Writing the final Straight Talk Report of the season is a little bittersweet. On the one hand, we couldn't have ended on a better note... ever. Last night's powder dump is nothing short of spectacular. On the other hand, posting this article means another season is officially in the bag. If the next 50 years turn out to be as unforgettable as the last, the Steamboat Ski Resort is poised to hold a place in history unlike any other resort in the nation.
First and foremost I should probably document the skiing conditions, if nothing more than for posterity sake. In a word... KILLER! Loading the gondola this morning I saw a sight I haven't quite noticed for the last month or so. I witnessed a line of locals pressing their noses on the entry glass just chomping at the bit to get first tracks on what is truly a powder day in The 'Boat. After my first run down Rudi's to Lightning, I was joined by a gaggle of cheerful, smiling snow junkies in the lift line. We were all laughing like school girls at the fact that it's closing day and we're plowing through ankle deep snow. Creamy, forgiving, and "floatacious" is how I would describe it. (Is "floatacious" a word? It is now.)
The sun is out and this is the quintessential bluebird day on the mountain. It seemed like every photo I took this morning belonged on a postcard. I personally can't wait to share this post with all of my friends who unfortunately didn't get a chance to experience such a memorable day in Steamboat like I did. I can hear the dismay in their voices now.
Now... it's time to get a little sentimental. This season, as a whole, was filled to the brim with so many cool and unique memories it's impossible to recap them all today. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the resort meant a golden gondola flying overhead, a 700lb birthday cake we consumed in January, top-notch live concerts on the Steamboat Stage, vintage memorabilia and more. Even events like the "Vintage Skiwear Fashion Show" last weekend held the limelight as part of the reminiscence. All in all, this year marks a distinctive place in the history of the resort and the staff, local population, and guests all played their part in making it very special.
So as you begin to think about packing up your winter gear until next season, let me leave you with one piece of advice. Whether you're able to make it on the mountain today or not, please remember that this life is a gift given to each and every one of us. How you choose to unwrap and enjoy that gift is up you. I for one have decided to spend my gift in the great outdoors, soaking in every bit of Mother Nature's glory I possibly can. For you it might be something different. But regardless how you spend the majority of your days on earth, your days in Steamboat will hopefully hold a special place close to your heart.
I can still remember my first run down the hill over 15 years ago. And I will long remember my last run down the slopes in 2013. Enjoy your day, enjoy the mountain, and enjoy life.
Until next season...
David Wittlinger, Alpine Skier