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Snowboarder Kenny Loose descends See Me at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area on Wednesday. Deep early season snow is pushing many locals out the door and up the slopes with snowshoes, telemark skis and Alpine touring packages.

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Hiking to ski a popular choice in Steamboat before ski area opens

Eager skier and riders across the county began what will be at least a seven-month assault on local peaks, slopes and powder stashes. Because Steamboat Ski Area still is six full days from opening to pass-holders, the only way down is to find a way up. For many, that means hiking. It’s not hard to join them.

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