Steamboat Springs The Howelsen Hill Ski Area will open to the public Saturday, on what promises to be a busy day for the historic downtown ski area.
The ski area is slated to open at 10 a.m. Saturday, which also will be the first of two days of competition at the Nordic Excavating 2010 FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup in Steamboat Springs. Those events begin at 9:30 a.m. with the trial jump and will continue until the cross-county event ends at about 3:30 p.m.
Craig Robinson, the city’s open space and Howelsen Hill facilities supervisor, said the international Nordic combined competition would result in some adjustments to the ski area’s Nordic trails but should not affect Alpine skiers.
“On Saturday, we will open the Poma from top to bottom,” Robinson said. “The terrain will be limited to intermediate and expert.”
The ski area is scheduled to operate this winter from 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Robinson said new terrain will open when snow conditions permit. Lift tickets or season passes are required on the Alpine and Nordic trails. The same will be true for the terrain park when it opens.
A lift ticket is $17 for adults ages 19 and older and $12 for youths ages 7 to 18 and seniors ages 60 and older. Tickets for children ages 6 and younger are $6. Night skiing will start Dec. 14, and skiers can take advantage of the First Tracks Special, and its $6 lift tickets, from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
The ski area also offers a number of season pass options for seniors, adults, youths and children. There also are options available for families, full-time college students and people who want access to only the terrain park or Nordic trails. Robinson said early season discount pass prices are good through Dec. 31.
The ski area’s Nordic trails also will be open Saturday, but some trails and access points will be affected by the Continental Cup race.
Robinson expects the ball fields, Hobo Park, Häkan Spar, Bluffs Loop, Howelsen Meadows and Emerald Meadows to be open for cross-country skiing. However, those trails might have to be accessed via the Howelsen Ice Arena gate or Blackmer Drive, depending on the Nordic combined cross-country race. The trails near and around the rodeo grounds will be closed during the race but are expected to open once racing is complete at about 3:30 p.m.