Chris Ward, wearing his daughter's Barbie box costume, struggles to make it across the pond set up for the Splashdown Pond Skimming event Sunday at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area as part of closing day festivities.

larry pierce/courtesy

Chris Ward, wearing his daughter's Barbie box costume, struggles to make it across the pond set up for the Splashdown Pond Skimming event Sunday at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area as part of closing day festivities.

Season ends with a splash

Hundreds flock to ski area on closing day of record winter

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Closing Day

Closing day events at the Steamboat Ski Area included a pond skimming competition.

Closing day events at the Steamboat Ski Area included a pond skimming competition.

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Larry Pierce/courtesy

Susan Tedeschi performs Sunday in Gondola Square. Sunday's Springalicious festivities brought an end to a record-setting winter at the Steamboat Ski Area.

— A record-setting ski season ended Sunday with songs, shouts and splashes.

Steamboat Springs residents and visitors spoke glowingly of the season and the biggest snowfall on record: 489 inches. The Steamboat Ski Area shut the mountain down with music from The Radiators and then Susan Tedeschi, and hundreds of people in costumes and standard mountain wear filled the slopes and Gondola Square for the action.

The ski area held its first Splashdown Pond Skimming event as part of closing weekend festivities. As tunes blared, skiers and snowboarders sped down Headwall ski trail, aiming to skim across a pond at the bottom and pop safely onto the snow on the other side.

Success was elusive, and many competitors wound up in water that Winter Olympics medalist and event announcer Jonny Moseley described as "arctic."

About 30 people participated. Spectators squashed together along the sideline fences, cozy with their beers, encouraging and heckling the stars of the show.

Steamboat native Rich Rende picked up major applause for his snowboard run across the pond. But the buzz might have been more about his costume: a Mexican wrestling mask, a blue tank top, blue swim briefs and a red cape featuring a banana wearing blue briefs.

"I've never felt so free in my whole life," he said after the competition.

Rende took home a season pass for next year. He said he would compete again in the skimming event, adding that he was a fan of wearing a "mankini" (a bikini for a man, presumably) in public.

"It takes a lot of pumping up to get warm enough to wear a mankini in the snow," Rende said.

Out-of-towners also flocked to the mountain in garish garb. Ralph Eberspacher of Fort Collins wore a dreadlock wig and a red sequined suit as he took in The Radiators' set.

"It's disappointing that there's not more people dressed up," Eberspacher said. Even his 9-year-old son, Andre, had donned a whoopee cushion costume to hit the hill.

Back at the skimming pond, competition to stay out of the cold water was heating up.

Steamboat resident Tara Johnson didn't quite make it across, crashing into the frosty water in her bikini, grass skirt and seashell bra. Johnson couldn't seem to get enough of the pool, hopping in to rescue someone else's ski and diving in with other winners after the competition.

She took second place despite her fall. Johnson said she was thrilled to compete in the event and thrilled about the ski season.

"This is why I live here," she said. "I've lived here seven years, and I've been waiting for this winter. It was the best winter ever."

Skier Joe Love took No. 1 at the splashdown. He was the only competitor to successfully cross the pond backward - a fitting feat for a man wearing his ski suit inside out. The '80s-style geometric pattern deserved to be shown off, he said.

"Somebody spent a lot of time designing the inside," Love said.

The three-year Steamboat resident also spoke effusively about the season.

"It was a dream come true," Love said. "I don't know what to do with myself now. How is it going to get better? I might as well leave."

- To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234

or e-mail bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

Routty2007 6 years ago

What a year, one more week would have been nice.

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hateintraWORST 6 years ago

Remember when last year at this time we all heard that intrawest would be purchasing the resort and we thought it would be a good thing. Well everyone was wrong! With a record breaking season the great folks at intrawest really figured out a way to shaft the hard working locals in the end. As if opening late wasn't bad enough but they closed on April 6th. what a joke!!! There is over 100 inches of base and yes april 7th, it is still snowing. But i guess snow doesnt matter to a ski resort anymore its all about those dollars and cents huh boys. WELL I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT NEXT YEAR AFTER BUYING PASSES FOR THE PAST 6 I WILL NO LONGER EVER PURCHASE A STEAMBOAT SKI PASS OR AN INTRAWEST PASS FOR THAT MATTER. SLEDNECKERS UNITE LETS RIDE.

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corduroy 6 years ago

we're thinking of just getting a sled ourselves and doing the backcountry thing.. cheaper in the long run!

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hubiem 6 years ago

hateintraworst,

did you notice how few people were here last week while the mountain was still open. the mountain probably didn't even break even last week. it doesn't pay to open the mountain for the locals and a few hundred tourists that are in town this time of year. you would complain about whoever owned the mountain, because whoever owned the mountain would be doing the exact same thing that intrawest is doing.

if you don't like it then scrape up 200 million dollars and buy the place and run it how you want. after you invest that much money in something, you are going to be looking for the best return on your money that you can get. all of a sudden opening the mountain for a few hundred people looks like a very bad idea financially.

i was at work on saturday, and no customers were calling, or coming in. we shut the doors and closed up early. that is what businesses do when there is no money to be made.

