Local Knowledge: Elisa Maines
By Dan Greeson
Ethan, Elisa, McKenzie and Adam Maines spend weekends making turns together at Steamboat Ski Area or exploring the backcountry on Rabbit Ears Pass. Photo by Elisa Maines.
What is your favorite run at Steamboat Ski Area to ski as a family?
From the top of the Gondola, start on Why Not to Norther for some easy bumps or the trees between Rudy’s Run and Norther. McKenzie’s all-time favorite trail is Heavenly Daze, where it’s wide and steep enough to make big carving turns. From there, we’re off to Rabbit Ears Terrain Park (Ethan’s favorite place on the mountain), where the kids launch themselves off jumps. We make some turns on the edge of the trail and try to keep up with them!
Any advice for keeping children happy while skiing all day?
A backpack full of healthy snacks, treats, hot chocolate and hand-warmers. Pull over and have a snack or head to a lodge to warm up if it’s cold. Know when to call it a day. Having fun is what it’s all about.
Where do you like to go for après ski?
The T-Bar. There’s a great food selection and the kids keep themselves entertained on the snow outside by building jumps, hiking uphill and skiing down to hit the jumps over and over again. We watch them with a beer in hand from the outdoor seating area.
On a snowy day off the slope, what do you recommend doing?
Strawberry Park Hot Springs during the day, or Old Town Hot Springs with water slides for kids. We like to cross-country ski to the top of Rabbit Ears Pass with lunch, snacks and hot chocolate. We build kickers so the kids can ski jump and/or sled.
Can you suggest any activities that all ages can do together?
Ice skating at Howelsen Arena, which offers sleds for little ones. Skiing at Howelsen Hill is great – the trails aren’t very long and people can watch the skiing action from the lodge. Winter Carnival is fun for all ages and the whole community gets involved. Watch a torchlight parade at the Steamboat Ski Area while eating dinner on the mountain. Western BBQ on the mountain is a ball for all ages.
Favorite place to eat out in town?
Ciao Gelato for yummy salad, pizza and homemade gelato, or Mazzola’s – if you ask you can get dough balls for the kids. For a date night, our favorite place for incredible food and wines is Café Diva.