Friday, November 30, 2001
Steamboat Springs Skiers getting off the gondola at Mount Werner Friday hooted and hollered about the prime conditions on opening day.
"It's unreal," said Ray Heid, who has been skiing in Steamboat since before the ski runs on Mount Werner were cut. "It's better than any day I've skied."
Heid said the snow was in layers with a lot of powder. He said he was skiing on four feet of snow through the trees.
Derrick Sjodin, a four-year resident said it was the best ever opening day.
Sjodin started his day skiing at 1 p.m. after work. He said there was still plenty of fresh powder for him to enjoy.
"I wish I would have gotten up earlier," he said.
James Hill of Casper, Wyo., drove up for opening day and his first day of snowboarding.
He said he and his friends felt like they were floating through the fresh snow.
Many families also enjoyed opening day. Eric Hinrichs of Denver said his family had a great day on the slopes.
"It's very nice, very powdery," Hinrichs said. The Hinrichses were among other vacationers who planned a vacation around the original opening of the ski area Nov. 22 and then spent a portion of their vacation off the ski hill as the ski area opening was delayed due to lack of snow.
"We still had a great time," he said.
Paul Howie and his family from Texas have been waiting since Monday to get a day of skiing in. Howie said his family was glad to finally get to ski.
"We've been tubing and sledding and having a great time," he said.
Many turned out Friday to support the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. The first day of the season, Scholarship Day, benefits the Winter Sports Club and its scholarship programs.
Scholarship Day, said ski area spokeswoman Cathy Wiedemer said, is a great way to kick off the season.
"It's become a tradition that is great for the skiers and the community," she said. "There's a local feel on the ski hill today."
Clay Cluster, a member of the Free Ride Team on the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, went snowboarding for the day. He snowboarded to support the Winter Sports Club. And he said he wasn't going to miss the first day on the slopes.
Cluster said he felt the Winter Sports Club received a lot of support from the many people that showed up on the first day.
"There is a ton of people up there," he said.
Cluster said his favorite run was Nelson's Run because he got first tracks on it and there were a lot of jumps.
Wiedemer said she thought there were more people on the mountain opening day this year than last year although she said she does not have official numbers yet.
She said she expects more people to go skiing today as the snow keeps falling and the skiing conditions continue to get better.