Steamboat’s winter wonderland is wide open. In fact, Steamboat has more open terrain than any other Colorado ski area right now. Yep, that’s 150 trails on more than 2,300 acres. Bragging rights secured — because more IS better. Steamboat is a giddy place to be right now, with plenty of space for everyone to spread out and enjoy a holiday weekend on the slopes.

Storm Peak from Surprise

Cruise the groomed expanse off Tomahawk or hike to the classic stashes off Pony Express. Ski patrol dropped the rope on that advanced terrain, long-known to locals for its fine powder stashes, just yesterday. Middle Rib awaits, pow seekers. Plus, the ski resort is a safe place to hike and ride right now, while reports are filing in of avalanche conditions in the backcountry’s “touchy snowpack.”

Bluegrass, folk and good jokes in line at the gondola

Don’t be daunted by the morning gondola line. Enjoy it, because the Yampa Valley Boys are keepin’ it light with live music. Lines are brisk and short up top, and there are plenty of runs you can have to your lonesome self. This morning, I was able to make wide, solo turns on the groomed expanse of Storm Peak Face, then down Sunset. I zipped down Vagabond and rode out the bumps (and admittedly, some twigs) without another soul on Surprise. And the top pick of the day: See Me with a perfect groom and zero skiers in my path.

Sunset’s view to the Flat Tops

These are the dwindling days of 2017. Last chance to check off the year’s bucket list, so make your memories a blast: Steamboat’s celebrations include two chances for fireworks this weekend, tonight and Sunday. What can we say, Steamboat likes fireworks.

The ole Man on the Moon is putting on a light show this weekend, too. New Year’s is a full moon. The Wolf Moon, to be precise. So, it will be extra merry and bright outside while you’re night skiing, riding the mountain coaster, sleigh riding or snowshoeing your favorite Emerald Mountain trail.

Follow the corduroy

Wishing you the happiest of grand finales for 2017!

See you next year!

Jennie Lay, telemark skier

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