A Fat Tuesday Indeed

Hello from a very sunny and bright Fat Tuesday in Steamboat!  It has been weird seeing the sun multiple days in a row this week, as it seems like we have had nothing but powder days most of this season.  While I am a total powder hound at heart, I do enjoy days of warm sun shining through a deep blue Colorado sky.  The mountain is very comfortable today with mild temperatures and plenty of sun shining down on the fresh corduroy for everyone to enjoy.

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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO-February 9, 2015-The Steamboat Powder 8 team of Travis Cooke and Ryan Watts took home sixth place out of a field of 22 teams from some of the best resorts in the Rocky Mountain region in the legendary Powder 8 Championships, which returned this winter after a 15-year hiatus.

“This is a fantastic showing by Travis and Ryan in their first Powder 8 competition,” said Nelson Wingard, Steamboat’s SnowSports School director.  “Steamboat is home to Champagne Powder® snow and these guys really skied their hearts out and represented Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A. ® in a big way among some amazing powder skiers.”

With judges looking for team synchronization, dynamic skiing and symmetry of the 8 (turn shape), the Steamboat team powered their way down Cody Bowl in the Jackson Hole backcountry to a score of 178.  A mere 13 points separated Cooke/Watts from overall event winners Jim Schanzenbaker and Thomas Roennau from Aspen, who scored a 191.

Powder 8 Top-10 Results

  1. Schanzenbaker/Roennau (Aspen)………. 191
  2. Herrin/Nedved (Big Sky/Crested Butte). 189
  3. Denny/Hewson (Jackson Hole Local)…. 187
  4. Cieciuch/Glanzing (Telluride)……………. 186
  5. Flynn/Flynn (Jackson Hole Local)……… 185
  6. Cooke/Watts (Steamboat)…………………. 178
  7. Levine/Puccia (Jackson Hole Local)…… 173
  8. Huber/Truss (Alta)…………………………… 168
  9. Flanagan/Leger (Jackson Hole Local)…. 167
  10. Hunt/Hunt (Jackson Hole Local)……….. 167

To earn their way to the competition, Cooke and Watts overcame a rigorous local process involving an application, essay and three-run scored tryout. They defeated three other Steamboat teams in the Steamboat finals to earn their spot in representing the resort at the big mountain powder competition. Both Watts and Cooke are trainers in the Steamboat SnowSports School and currently working to reach their next level of training accreditation.

The 2016 Powder 8 competition took place this past Saturday, February 6, 2016.  Before its return this winter, this nationally recognized competition ran from 1975 until 2001 and was first won by Pepi Stiegler and Peter Habeler. Over its more than two decade run, the event featured a long tradition of participating and winning teams from some of the best resorts in the Rocky Mountains.

Sponsored by GoPro and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the 2016 Powder 8 competition was an invitational team contest with over $10,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the top three places

-Happy Trails®

Spring is in the air?

I think it is. You might call me crazy. Maybe it’s all wishful thinking. It is only Feb. 8 after all, and spring often evades this valley until June. June is a long melt away. But there is the tiniest change in the air — just a hint of spring — and this winter-loving girl will take it.

One of the greatest things about the mountains is the dramatic variety of seasons.  Fall starts to show itself in late August, the afternoon shadows start to lengthen, and the smell of the earth is a little different. Same goes for spring. Just a week ago, I started to hear the birds. Yesterday afternoon, it was comfortable being outside in regular winter clothes rather than snow clothes head to toe. There are puddles in the roads. The days are suddenly getting longer.

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Slicing and Dicing

Today, for me, was mainly about ripping over some sweet groomed corduroy. There’s been so much powder in the last month I almost forgot how much I appreciate the sweet and supple thrill of slicing and dicing across the rippled terrain of freshly groomed snow.

With the big game on TV later this evening, I also felt compelled to get my exercise in early so as to avoid feeling guilty about gorging on hot wings and queso dip while I watch the Broncos become national champions. And since today’s snow was grippy and secure under my edges, leaning my entire weight on my downhill ski was of no concern at all. Shifting from one side to another in rapid fashion was the best way I could find to get my thighs burning and my heart pumping. I couldn’t help but act like Von Miller out there, ducking and dodging my way around any and all snow obstacles as I made my way to the quarterback (i.e. chairlift). Continue reading

Any Way You Want It

I have to call the ski report every morning now because what was a beautiful view of the south side of Sunshine Peak is now an eves deep load of snow.  My kitchen windows are literally buried!  All around town I hear things like: “There hasn’t been snow like this since ’96” or “Has it even been different fronts? Or is it just one looong storm?” and “That’s the biggest pile of snow in town, wait, I think that one’s bigger.” Today and tomorrow the city will take all of those crazy piles of snow and spread them down main street for horses, skiers, snowcats and snowmobiles to play and compete on.  The street events and diamond hitch parade are some of the most impressive facets of Steamboat Springs history, but I still think that the best part of the Winter Carnival is the plow trucks that push all the snow from the streets afterward.

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