Skiing from the top of the gondola to the bottom of the mountain for the start of Steamboat Ski Area’s 49th season is virtually assured as snowmaking operations wrap up on Heavenly Daze, Vogue, Sitz and Stampede.

Larry Pierce/courtesy

Skiing from the top of the gondola to the bottom of the mountain for the start of Steamboat Ski Area’s 49th season is virtually assured as snowmaking operations wrap up on Heavenly Daze, Vogue, Sitz and Stampede.

1 week left till Steamboat Ski Area opens

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— With opening day only a week away, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. officials are asking skiers and riders to stay off Mount Werner.

“We would discourage people from being up there and making turns,” said Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations for Ski Corp.

Snow guns, hoses, equipment and unmarked hazards scatter the mountain in preparation for the ski area’s traditional Scholarship Day benefit Nov. 23. Proceeds from Scholarship Day lift ticket sales are donated to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.

Those large humps of man-made snow that line some of the trails at the ski area may look enticing to those eager to hit the slopes, but they proved to be dangerous for one man who was snowboarding at the ski area Sunday.

Routt County Search and Rescue had to rescue the 19-year-old snowboarder after he jumped and landed on his back near the bottom of the Vogue trail.

“That was a snowmaking pile,” Allen said. “It was not designed to be a jump.”

With warmer weather, Allen said snowmaking has slowed down slightly, but there is another storm and lower temperatures forecast for this weekend.

Last weekend’s storm left 11 inches of natural snow at mid-mountain, bringing the November total to 21 inches at 9,080 feet.

Season passes will not be valid on Scholarship Day. Ticket prices and available terrain will be announced early next week, Ski Corp. spokesman Mike Lane said.

Last year’s Scholarship Day may have been the best ever.

There was 7 inches of fresh snow, bringing the November 2010 total to 89 inches. Top-to-bottom skiing was offered for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Five lifts served 71 trails and more than 1,000 skiable acres — about 35 percent of the ski area’s terrain. The cost of the all-mountain lift ticket was $30, and a record $76,665 was raised.

“I think it was the best Scholarship Day we’ve had,” Lane said.

Skiing from the top of the gondola to the bottom of the mountain for the start of the ski area’s 49th season is virtually assured as snowmaking operations wrap up on Heavenly Daze, Vogue, Sitz and Stampede. Crews will now work in the Burgess Creek area to cover Rudi’s Run, Lightning and Ego. The short but sweet Arc trail also is being covered to allow egress from the top of the Burgess Creek chairlift to Thunderhead.

Snowmaking efforts are also moving to See Me, Boulevard, Big Foot and Yoo Hoo.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

S_G30 3 years, 1 month ago

Holly cow, the groomer has its blade down!!! Maybe they should try doing this during season and not just to push snow around! For being a destination resort we have the worst grooming in CO..They need to take more time, blade and till the runs every night. They also need to do some day grooming, every other resort does this and it makes a huge difference! I will gaurantee you their goal is to take the least amount of time and use the least amount of diesel. The locals voted to help you put butts in seats, now lets up your game with grooming around the mountain!

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BeCoolHoneyBunny 3 years, 1 month ago

Please join me and my new action group "Steamboat Citizens for Acceptable snow-Machining (SCAM)" in supporting next year's tax referendum, 1A. This new tax will support and enhance Ski Corps ability to groom their ski runs. It's only .25 on every $100 you spend, come on, you can afford it.

"We are in dire need of funding in order to secure our place as a world wide destination resort," says Joe Steamboat. "Without this new source of funding, I fear next year the resort won't be able to groom snow anymore."

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dave reynolds 3 years, 1 month ago

always gotta be whinners.maybe you two should share your vast experience with the grooming supervisor i'm sure he'd love to hear your constructive input as well as criticism better yet apply for a grooming job sounds like you have plenty of know how

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S_G30 3 years, 1 month ago

You don't have to be an expert, just ski at other areas. Time and Deisel matters more than run condition. It's like a golf course that doesn't mow there greens every day, you can still play on it, but it is so much better when maintainted properly.