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rogue_theory 6 years ago

I love the irony. The mountain closes early because the last week in April is generally only locals on the hill, thus the dollars at the ticket window and for concessions are not worth staying open for, financially. We all know the conditions, on the other hand, were certainly worth staying open for.

However, being able to advertise an over 500" season would have brought the area quite a bit more revenue for seasons to come....few Colorado resorts can boast every receiving over 500" in a single season. The hype would have been huge...you can't PAY for that type of advertising!

After all, your business IS your Marketing.

chuckles

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hateintraWORST 6 years ago

hey hubiem you make little sence here. we pay for a certain time on the mountain that i fell we were denied this year. opening late isnt the mountains fault but closing early is. those extra days should have been made up and they were not. Being able to advertise an over 500 inch season would be the season of all seasons but now steamboat cant say that. just 489 what a shame.... Almost forgot to mention that while at breakfast happened to notice some gapers that had driven from denver to a closed but SNOWING mountain. theres your ticket sales. hahahahaha

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twostroketerror 6 years ago

Even if, sorry, when, gas hits $4 gal, a full days sleddin' (8hrs) will cost @$50. Still cheaper than the mountain, and 90% less gapers, (except for weekends on Buff & Bunny). I still ski, it's just I got 100hp between 'em. Hope y'all had an awesome season, think I'll go make some powder turns....

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weststmbtres 6 years ago

hey intaworst, maybe you should learn to spell and people would think you made more sense

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hubiem 6 years ago

intraworst,

i believe the closing day was known long before the BEGINNING of the season. how could you have been shorted when you knew full well that the closing day was the 6th before you even skied your first day this year. if you put all your energy spent bitching about being cheated into hiking up the mountain you could have skied several runs today.

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Oscar 6 years ago

It's funny how so many young folks think that a business i.e. Ski Corp should operate at a loss for the benefit of the people, i.e. "locals". There is a system of government like that. It's called communism, and it continues to fail all over the world. The only reason communist China is thriving is that it too has embraced capitalism, and suddenly it's economy has taken off.

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SilverSpoon 6 years ago

China thrives for a few reasons: walmart, nike, adidas, keen, black and decker.

With 1.5 billion people willing to work for $0.20 per day, communism helps our "american" companies make a profit for share holders.

If only we could have communism in steamboat springs, get some shanties together, import a couple thousand chinese workers, then intra west can realize epic profits, like the previously mentioned companies. Affordable housing and labor shortage could be a thing of the past, and with liftees making $5/ day, we could afford to be open all the time.

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dave reynolds 6 years ago

typical.so many whinners intawost you said it yourself you wont buy a season pass again..I bet you do.oh my you have accually bought 6 ive bought twenty some..oh im sure your no purchase willl cause intrawest to think twice about thier decisions..is called econ 101 you operate a business to make money if its not fesible then close..once again heres that entitlement clause..intraworst show where that is on the back of the pass or the paperwork we sign

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seeuski 6 years ago

The whiners finally insulted SBK at ski corp along with Intrawest to the point that the Ski Corp web forums is now shut down. These complainers (world revolves around me types) think that they can come up with an entitlemant idea, like open extra days so I can ski the great end of season pow, and Intrawest has to accomodate that. Intrawest has not advertised 500" but several of the complainers have suggested that they would to rip off the "locals" or as they want us to go along with, the tourists. I also get a kick out of these so called locals refering to themselves as "the hard working locals", Please spare me. Another reason Intrawest should have mercy and take a huge loss to run empty lifts,pay ski patrol, hire security to mitigate drunken gapers etc.etc.etc so they can be rewarded as loyal locals. The season was scheduled to end on the 6th of April and did as advertised. Why would anyone have bought a season pass knowing that and then at the end of a near perfect season threaton to never buy one again? Talk about mindless, cutting ones nose off to spite ones face. Now it is time to start bitchen about the increase in the golf pass.

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corduroy 6 years ago

they didn't do away with the forums.. if you bothered to read any of the website forums about updates to the site, you'd already know they are redoing it

taking mud season to upgrade the website is great.

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seeuski 6 years ago

I am aware of the stated plans to upgrade although I think they hastened the site closure cause of all the negative garbage being posted. Geez you started the season on a low note come to think of it. Ducking a rope and then calling the ski patrol jerks. um,um,um.

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id03sp 6 years ago

intraworst,

I'm with the rest of these guys. You know how much time you had when you bought the pass. To make the statement now that you'll never buy another pass because god forbid the mountain closed on the day they said they would close seems ludicrous.

You sound like a four year old crying because the amusement park is closing at 9:30 as advertised and you don't understand why you have to go home. However, you aren't four, and you have understood all along when the mountain was closing but for some reason you are still crying. See you on the slopes next year.

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vanguy 6 years ago

This season rocked.

489 vs 500....who cares.

