Mike Tolan skis past a patch of dirt Wednesday while making his way down Tornado Lane at Steamboat Ski Area.

Photo by John F. Russell

Mike Tolan skis past a patch of dirt Wednesday while making his way down Tornado Lane at Steamboat Ski Area.

Steamboat Ski Area gets ready for Springalicious

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— Springalicious complete with skiing and riding appears to be a go at Steamboat Ski Area.

In addition to the planned end-of-season activities, officials said they plan keep the ski area open through Sunday despite deteriorating conditions.

“If conditions continue as expected, we are set for skiing and riding through Sunday,” ski area spokeswoman Loryn Kasten said. “As always, we recommend that people stay up to date on mountain conditions.”

The beginner trails at the base area now are closed in preparation for the Cardboard Classic on Saturday and Splashdown Pond Skim on Sunday.

Kasten said that because of deteriorating conditions, Friday is the last day the Morningside lift will be running. That means the trails in Morningside Park will be closed, as well the chutes and other trails accessed by hiking from the top of the lift.

The ski area was reporting that a half inch of snow fell at midmountain Thursday morning. There is a chance of snow forecast through Sunday.

Rain on Wednesday night led to a delayed opening at the ski area Thursday, and the opening could be delayed again Friday.

Kasten said the rain and cool weather led to snow conditions that were “pretty firm and pretty slick.” The delayed opening allowed groomers to till the snow and create a softer surface. The gondola and Burgess Creek lift were running by 9:30 a.m. The remaining lifts serving the more than 50 open trails were running by 11:15 a.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Meadows Parking Lot will be open, but shuttle service will be available only from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Judging for the Cardboard Classic is at 10 a.m. Saturday followed by races at 11 a.m.

The entry fee is $10 per craft and there is a maximum of 50 crafts. People can register at www.steamboat.com/spring.

Lifts will start closing at 3 p.m. Sunday. The gondola will close at 2:45 p.m. Sunday for people going up the mountain. Since April 2, the gondola has been used to bring everyone down the mountain. The gondola will close to download traffic at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Kasten said that because of the limited terrain and not being able to ski down the mountain, guests will not be able to stay on the mountain past the sweep by ski patrol.

“We’re asking that all guests ride down the mountain by 4 p.m.,” Kasten said.

The Splashdown Pond Skim is at 1 p.m. Sunday. Registration for that event also is www.steamboat.com/spring.

To meet the demand for snow for the weekend events, 30 dump truck loads equaling 300 cubic yards of snow have been trucked to the base area.

Two free concerts are Sunday in Gondola Square. Toots and the Maytals will perform at 2:30 p.m. and JJ Grey & Mofro will go on at 4 p.m.

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