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housepoor 3 years, 1 month ago

it could be a few easy thing like grooming wally world, and vagabound last or 1st thing in the morning on powder days so vistors who have a tough time in powder have an ability appropriate place to ski

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MrTaiChi 3 years, 1 month ago

Don't forget to utilize the moniker suggested by Scott: "Pot Town USA" when you confront visitors and invite friends and relatives to ski.

Maybe this thread can regress into a debate whether groomers do a better job sober or with those medicinally heightened senses.

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Phoebe Hackman 3 years, 1 month ago

Mr.TaiChi: lol! Followed by copious nitpicking and finger-pointing about everything from spelling to global warming to Naziism. :-)

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 1 month ago

Or maybe we can tell tourists we are Bike Town USA and have bike lanes on the mountain.

It wasn't my idea that this election would make Steamboat into Pot Town USA. That was the claim on the signs made by the highly secretive Yes on 1A and 2C group. I say "highly secretive" because they never stated who they were to either the press or to the state election commission despite obviously spending money to make those signs.

And I think after the resounding electoral victory that the supporters of mmj should not be afraid of that label. We can say Pot Town USA and the sky has not fallen. Most visitors would probably wonder why any of it is an issue because they didn't see a bunch of pot shops in SB.

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

We need a "Pot Town USA" streamer across 40 at both ends of town; otherwise it will remain an issue only in these forums.

And now we're railing on groomers... wow, man, yer bummin my trip!!

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jk 3 years, 1 month ago

S G30 Ha ha, I thought tree skiing was the envy of all that traveled here? In my best Allen Iverson imitation, " Groomers? we're really talkin' about groomers here?" Give me a break. Not to mention shutting down runs in the middle of the day to groom out the push piles? Where did you come from??

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dave reynolds 3 years, 1 month ago

S G30..i dont know where you get your info but your way off base..seems like everyone who complains each year has an inside track on how things are done on the mountian

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exduffer 3 years, 1 month ago

S G30 Why don't you join sledneck on the pass and quit your bitchin.

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sledneck 3 years, 1 month ago

Don't listen to him, S G. You wouldn't like it. No groomer. No lifts. No terrain park. No bars. No restaurants. No bus stop. No kidding.

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

Slope Maintenance does an excellent job. This place rocks. (mostly)

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Ben Tiffany 3 years, 1 month ago

It always impresses me in how far the conversation strays from the news article being commented on. I guess we all have too much time on our hands.

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Rossiman 3 years, 1 month ago

SG30 is correct. Compared to any other major ski mountian in the west, the quality of grooming at Steamboat is at the bottom. I know, I have been there. My ski buddies agree and it is not uncommon to hear "but the grooming report says it was groomed" from the tourists. If it is snowing hard or foggy, there are many skiers who want to ski groomed runs. To all of us who have skied many years a groomed run on a poor visibility day that has curbs, trench's, moguls, unmarked boulders or streams is not a big deal. But for the once a year skier, the ones who spent many $$$ here, it can be downright scarry. At any other resort, if the report says it was groomed, you can ski it blindfolded and not worry. Just another way Steamboat is not keeping up. People do compare what their $100 lift ticket buys.

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sledneck 3 years, 1 month ago

How can grooming be perfect when you get new snow almost hourly like we did last season?

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mtroach 3 years, 1 month ago

If you don't like the services offered by Ski corp, its your choice not to purchase a ticket.

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Rossiman 3 years, 1 month ago

"How can grooming be perfect when you get new snow almost hourly like we did last season?" Grooming slopes is not my profession. You would have to ask the other ski area's how they manage it.

"If you don't like the services offered by Ski corp, its your choice not to purchase a ticket." And there are many skiers who are taking their lift ticket $$ elsewhere and are doing just that.

I am just stating facts, don't shoot the messenger. I have been a season pass holder for 12 years. I like Steamboat's uncrowded hills. Ski Corps management is going to keep them that way.

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S_G30 3 years, 1 month ago

I have not had a pass in years but spend my time in deeper snow with no people snowmobiling. Im simply saying that if they are going to charge so much fo a lift ticket they should maintain the trails. I could care less if they didn't groom anything, wouldn't bother me. I knew the hardcore, tree skiing, groomers are for Texan crowds would take issue with this, but even you woud say that it would be nice to have a nice run to ski to the bottom on after a long day of skiing the powder. If not, whatever.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 1 month ago

The ski area is not being operated for locals, but for tourists. We just approved a tax to help bring tourists to the area. It appears that the most highly customer ranked ski areas are not in order of extreme terrain, but perceived customer service. Also, look at how the average age of the ski tourist is increasing.

