Snowboard coach Spencer Tamblyn smiles while talking to Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes who were training at Steamboat Ski Area on Monday afternoon. The slopes will open to the public Wednesday for the annual Scholarship Day, but the ski area already has invited the members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s programs onto the slopes for training.

Photo by John F. Russell

Snowboard coach Spencer Tamblyn smiles while talking to Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes who were training at Steamboat Ski Area on Monday afternoon. The slopes will open to the public Wednesday for the annual Scholarship Day, but the ski area already has invited the members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s programs onto the slopes for training.

Snow dump adds boost to man-made base in time for opening

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If you go

Scholarship Day at Steamboat Ski Area, the traditional first day of the ski season, is from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Season tickets are not valid on Scholarship Day, and lift tickets cost $20. Proceeds benefit the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

The Christie Peak Express and Preview lifts will serve green runs Yoo Hoo, Boulevard, Right-O-Way, Preview and Stampede; blue runs Jess’ Cut-Off, Sitz and Vogue; and black run See Me on Wednesday, with more trails opening as soon as they are ready.

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Skiable terrain for Scholarship Day

— With a little help from a snowstorm that lasted most of Monday, the Steamboat Ski Area is on track to open nine runs for Wednesday’s Scholarship Day, the traditional first day of the ski season.

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said consistently cold weather during the past weeks and new equipment have created good conditions to fill the lower runs on Mount Werner.

The Christie Peak Express and Preview lifts will serve green runs Yoo Hoo, Boulevard, Right-O-Way, Preview and Stampede; blue runs Jess’ Cut-Off, Sitz and Vogue; and black run See Me on Wednesday, with more trails opening as soon as they are ready.

Ski Corp. reported that this is about the same amount of terrain opened for Scholarship Day in previous years, but improved snowmaking equipment has created a better base.

“With snow in the past two weekends and consistent cold temperatures, we’re well ahead of getting the mountain ready for a fantastic opening day,” vice president of mountain operations Doug Allen said in a press release. “With multi-million dollar improvements to our snowmaking system over the past three years, we’re seeing the snowmaking results firsthand and the benefit this new technology provides the resort and Winter Sports Club in terms of early season training opportunities.”

Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Alpine Director Deb Armstrong and other coaches had about 35 Winter Sports Club athletes on the slopes Monday afternoon and gave a preview of the snow that will be waiting for skiers.

“The conditions are awesome, and we’re just getting some very important and good early season training in,” she said.

The team stayed on Sitz and Vogue for the day, and Armstrong reported that it had been snowing heavily and consistently all day long.

Last year’s Scholarship Day drew about 1,000 skiers, Kasten said, and through the years, the event has raised more than $500,000 for the Winter Sports Club.

The event began in the 1991-92 season. Season ski passes are not accepted on Scholarship Day, and lift tickets costs $20. The mountain opens at 8:30 a.m. and closes at 3:30 p.m.

Clear until the weekend

The storm system that hovered over Steamboat Springs on Monday will likely give way to sunny, slightly warmer days during the opening days of the mountain.

National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Aleksa said the low-pressure system that brought Monday’s snow was expected to soon leave the area, with highs in the upper 30s and low 40s through Friday.

“It looks like great weather for Thanksgiving,” he said.

The next storm system likely will move through near the end of the week, Friday or Saturday, he said, but the scope of that system is not yet clear.

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