hot tub - Nordic Lodge) downtown, which included skiing Friday afternoon, and showed up at noon for an impromptu tailgate lunch in the parking lot.
Steamboat has been getting the brunt of Colorado storms so far this year (with Summit County, Vail and Aspen not too far behind, and southern CO limping along on the meager leftovers)

Friday was warm and mostly sunny, there was still plenty of soft snow, many runs were in desperate need of skiers to flesh out some significant moguls, so we participated in their construction. There's a few areas near the top where rocks are still exposed due to the wind, but coverage is excellent, the Sun am report was 60" mid-mt, 80" at the summit.

Saturday's skies were full of high cirrus clounds promising a 'Boatload of powder from the next storm, someday.... we hiked up the short ridge to check out North St. Pat's the last refuge of in-bound powder, and found it well-tracked but extremely light and soft. There's plenty of nice groomed runs off the top, but it seems they get hit hard, and the "funnel zones" approaching the lifts are uncomforably packed with skiers-- a mixed blessing though, as the the snow in the glades was great, soft with easy-turning moguls. We skied Shadows, one of the legendary aspen-gladed runs -it was in great shape. Shadows faces southwest, so the snow can get slushed up/iced up with just a little sun/clouds.

Sunday morning, we checked out the weather channel, to see how the storm forecast to hit in the afternoon would affect the drive home, but somehow forgot the First rule- look out the window! There, amid the numerous swirling flakes, 3 feet away, was my car covered in 5 inches of powder! We were one of the first 400 people in the gondola line, and headed straight to the powder stashed in the northern-most triangle of storm peak. The snow report was 15" on top, but it was not the trademarked "champagne powder" - more like cheap chardonnay-- which was ok, sometimes quantity is appreciated as much as quality. The top of the peak was getting blasted by the tail edge of the storm, so that the moguls were well-hidden by both drifting and falling snow. Lower down, on the newer- but still seemingly undiscovered after several years- Pony Express chair, the snow was only lightly tracked up at midmorning.
Everyone on the slopes appeared soaked to the skin, covered with snow, and grinning.
The key to happiness is low expectations- instead of the expected miserable pre-storm grayness and blasting wind we enjoyed fabulous mid-storm grayness and blasting wind, which I very much prefer.