Nicely groomed runs including grooming during the day appears to just be part of what today's older skiers want.

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TWill 3 years, 1 month ago

It's sad to see the ski industry dying before our eyes as it prices itself out of the next generation. That being said, the capital intensive standards (grooming, snowmaking, terrain parks, high speed chairlifts, high-end base village amenities, etc.) a reputable ski resort needs to maintain just to meet industry standards have increased so much, that the operating costs somewhat justify the lift ticket prices.

The sport was already exclusive, now it’s elitist. Working class families (and I emphasize families- i.e., the next generation) simply can not afford the money, time and effort skiing/ snowboarding demands. They’ll simply do something else. It’s really a shame…

I'd like to hear someone support an argument otherwise.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 1 month ago

Well, it looks like family oriented ski resorts can succeed, but they need to be near big population areas. By the time a family has reached SB they are in for so much in airfare and lodging that lift tickets are not a big deal.

And Vail Resorts with their deeply discounted passes is the way to go for a Front Range family. And I think Vail Resorts must be laughing at how many passes they've sold to people in Routt County. For people that have 9-5 type jobs and can ski no more than twice a week, the Buddy Pass sure looks attractive.

And Vail considers the Buddy Pass a great success with it averaging $30+ per day skied on the pass. So for that revenue number. it would seem that the ski area could go radical and offer a straight up $40 lift ticket with no passes or discounts and do okay. Might drive away the people that want to ski 100+ days a year, but arguably the ski area is currently losing money on them. So losing those people would be good for the business.

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

Justaskier -- Couldn't agree more. While I will often contribute to, if not cause, the digression from topic, every now and then I have to tend to the "real life," my delusions of success and efforts thus misdirected, the wolves, not far away.

Times are good, when you can live in the forums. I'm jealous.

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TWill 3 years, 1 month ago

The 100+ skiers/ riders wouldn’t change too much if lift tickets rates were simplified and lowered to the $40-$50 per day price point. That group is obviously hooked (like many of us are) and will find a way to be up there one way or another. They also add the core vitality that’s so important to a ski town and the tourist ski experience.

The industry wide demographic shift (increasing average age) is far more concerning. Resort infrastructure and amenities, demanded mainly by the baby boomers over the past two decades, have driven overhead/ operating costs so high that lift ticket prices have become cost prohibitive to working, middle class people that might have been able to ski as an ordinary family activity growing up, but can’t afford to continue skiing with their own kids. Thus that many fewer new people being introduced to the sport/ lifestyle.

Obviously this can quickly turn to a discussion of larger scale economic factors (i.e.- real estate), but it’s a shame to see how the ski industry as a whole has been to be affected.

Sorry to get off topic from the article…

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exduffer 3 years, 1 month ago

Scott- those 2 days a week 9-5ers would pay $22 per day if they bought a pass here. Ride the "free" bus, save the planet you know.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 1 month ago

Exduffer, Well, if you think they will spend every off day from Nov to April skiing then yes it could be as little as $22 a day. Or the more realistic scenario of skiing less than half of off days then it gets expensive to have a 9-5 job 5 days a week and ski here.

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TWill 3 years, 1 month ago

hebo, would you prefer this thread take on a 3rd world tone by discussing what we'll do about the leopard that's eating our fellow tribesman, who's going to take the next trip to the water hole, or what bone to put through our nose for the upcoming fire dance? Come on!

I realize that we are very fortunate to have the "problems" we do relative to others around the world.

I'm just saying, that in order for skiing (you know, the heart of this town) to continue into the next generation, it needs to be realistically accessible to more than just rich, old people.

The current trend is not sustainable for this little slice of heaven we call home (Ski Town USA). Our best customers are fading away and there isn't anyone replacing them. I think that's a noteworthy problem and worthy of discussion, don't you?

