Steamboat Springs It's official: the Steamboat Ski Area's 2012-13 season has begun.
Under blue skies and mild temperatures, the Christie Peak Express chairlift at the base of Mount Werner began ferrying skiers to the top of the Christie summit at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. From there, skiers and riders have but a few options to wind their way back down to the base on mostly manmade snow.
Open trails include Sitz, Vogue, Stampede and Jess’ Cut-Off. The Desperado learning area also is open, and a few terrain features are open at the top of Vogue.
Wednesday is Scholarship Day, and lift tickets are $20, with all proceeds benefitting the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. Season passes and multi-day lift tickets aren't valid until Thanksgiving Day. Single-day lift tickets will be $49 on Thursday, resort officials announced earlier this week. Lift ticket pricing will be adjusted again once the gondola opens.
Opening day also serves as the kickoff to the ski area's 50th anniversary season. The bulk of the celebration will take place in early to mid-January, when resort officials have planned a week's worth of festivities. But it will be hard to miss the 50th anniversary posters, logos and other reminders throughout Steamboat Springs over the next couple of months.
The Bud Light Rocks the Boat free winter concert series gets under way at 2 p.m. Saturday in Gondola Square when New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band hits the Steamboat Stage.
There's little chance for natural snow through the weekend, with sunny skies and daytime highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s dominating the forecast. Overnight lows will be in the low to mid-20s, which should allow for continued snowmaking.