Black Friday? Bah humbug.

There’s snow, and we’re skiing! It’s a white Friday in Steamboat.

A couple weeks ago, I was in the sub-Arctic, chillin’ on the tundra with wild and wondrous polar bears.  Fall in the far north was warm, much like it has been in the Rockies. Alas, it’s safe to say that during the past week, winter finally arrived in both Steamboat Springs (a.k.a. Ski Town U.S.A.) and Churchill, Manitoba (a.k.a. the polar bear capital of the world). As sea ice crystallized on Hudson Bay, snow fell on Steamboat. I’m confident polar bears hungry for seals are giving thanks just as heartily as all us skiers and riders on the hunt for fresh pow.

Steamboat’s resident polar bear is eager to greet your little ones at the base area.

Temperatures have turned cold and the snow storms are lining up. Snowmaking guns are blazing so hard that the mountain looks like it’s  making its own weather system. We’re seeing blue skies today, but it’s chilly and the forecast sees another foot of snow on the horizon. In the meantime, we’re lapping fresh, firm  corduroy on Christie Peak Express, and it’s feelin’ fine!

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Fresh cord on Vogue for your post-Thanksgiving pleasure.

There is a lot to be grateful for in Steamboat. In the spirit of  my pie-induced Thanksgiving hangover,  here’s a rambling list of things I’m especially thankful for as I embark on my silver anniversary of skiing Steamboat.

  • Snow. Twenty-four inches in the past week. And with humble gratitude, Mother Nature, we’re eager  for more. In the interim, thanks Team Snowmakers!
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Blue skies and a wispy fog of snowmaking on the Steamboat Ski Area.
  • Newton, my true-blue Steamboat dog, who wildly celebrates every millimeter of snow like it’s a hip-deep dump. Perspective, my dear skiing humans. Perspective.
  • New wax and a fresh tune. This fall miracle makes my grungy old Tele gear feel positively spunky.
  • Sparkling clean air and an abundance of pristine water, plus public lands like the awe-inspiring Routt National Forest that is home to my favorite ski area. Let’s protect these pristine natural resources that belong to all of us!
  • Joel Gratz and his Steamboat-focused Open Snow report. Gratz feeds us a steady dose of solid analysis to obsess about all the weather to come.
  • Booty Barre and the burly mountain women at Steamboat Pilates who made my thighs burn while my booty prepared itself for ski season.
  • Leftovers. Because pumpkin pie was delicious with my coffee this morning.
  • Leftovers part deux. Because turkey with all the fixings is going to be delicious après ski.
  • Warren Miller, who got us extra stoked for ski season with his new ski film at the historic Chief Theater last weekend. Plus, he knocked one off my bucket list with a surprise cameo (me on the dance floor, not the slopes) in the Steamboat sequence.

If you’re shopping today, keep it local. Steamboat is home to cool local-made products and family-owned businesses worthy of your support this holiday season. Or if you’re like me, avidly not shopping today, it’s a heck of a day to be outside in Colorado! Stay bundled and festive for an extra special annual holiday lighting of Lincoln Avenue tonight in downtown Steamboat.

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Billy at the base. Snow blowing on the mountain.

Cheers to the beginning of another irresistible season on the slopes!

 

Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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