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

TWill --

I must disagree. I worked 2 of the last 3 winters at Preview -- not last year -- and there is a healthy new generation coming up, Baby Boomers' grandkids, largely, as many or more on skis than snowboards. (And not having the trouble with it, but I digress.)

This facility ain't going away any time soon -- pending our robust economy, of course.

Jeez, I pretend to have a real life, somewhere...

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Kevin Nerney 3 years, 1 month ago

Twill- are you kidding me? you want an intelligent conversation?on this blog?with these guys? What fun would that be? Maybe we should start a new forum and only Scott Ford, Mr. Tai Chi, Sledneck, Yourself and me would be allowed to comment. (not putting myself in the same category as the others by any means)

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

With the thoughts that I'd be thinkin' I could be another Lincoln If I only had a brain.

Nobody told me this was the Mensa channel, you obviously sustain a much higher level of discourse than us regulars, so I will accede to the real brains -- you can HAVE it!!

I really appreciate all the smart people identifying themselves as such, otherwise this moron could never tell.

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TWill 3 years, 1 month ago

I suppose you're right, Kevin.

Although a little off course from the original article, I thought my comments would provoke some insightful discussion. Maybe not?

This town is married to the ski industry (for better and for worse) and we all have a vested interest in the direction its going. Be honest: we'd be Maybell (possibly Craig) without it.

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Phoebe Hackman 3 years, 1 month ago

Man in Black: All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right... and who is dead. Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.

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Phoebe Hackman 3 years, 1 month ago

Ho hum, nobody wants to play. So I'll just skip ahead ....

Kevin, truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

Good word. Thought we have a corner on the market.

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

Good day folks, this forum ain't dead yet!! Is everyone enjoying the snow too?

I hope y'all pardon this digression -- or regression -- or transgression -- but the old language curmudgeon just noticed something, or put his thumb on it.

As everyone knows, 'til is the proper abbreviation of "until," while till is a cash register, a receptacle for money.

Sorta adds new meaning to this article's headline, huh... or did they mean it that way?

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jk 3 years, 1 month ago

rhys, good question but, knowing this editorial staff they probably just missed the '.

Pheobe, What's the game? I'm guessing everyone knows this is from the Princess Bride???

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Nicole Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

highwaystar, till is correct as the shortened form of until. Of course, till has several definitions, including the one you mention.

Nicole Miller Assistant editor 970-871-4246 nmiller@SteamboatToday.com

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Phoebe Hackman 3 years, 1 month ago

jk: In response to Kevin's post, it was all to set me up, just so I could use the phrase "dizzying intellect" :-D

Justaskier: As you wish!

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

Nicole -- Thanks for the correction; I thought I was a cunning linguist.

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rhys jones 3 years, 1 month ago

We should form a Forums club for us regulars, maybe meet once a month somewhere.

The anonymous could come incognito with name tags (as if we couldn't figure it out) maybe just a paper bag a la Unknown Comic; we'd have an intellectual corner where they could look down on everybody, and I'll supply boxing gloves and head gear, for when things really liven up.

Sound like fun to you too?

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sledneck 3 years, 1 month ago

Sign me up Highway! I could while away the hours, just conversing with the flowers...

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Phoebe Hackman 3 years, 1 month ago

Fezzik: [to Inigo regarding the man in black] You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.

Oh, geez ... somebody stop me.

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Matt Helm 3 years ago

I love Steamboat, but compared to other resorts the grooming just plain bad. I've been all over and I'm not whining about it because I'm usually not on the groomers. Most tourists can't ski the trees and freak in the deep powder, but our groomers could do a better job to please them. I know they work hard and have a lot of terrain to cover, but other resorts have the same issues...

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darkstar 3 years ago

I'm gonna have to agree that our grooming is among, if not the worst in Colorado. Having skied in Colorado for over 23 years, with the last 8 of them being spent full time in Steamboat (skiing nearly 100 days a season yaay!), I have been to plenty of different mountains and have seen with my own eyes how atrocious our grooming can be. Nasty ridges, death cookies, transitions, you name it, we have to deal with it. I'm not saying that we need to close runs to groom during the day, I think thats a little bit ridiculous, but is everyone else really in denial as to how bad our grooming is? Or does no one actually get out of the Yampa Valley to ski elsewhere?

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