The second-to-last day on the mountain started with good ol’ classic fun. Cardboard Classic fun, that is. Today marked the 35th annual Cardboard Classic, and boy, oh, boy was it FUN! I’m talking Banana Splits, Elementary Engineers (dressed as Coca-Cola polar bears), a Hot Mess Mario Cart, Puff the Magic Dragon, Dumpster Divers, Cool Runnings and many, many more.
Participants in the Cardboard Classic should be commended on their awesome level of creativity in general, but when you consider the construction restrictions, it’s truly spectacular. These homemade cardboard crafts are constructed only from cardboard, glue, string, water-based paint, duct tape, masking tape, balloons and other decorations.
Going two at a time, kids race first, followed by the adults. My son is not quite 2, but soon enough, I’m imagining we’ll be pulling all-nighters working on our own, creatively homemade cardboard sleds.
If you do participate, you have 5 chances to win an award in the following categories: Coca-Cola Classic, Best Individual Craft, Judges Choice, Most Creative and Best Reproduction. And, regardless of if you win any sort of award, you’re guaranteed to have a great time. Nice job Steamboat, what a great way to celebrate the second-to-last day on the mountain. Classic and fun.
Besides good ol’ classic fun at the base, upper mountain is still in great shape, providing good ol’ classic fun for skiers and riders. If you look up at the mountain, you might be skeptical – I don’t really blame you. Spring came early this year, and you can almost say that it’s downright balmy in Steamboat. I haven’t been on the mountain in a week, but I have been hearing reports all week long about the fantastic spring conditions. My father-in-law in particular loves spring skiing, and he’s been raving about the conditions. I may have been slightly skeptical myself as I rode up the gondola this morning, but after riding runs like Buddy’s Run, Rainbow, Rudi’s Run and Heavenly Daze around midday, I was blown away. Trust me, these runs are all in tip-top shape for spring skiing and, surprisingly, have great coverage.
Runs facing south/southwest will be the first runs to get a little too slushy and perhaps a little sticky. I took a run down Moonlight, and it had seen quite a bit of sun but still offered some good ol’ spring fun. I would recommend sticking to Storm and Four Points lifts as those runs face north/northeast and don’t get as much sunlight throughout the day. Plus, you can easily pop in Four Points Lodge for an afternoon snack and/or refreshment. Buddy’s, Rainbow, Rudi’s and Tornado Lane were all dressed in soft, slushy crystals (not the sticky kind), making for the absolute perfect spring skiing conditions.
Heavenly Daze was a great ride down, but do beware, below the gates, it gets a little dicey and you’ll want to watch out for dirt patches and potential rocks. But good news, when you do make it down, you’ll have a nice little beach where you can kick back, relax and enjoy the warm, afternoon sun.
Don’t miss out on some more classic fun this afternoon in Gondola Square as the Infamous Stringdusters take the stage at 3:30pm. Out of Nashville, they’re a combination of virtuosic chops on five traditional bluegrass instruments. Today is bluegrass, tomorrow is reggae as Steel Pulse takes the stage at 3:30pm to celebrate the official close of another great ski season.
Despite a low snowfall year and a lack of endless Champagne Powder® days, it’s been a really great season. The recurring theme all season long was what great shape the mountain was in day in and day out despite some challenging weather patterns. Groomers were better than ever this year, and I think we all found a new appreciation for that soft, grippy, pristine corduroy. As a stay-at-home mom, I’m stoked to say that I’ll clock 33 days on the mountain this year, plus a few nights of riding. Straight Talking has been a blast, and I hope to see you all again next year.
Until then, I hope you get out on your bikes and get those legs into biking shape because Steamboat’s bike season kicks off on June 11. Just as this mountain has some super awesome ski trails, it also has some super awesome bike trails. Happy Saturday and happy closing weekend!
Signing off for the season…
Erin Campbell, snowboarder