Sunday, September 21, 2008

Steamboat Springs Insider's Guide - Skiing basics

I have been thinking about doing a series with some insider's tips to Steamboat so here is a start. As you can see I am already thinking winter and many of the people visiting my blog lately seem to be thinking the same thing. If you want to know something in particular feel free to get in touch, you will get an answer and I may get an idea for another Insider's Guide topic. I’ll provide a top level overview for a start but there is much much more to learn and the best way to learn is to ski Steamboat with a local :) I am often available on powder days.

Groomed runs: Steamboat has excellent groomed terrain. If you want raw speed go for Heavenly Daze right under the Gondola to See-Me towards the bottom. I love ending the day on these runs or catching the fresh cord in the morning to get my heart rate up a little. On the upper mountain I like Storm Peak Face to Cyclone for speed if Cyclone is groomed. It pays to grab the grooming report, they don’t groom Cyclone often but when they do it is sweeet and un-crowded early. If you are smarter and prefer a more measured pace I love High Noon off of the Sundown Express lift to one of the groomed O’clock runs. High Noon is wide and you can go as fast or slow as you like with plenty of room to carve big arcs. If Rolex is rolled (groomed) below Rendevous it is always worth cutting over to that side but it is very fast. The rest of the runs over there are great for a less gripping pace. The Sunshine side around to the right from Sundown is sweet for hero carves right under the Sunshine lift. It would be absolutely perfect with a little faster lift but it is sweet as is. I go there when I need to dial things in.

Bumps: Go for Rolex if it is open or most any run under the Storm Peak or Four Points lift. There are tons of other good runs on the upper mountain. Sneak into Nelson’s Run on the lower mountain if no one is training.

Trees: Steamboat has fantastic tree skiing. I can stay happy in one section of Closets or Shadows all day on a powder day. Snow accumulation tends to multiply in there and it is not uncommon to see 2-5 times the reported totals in the trees. If it has been snowing recently a 5-10 inch day can be knee to thigh deep. It tends to snow hardest after the 5 am report here so don’t be discouraged by a 3-6 inch in snow report (even 1 inch can be good) if it is still snowing and there is a bit of a breeze up top. If I tell you much more they will run me out of town but I would check out Morningside, Tomahawk and someone who rode west in wagons. If you have a nose for powder you can find it for days after a storm.

Steeps: Steamboat is not known for steep skiing but if you ride the Morningside lift to the weather station. You find plenty of goodness. It’s not Utah but it takes 2 lifts to get to and much of it is North facing so it holds good snow longer. Let me know if you have more specific questions.

For more click back to the Steamboat Springs blog main page.

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