1 week left till Steamboat Ski Area opens
November 15, 2011
Steamboat Springs — With opening day only a week away, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. officials are asking skiers and riders to stay off Mount Werner.
"We would discourage people from being up there and making turns," said Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for Ski Corp.
Snow guns, hoses, equipment and unmarked hazards scatter the mountain in preparation for the ski area's traditional Scholarship Day benefit Nov. 23. Proceeds from Scholarship Day lift ticket sales are donated to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Those large humps of man-made snow that line some of the trails at the ski area may look enticing to those eager to hit the slopes, but they proved to be dangerous for one man who was snowboarding at the ski area Sunday.
Routt County Search and Rescue had to rescue the 19-year-old snowboarder after he jumped and landed on his back near the bottom of the Vogue trail.
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"That was a snowmaking pile," Allen said. "It was not designed to be a jump."
With warmer weather, Allen said snowmaking has slowed down slightly, but there is another storm and lower temperatures forecast for this weekend.
Last weekend's storm left 11 inches of natural snow at mid-mountain, bringing the November total to 21 inches at 9,080 feet.
Season passes will not be valid on Scholarship Day. Ticket prices and available terrain will be announced early next week, Ski Corp. spokesman Mike Lane said.
Last year's Scholarship Day may have been the best ever.
There was 7 inches of fresh snow, bringing the November 2010 total to 89 inches. Top-to-bottom skiing was offered for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Five lifts served 71 trails and more than 1,000 skiable acres — about 35 percent of the ski area's terrain. The cost of the all-mountain lift ticket was $30, and a record $76,665 was raised.
"I think it was the best Scholarship Day we've had," Lane said.
Skiing from the top of the gondola to the bottom of the mountain for the start of the ski area's 49th season is virtually assured as snowmaking operations wrap up on Heavenly Daze, Vogue, Sitz and Stampede. Crews will now work in the Burgess Creek area to cover Rudi's Run, Lightning and Ego. The short but sweet Arc trail also is being covered to allow egress from the top of the Burgess Creek chairlift to Thunderhead.
Snowmaking efforts are also moving to See Me, Boulevard, Big Foot and Yoo Hoo.
— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com
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