Steamboat’s Winter Season Begins Wednesday
● By Alesha Damerville
Image from Jeff Hall
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- Skiing and Snowboarding are back in action when Steamboat Ski Resort kicks off the winter season Wednesday, Nov. 21 with access from the Gondola down to the base. Thanks to early season storms and prime snowmaking conditions, the resort will feature 11 trails, two lifts and more than 60 acres when the lifts begin turning for the 18/19 season. The Gondola and Christie Peak Express will provide access to Heavenly Daze, Jess’ Cut-Off, Sitz, Sitz Back, Vogue, Stampede, Boulevard, Giggle Gulch, Yoo Hoo, Right of Way and Lil’ Rodeo –including the mini-pipe- on Opening Day. Desperado and Buckaroo magic carpets will also be operating starting Wednesday.
“These are some of the best pre-season snowmaking conditions we’ve ever seen,” said Dave Hunter, vice president of mountain operations for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “We were able to get our machines cranking on October 30, two extra days before our historical snowmaking start. That additional time, and the combination of cold, dry weather is the perfect recipe for snowmaking. Our crews not only built the foundation for our season, but also created incredible early season conditions on a variety of terrain, including beginner trails below Christie Peak, for Opening Day.”
Steamboat’s snowmaking crews used a record 139 guns on Nov. 7 and hovered between 99 and 125 for the average number of guns used for each round of snowmaking. Usually restricted to nighttime hours for snowmaking, this year crews were able to run the resort’s fleet of snowmaking guns 24 hours a day for 7 consecutive days in November. With a focus on lower mountain, crews were able to fully cover the terrain from Christie Peak Express down by mid-November and then turn their attention to the upper mountain. Capitalizing on cold temperatures in October to start snowmaking on Buddy’s, crews were able to return to the upper mountain location and focus on linking trails to create connectivity between the upper and lower mountain.
Friday, Nov. 23 the resort will open top to bottom skiing and riding with the addition of Storm Peak Express, Burgess Creek and Four Points lifts with access to Rudi’s, Lightning, Ego, Tower, Arc, Park Lane, Upper Rainbow, Upper Buddy’s, and Calf Roper, bringing the resort’s total to 20 trails, five lifts and 110 acres. Steamboat will continue opening terrain and lifts as conditions allow.
This year, all season passes will be valid on Opening Day, including Ikon and Ikon Base. In order to ski and snowboard on the first day of the season, guests need to have their pass ready to scan. For passholders who have not received their pass yet or have not been able to upload a photo, please visit the Steamboat Ticket Office prior to skiing and riding to ensure access on the mountain. The Steamboat Ticket Office is open daily from 8 am to 5pm.
The resort’s newest restaurants Timber & Torch and the Taco Beast will both premier on Opening Day. Timber & Torch will feature breakfast, lunch and dinner in the heart of Gondola Square. The Taco Beast will begin the season at the bottom of Heavenly Daze serving trail tacos from 11am – 2pm Wednesday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 25. Gondola Joes, Thunderhead Food Court and Rye will also be open starting Nov. 21. All restaurants at the Steamboat Grand are ready to serve locals and visitors. Four Points Lodge will begin serving lunch on Friday, Nov. 23.
The Ski & Sport Corral will debut in its new location under the Timber & Torch deck with overnight and seasonal storage beginning Wednesday, Nov. 21. Steamboat’s newest retail outlet, Steamboat Mercantile located in the heart of Gondola Square adjacent to Gondola Joes, will open its doors on the first day of the season, along with Giggle Gulch Candy Shop, Steamboat Ski & Sport shops Gondola Square, Transit Center and Sheraton, Thunderhead Shop and Steamboat Gifts and Sundial in the Sheraton. Snowsports School will offer all types of lessons beginning Opening Day.
Opening Day celebrations at Steamboat Ski Resort will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 am with events leading up to the lifts 8:30 start. The festivities include a snow dance from the Northern Ute Indian Tribe, a toast to the season with complimentary Korbel mimosas and Champagne Powder® donuts, and free Ohana t-shirts for the first 100 skiers and riders. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s longtime connection with Opening Day will be honored with a presentation and a $50,000 donation.
For up-to-date information on Steamboat Ski Resort — including open lifts and terrain, mountain conditions, forecasts, early season ticket prices, events, deals and packages — visit Steamboat.com.