Cole Henry splashes down Sunday during the pond skim competition at Steamboat Ski Area.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Cole Henry splashes down Sunday during the pond skim competition at Steamboat Ski Area.

Steamboat Ski Area ends season as it started

Closing Day brings 8 inches of snow, end-of-season events

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Snow totals

2010-11 season mid-mountain snow totals (inches):

October (pre-season): 21

November: 90*

December: 73

January: 68

February: 84

March: 79

April (through Sunday): 18

Total: 433

*61 inches fell in November before the ski area opened for Scholarship Day on Nov. 24

400-inch seasons

2007-08: 489

1996-97: 448

1983-84: 448

1995-96: 441

2010-11: 433

2005-06: 432

1992-93: 416

2008-09: 405

Source: Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

— Of course, it was a powder day.

And why not? At the end of a season in which 433 inches of snow fell at Steamboat Ski Area, it was only fitting that Sunday brought eight inches of powder that had fallen at mid-mountain since the previous morning, including 5 inches since 5 a.m., according to the last snow report of the 2010-11 season.

Fort Collins resident Bredt Eggelston, who was skiing with his wife, Jenny, called Closing Day “perfect.”

“It’s the way I remember the last days of the year, typically,” said Eggleston, who grew up in Steamboat Springs. “It’s powder and snowing, and you wonder why they’re going to close.”

Steamboat eclipsed the 400-inch mark March 27, the third time in four years. Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokesman Mike Lane said because the official snow total was recorded at 5 a.m. Sunday, the last five inches weren’t applied. This year’s snowfall surpassed the 2009-10 season total of 261.75 inches during a storm way back on Jan. 31.

“It’s been spectacular,” Stagecoach resident Brian Brown said about the season. “Out of my 67 days, I think 47 of them were powder days.”

While many skiers and riders lauded the conditions, some had been looking forward to the warmer weather more typical of a spring day.

“I was hoping for sun so I could wear my banana suit,” said Connor Hagerty, a senior at Steamboat Springs High School. “But I think it’s too cold for that.”

Rye Kirchner, a fourth-grader at Strawberry Park Elementary School, reported that it was cold and windy at the summit. But the 9-year-old said the powder was great, especially in the trees.

It stopped snowing and weather warmed up slightly for the fourth annual Splashdown Pond Skim, which took place at 1 p.m. on Stampede ski run.

About 35 costume-clad revelers went as fast as they could in an effort to cross a 40-foot-long icy pond. Competitors were judged on costume, style, air and crowd response. Unlike previous years, no one made it across the pond.

“The powder may have been fun at the top for the people skiing, but not for the pond skim,” said Sara Ferris, Ski Corp. promotions and events manager.

Dressed in skintight body suits, Charlie Schmidt, as White Lightning, and Cole Henry, as Black Thunder, were awarded a season ski pass for being named overall winners. Other winners included Erin Limkemann, as Erin the Wonder Lifty, for best tumble; Nick Aromando, as Cookie Monster, for best splash; and Will Cheesebro, as Carlos Spicy Wiener, for best costume.

Closing Day concluded with the Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert featuring Katchafire followed by The Wailers.

Lane noted that the 2010-11 season ended with a powder day, the way it started in November. He said that’s not always typical on Closing Day, at least in recent years.

“Today, what a pleasant surprise,” he said. “It’s a great way to end what’s been a great season.”

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com

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