Open lifts and terrain
Burgess Creek, Christie Peak Express, Four Points, gondola, Storm Peak Express
Arc, BC Ski Way, Big Foot, Boulevard, Duster, Feather, Flat Out, Main Drag, Park Lane, Right-O-Way, So What, Southface Park, Stampede, Why Not, Yoo Hoo
Big Meadow, Blizzard, Buddy’s Run, Calf Roper, Chisolm Trail, Dusk, Ego, Heavenly Daze, High Noon, Highline, Jess’ Cut Off, Lightning, Meadow Lane, One O’Clock, Rainbow, Rudi’s Run, Sitz, Skyline, Tornado Lane, Tower, Traverse, Vagabond, Vogue
Flying Z Gulch, Norther, Sunset, Surprise, Two O’Clock
Burgess Creek Lift Line, Closet, Crowtrack, Cyclone, Flying Z, Four Points Lift Line, Hurricane, Kuus’ Cruise, Nelson’s Run, Shadows, Storm Peak Catwalk, Storm Peak North, Storm Peak South, Sundown Lift Line, The Ridge, Three O’Clock, Tornado, Triangle 3, Twilight, Twister, Typhoon, White Out
Steamboat Springs If this week’s weather forecast is any indication, it’s going to be a good start to the season at Steamboat Ski Area.
The National Weather Service is predicting as much as 28 inches of new snow by Wednesday, the day Steamboat Ski Area opens for Scholarship Day. The annual fundraiser benefits the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Norv Larson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s office in Grand Junction, said two storm systems are en route to the Yampa Valley this week. A winter storm warning is in effect for the Upper Yampa River Basin, including Steamboat Springs, until 6 a.m. Tuesday.
Larson said the first system, which is moving from the Pacific Ocean across the Great Basin, could dump between 10 and 20 inches of snow on the mountain by Tuesday morning. He said the second — a smaller, quicker system that will produce small snowflakes — could result in an additional 4 to 8 inches by Wednesday morning.
“It will be good for skiing,” Larson said.
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten joked that Larson’s forecast is what ski area officials like to hear. She said the favorable early season snowfall gets everyone excited about the season, which should be beneficial Wednesday.
“We’re thrilled that the snow will hopefully mean a really good turnout for the Winter Sports Club, and in turn, really good fundraising for them,” she said. “And we hope the continued snow will make for a really great season.”
Larson said the first storm could drop 5 to 10 inches in town by Tuesday morning. He said winds from the southwest at 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts of 40 to 45 mph will keep temperatures cold. He said high temperatures would remain in the 20s today and Tuesday and drop into the single digits at night.
Larson said he didn’t expect snow to fall in town during the second storm. But he did say it would be colder, with temperatures in single digits Wednesday morning for Scholarship Day, with a high in the low 20s. He said to expect negative temperatures Thursday, which is Thanksgiving Day.
The additional snow and cold temperatures will make roads more treacherous for drivers.
Routt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Shawn Hockaday advised drivers to slow down.
Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott also said the most important thing drivers can do to stay safe in adverse weather conditions is slow down.
“Slowing down is by far the No. 1 factor,” he said. “The No. 1 cause of traffic accidents we see in the wintertime is people drive way too fast for the weather conditions.”
Elliott also said drivers should give themselves plenty of time to reach their destinations.
On the road, he said, they should keep more space between themselves and other cars to account for increased stopping distances in inclement weather.
Near top of the list for safe winter driving is making sure vehicles have properly inflated snow or winter tires, he said. Elliott also advised drivers to wear warm clothing and have blankets, food, and first aid kits in their cars.
Since last Thursday, Elliott said he has responded to three calls of drivers hitting elk or deer.
He said cold weather often brings animals down from the mountains and onto highways. Elliott urged drivers to be alert, especially when driving on U.S. Highway 40 east and west of Steamboat, Colorado highways 131 and 13, Routt County Road 129 and other county roads.
As of Sunday evening, the ski area was reporting 74 inches of total snow with a 32-inch base. The November record is 83 inches, which happened in 2005.
Steamboat Ski Area announced last week that it would offer top-to-bottom skiing at its opening, the first time since the 2004-05 season. Ski area officials stated that five lifts would operate, making 66 trails — 926 acres or 31 percent of terrain — accessible.
Larson said he expects snow totals to continue piling up.
“We’ll be adding to that tonight,” Larson said Sunday. “And tomorrow and tomorrow night.”
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org