Joel Reichenberger: Season may be slipping


Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat Pilot & Today sports reporter and photographer Joel Reichenberger can be reached at 871-4253 or

Find more columns by Joel here.

— You know something’s wrong when it’s the middle of January and I haven’t set foot in the Stoker Bar and Restaurant.

It’s the middle of January, and I can count on one hand the number of après ski beers I’ve had.

It’s the middle of January, and I’ve not yet ordered every item on the Slopeside Grill menu.

It’s the middle of January, and I’ve skied maybe six times — and three of those were quick dashes for work, the vast majority of my time spent clinging to the icy pitch of Voo Doo documenting freestyle skiing competitions.

I’m a creature of motivation, and this year, the motivation to go skiing simply hasn’t been there.

Surely, the snow is to blame. I’ve never been a pressing-glass kind of guy — could I sound any lazier in this column? — but I like ample snow cover as much as the next local.

On the other hand, the slow winter has been great news for my condo — it’s not sparkling yet, but I’ve tackled more tasks this winter than I have in nearly two years living there.

It doesn’t really matter what’s to blame or what the side benefits might be. The fact is, I can feel winter slipping away, and as great as it might be to rip decades of wallpaper from my walls or to join those mountain biking on Emerald, skiing is my favorite single aspect of living here, and I want to do more of it.

I can feel winter slipping away, just as the summer did after the slow, cold spring did by squelching my early season ambition.

Still, all’s not lost, not for me or anyone else still sitting in single digits. A drop-in last week at Azteca Taqueria — a major beneficiary of my in-town attitude — revealed that more than 90 days still remain this season. My chances at hitting the century mark in Steamboat are gone, but there’s plenty left to be skied and explored.

It’s going to be tough, though.

It’s easy sitting at a keyboard to reflect on these shortcomings. It’s a bit more difficult when I’m staring a day off in the face.

I’ll use the days to refine my skiing, hopefully finally sticking to the “keep them parallel” theory, even in cruddy terrain. I’ll use them to ski what’s open and what’s nice, and to learn to ski better on what’s open and not nice.

And, dang it, I’ll order some nachos and pizza.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email


Chad Fleischer 5 years, 3 months ago

Perfect opp to learn to ski correctly vs getting away with bad technique in the soft snow and fat skis. Also a great chance to go ski Jackson or Whistler which are huge mtns, incredible mtns and will have you coming back to steamboat with new found confidence. I think too many people are blowing off skiing vs understanding this is a great chance to improve their skiing and explore new ski areas in other regions of North America. I know its hard to stomach going somewhere else when the ski area shakes us down for $1,000 for a ski pass but going to the snow can be very rewarding and you will also find that when you buy a lift ticket for $90 you tend to ski all day and get your moneys worth. JAckson is only 5 hours away! Getting out of the Steamboat bubble in the ski world is something very few in this town do and it can be very rewarding.
I make it a point to leave and go on ski vacations at least twice per year to know what skiing is like at other ski resorts. This year includes Beaver Creek and Whistler. Instead of throwing in the towel throw on a sharp edge and go find some snow! We still have 90 days left in the season and the on shore flow finally started. I understand your frustration but this is a winter community so be positive and see you on the hill!


john bailey 5 years, 3 months ago

chad, most of us cannot afford 90 bucks to ski. thats ridiculous, let alone travel by air some where to do it. as for me i'll just take a pass on this year. every day that goes by i feel better about not buying the over priced so called lift pass. skiing can be cheap to do just not at these hills. we have been spoiled by all the snow over recent years, now about the spring runoff , boy this could get interesting. 2 days of snow in the forcast ,yeah i got my snow blower ready to go. lol


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