Daze ski run yields to spring

Steamboat Ski Area counts down to Sunday's closing

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The Steamboat Ski Area has 5 feet of snow at its summit and during this final week of the season is offering skiing on 100 trails. However, Heavenly Daze isn't among them.

Unseasonably warm temperatures have opened up bare patches on the broad intermediate trail beneath the Steamboat gondola, and though lower Vagabond remained open Tuesday, the ski area is suggesting skiers consider ending their day with a ride down the gondola instead of skiing to the base. Also closed is the lower-mountain black diamond trail See Me.

Steamboat is listing 42 intermediate runs on its menu, including cruisers High Noon, Sunshine Lift Line and Tomahawk. The 2,082 available acres represent about 71 percent of Steamboat's total.

Riley Polumbus, who has written a conversational ski report all winter on behalf of the Ski Corp., put in a few runs Tuesday and suggested hitting groomed trails in the morning and bump runs after lunch. She said expert skiers also can find a taste of winter on the northernmost facing trails.

"No doubt I'd call this spring conditions now," Polumbus wrote. "However if you really want to find a taste of winter, head over to the Ridge or the Chutes and you'll find some surprising conditions. Otherwise check the daily groom report, head to the fresh corduroy early, and then as temperatures and sun hit, try out the bumps."

Polumbus said Three O'Clock, in the Priest Creek area, and White Out are currently her favorite trails. High Noon and the Sunshine Bowl, better known as Wally World, are good bets for cruising, she added.

The ski lifts operating this week include the gondola, Storm Peak Express, Morningside, Sundown Express, Sunshine, South Peak, Elkhead, Southface and Bashor. The SoBe Terrain Park remains open.

Lifts that have closed include Pony Express, along with the intermediate and advanced trails it serves. Also closed are Bar UE, Four Points, Thunderhead Express and both Christies.

The ski area will host an interdenominational Easter Sunrise Service at 9,000 feet on the third floor of the upper gondola building. The service is at 6:45 a.m. Sunday, with the gondola loading from 6 to 6:30 a.m. The service is limited to the first 500 people. Foot passengers ride free. Skiers and boarders must have a lift ticket, which can be purchased at 6 a.m. at ticket office windows. A continental breakfast will be offered after the service for $6.

Steamboat has planned a free concert and a family Easter egg hunt for closing day.

The Easter Bunny, together with the "snow monsters," will host the egg hunt at 8:30 a.m.

The Marshall Tucker Band will take the Bud Light stage at 3 p.m. Sunday to perform a set list of familiar country rock hits.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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