New lifts and new terrain are open in Steamboat as of Wednesday morning, bringing the open totals to 6 lifts, 24 trails and 148 acres on a 16-inch base. With this new terrain opening, what is especially impressive is that we still haven’t received much in the way of natural snow the past 10 days. Dare I say that it almost seems magic?
Just like it’s magic that our Elf on the Shelf flies to the North Pole each night and returns to a different place in our home each morning, it almost seems magic that this new terrain has opened and that the base has grown. Almost. The snowmaking and grooming crews are behind the magic, and have done a truly amazing job opening as much new terrain as possible. In fact, Steamboat recently broke snowmaking records! Having invested millions of dollars in snowmaking infrastructure and highly-efficient snow guns over the past few years, Steamboat has been able to open all of this terrain without help from Mother Nature.
Four Points lift opened Wednesday morning, whisking skiers and riders up to 9,716 feet in elevation. From the top of Four Points, open terrain includes middle Giggle Gulch, Park Lane, Short Cut, upper Rainbow, Skyline, upper Burgess Creek Lift Line, upper Hurricane and White Out.
I chose to ski Rainbow and thoroughly enjoyed carving some nice turns on the grippy corduroy. With warmer temperatures at mid-mountain, the early-morning snow allowed for trusting turns on Rudi’s and Rainbow. Both runs were dressed in those smooth little ripples (corduroy) that we all love when it’s not a powder day in the ‘Boat.
Riding up Four Points lift, you’ll notice that the snowmaking crews have turned their attention to Buddy’s Run and other areas around Storm Peak Express. Having had overnight humidity in the teens paired with lower temperatures, snowmaking crews have been able to work around the clock, so hopefully this trend with continue for them, and hopefully Mother Nature will also start to cooperate and bring Steamboat (and Colorado) some snow!
Snow is in the forecast over the next 10 days, so hopefully that will hold true. What I do know is that my aunt, uncle and cousins arrive on the 21st, and whenever they come to Steamboat, they seem to bring the snow with them. They were here for the 27-inch powder day in February 2012, when the snow was so deep that it nearly covered up my youngest cousin. I’m not particularly a superstitious person; however, I do know that almost every time they come to Steamboat (and they come every winter), the snow seems to follow them here.
The mountain is starting to look quite festive for the holidays. On Sunday, it will be hosting a Holiday Festival in the afternoon. Come to Gondola Square to see Santa ride down the slopes on horseback and then meet him at his workshop, along with some of his reindeer friends.
Participate in cookie decorating and the stocking scramble, all while listening to a free concert. End your afternoon with a torchlight parade and fireworks, and start your evening with some Night Skiing (immediately following the fireworks). We’ll be there with our kiddos, hope to see you there as well!
Erin Campbell, Alpine skier
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