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Steamboat Magazine

From City Life to the Ski Town Dream

01/13/2021 01:49PM ● By Rachel Miller

Photo taken by Rachel Miller on Storm Peak Lift at Steamboat Ski Resort.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO- In the summer of 2019, I needed a change. I was living in a fast-growing city, working a great job and had friendships I loved. But something was missing, and I had this repeating feeling that I wanted to be doing something completely different than what I was doing.

So, I traded sandy beaches for snowy mountains, I swapped sandals for ski boots, and with no prior skiing or snowboarding experience, I packed my car and moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. 

And now here I am, chasing down first tracks on powder days and trying to hit at least 100 days at Steamboat Ski Resort.

Brief moments occur when I think back to the city life, and the job I would have been working, but then I head out the door, put on my skis and drop waist-deep into fresh powder after a midweek snowstorm and think that this must be a dream – it is, but for me, it’s also just a Wednesday.

Through the passion of skiing, the soul of the Steamboat Springs community is born. There’s no nine to five corporate culture or rush hour traffic (unless you’re trying to get a parking spot early on a powder day). Instead, there’s a lifestyle and a community with thousands of personalities all sharing one thing in common – the love of skiing.

Steamboat Springs is more than just a small ski town. It’s filled with quality arts, Western hospitality and culinary landmarks. Locals will shovel sidewalks, plow your driveways and exchange friendly hellos in the grocery store. From the first time you set eyes upon Lincoln Avenue, lights twinkling downtown and a snow-covered Mt. Werner in the backdrop, a connection is made. 

But most of all, it’s the mountains. You can sense the energy while waiting in line for the gondola at Steamboat Ski Resort – excitement radiating while people patiently wait to crush some corduroy cruisers. Hoots and hollers heard as you see figures weaving through the snow-capped aspens. Steamboat may not be the steepest mountain in Colorado, but it’s known for some of the best tree skiing in the state, miles of intermediate terrain and natural beauty.  

The community of Steamboat Springs has given me a sense of belonging – being a part of the unspoken rule that skiing is more than just a sport, but an entire lifestyle. This was it; this was the feeling I was missing. 

There’s an old saying about newcomers to Steamboat: “You come for the winter, you stay for the summer.” Well, the saying is true. I traded city skylines for living in a winter wonderland fairytale, and it was the best decision I ever made.