Ski For Free
By Alesha Damerville
Image from steamboatsprings.net
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS - Whoever said nothing in life is free, didn’t experience Howelsen Hill’s Ski Free program which will more than triple the number of free ski days during the 2017/18 season. Ski Free Sundays start Dec. 17 and run for 13 consecutive Sundays until March 11.
“Howelsen Hill has evolved into a gem in the city park system,” said Brad Setter, Howelsen Hill Supervisor. “Ski Free Days were expanded to enable more guests to experience the ski area and appreciate the heritage that has shaped the character of the community for more than a century.”
Steamboat Springs City Council approved free skiing on Sundays back in October, ushering in Colorado’s most affordable Sunday lift ticket as a way to celebrate the upcoming Olympic winter season and honoring the tradition of this historic ski area. Skiing since 1915, Howelsen Hill has produced nearly 90 winter Olympians and has helped generations of Steamboat residents enjoy the sport.
During the season, it’s as easy as simply stopping into the lodge to pick up your free ticket, which is required to access the lifts and the Nordic trails (cross-country, fat bike and snowshoe) on these special ski free days.
With Mother Nature’s slow start and hard work by snowmaking crews, the Poma Lift and Pony Magic Carpet along with the expert trail, The Face (up to 3rd exit), and some beginner terrain around the carpet will be open for skiing and riding from 10am-4pm on the first Ski Free Sunday. NO Nordic trails will be available on the Dec. 17th Ski Free Sunday due to the Continental Cup race. To stay up-to-date on changing conditions, visit steamboatsprings.net/ski, call 970.879.8499 or the Nordic Hotline at 970.871.7084.
“Even though terrain will be limited this first weekend, the festive atmosphere will not,” said Setter. “The first Free Sunday coincides with the Continental Cup, featuring athletes from more than a dozen countries, and provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the ski area and its competitive skiing spirit on an international level.”
Over the winter, specific Sundays could see limited or closed terrain due to special events or competitions. In addition, select Sundays will also see Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club training on a portion of the Face.
Owned and operated by the City of Steamboat Springs, Howelsen Hill is Colorado's oldest continuously operated ski area and home to the largest and most complete natural ski jumping complex in North America and the acclaimed Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. The ski area features affordable skiing and snowboarding across terrain catered toward all abilities as well as enjoys 13 miles of Nordic, snowshoe and snow bike trails.
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