We crushed the old record, we crushed every average out there. We got HOW MANY FACESHOTS!?!?!?

C'mon...how can anyone POSSIBLY complain?!?!?

Thanks to everyone who made each and every ski days so darn awesome. From the lift ops to the groomers to the patrollers to the shuttle drivers to the pizza cooks.

Please don't let the negativity of a few sore losers cast any shadows on the most outstanding season ever!

See you on the singletrack someday when the snow finally melts!

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powderman 6 years ago

yeah, an extra week would have been nice, but oh well. hopefully next year will be just as good, and hopefully more time, and hopefully the park crew will stop being lazy and make the park better. oh and sbvor, your comment has nothing to do with this for the most part. we're talking about skiing, not politics, go preach your bs somewhere else.

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powderman 6 years ago

yeah, an extra week would have been nice, but oh well. hopefully next year will be just as good, and hopefully more time, and hopefully the park crew will stop being lazy and make the park better. oh and sbvor, your comment has nothing to do with this for the most part. we're talking about skiing, not politics, go preach your bs somewhere else.

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seeuski 6 years ago

Just incase anyone wants to remember their best day, mine was first tracks on January 11th in 27" of the best powder I have ever experienced. 2 shots nonstop down 3 o'clock in waist deep and then being the 3rd track down Rolex in its absolute best condition ever, WOW!!! My only mistake was I had left my face cover in the locker and was hacking out chunks of ice from my throat from all the face shots.

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weststmbtres 6 years ago

twostroke,

You are using some really fuzzy math there. A new sled runs 6K-7K. "Terrorize" for 50 days a year for 6-7 years (same as a lot of us get on our ski passes) provided your sled actually lasts that long and then you would have gotten the same use for the same cost as 6 or 7 ski passes.

Now do the rest of the math. At the 50 bucks a day you quoted you will have spent another 15K-17K in fuel alone. That's not calculating maintenance costs and fuel for your gas guzzling truck to haul your sled to wherever you want to ride.

At the end I'm 6K-7K in the hole and you are 21K-24K in the hole.

Now tell me again how that's more affordable than skiing.

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armchairqb 6 years ago

Sbvor-----"saw a dead-head sticker on a Caddillac" The driver was wearing a signature neck tie from Jerry Garcia. Snow what snow?

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OnTheBusGus 6 years ago

If you don't want to pay for a pass there is always snowmaking. Get paid (a little) to work before the mountain opens (and ski a little too!), get in shape for ski season by hiking all over the ski area dragging hose, get mostly done by Christmas (mostly), get a pass with employee benefits. What's not to love? Oh, staying up all night... but hey it worked for me!

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powderman 6 years ago

no sbvor you are my hero because everything you say is right, and i am wrong. you are obviously the most intelligent person in this blog. your right wing political views are completely correct, and we should all conform to your leaders because you are all obviously the smartest people in this country

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powderman 6 years ago

well no hes not my hero. Lovely old Bush is of course, silly. the best president ever right?

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soccercstate 6 years ago

Please can we get better bands next year! Sorry to all the Susan Tedeschi fans but for an ending weekend celebration her music is a "downer".

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turtledove 6 years ago

Here are the closing dates of Colorado ski resorts (from CO Ski Country). We don't compare too well especially considering how much snow we have.

  • Arapahoe Basin - June 8
    • Aspen Highlands - April 6 ends weekday operations; April 19-20 and 26-27 open weekends ONLY
    • Aspen Mountain - April 13
    • Beaver Creek - April 13
    • Breckenridge - April 20
    • Buttermilk - April 6 CLOSED
    • Copper - April 13
    • Crested Butte - April 13
    • Echo Mountain - May 4
    • Eldora - April 13
    • Howelsen - March 30 CLOSED
    • Keystone - April 13
    • Loveland - May 4
    • Monarch - April 13
    • Powderhorn - March 30 CLOSED
    • Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort - April 6 CLOSED
    • Silverton - April 27
    • Ski Cooper - March 30 CLOSED
    • Snowmass - April 13
    • SolVista - March 30 CLOSED
    • Steamboat - April 6 CLOSED
    • Sunlight - April 6 ends weekday operations; April 12-13 open weekend ONLY
    • Telluride - April 6 CLOSED
    • Vail - April 13
    • Winter Park - April 13
    • Wolf Creek -April 13 ends weekday operations; April 19-20 and 26-27 open weekends ONLY
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sbsmon 6 years ago

It doesn't sound like hateintrworst or twostroketerror want to come play anymore. I think you guys scared them away.

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dave reynolds 6 years ago

anyone who buys a ski pass knows what your in for.late opening early shut down..still if you get your days inyou ski for approx 10 dollars a day I bet any tourist would love that deal.yet those two BOBO the Fools act like they are entitled...fine they can play with themselves..peace to all and lets have an awesome spring and great summer

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sbsmon 6 years ago

It's a shame that twostroke doesn't want to respond. I'd like to see a different version of his snowmobile math.

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