February 2, 2011
Eugene Buchanan, magazines editor
Stories this photo appears in:
Holy Tuesday through Thursday storm cycles, Batman. This past week made three in a row when storms have walloped the Yampa Valley in that three-day time frame, dumping 35, 30 and 25 inches, respectively, atop Mount Werner for a March to remember after a February to forget. With another on tap for this Tuesday, El Nino is keeping a schedule as tight as that of any daycare-attending, soccer-playing toddler.
What’s it like to head from Ski Town USA to Snow Sports Industry America’s annual ski show in Denver? Here’s a snapshot from the trenches working for its daily publications.
I’m skiing through a grove of aspen trees high on Buffalo Pass, a warm spell texturing the snow — a cross between powder and corn. The combo seems oddly fitting, as I’m searching for a phonetic cross between the two: porn. More specifically, hidden stashes of erotic tree art etched into area’s aspens by long lost — and obviously lonely — sheepherders.
Outfitted head-to-toe on a backcountry trip to B.C.
What would you do if you were heading on a skiing trip to the British Columbia backcountry with your buddy the Black Diamond rep? You’d hop right into a nearby phone booth and become Black Diamond Boy.
I approach it with trepidation every year. You never know what kind of reaction you’re going to get after ignoring it so long. No, it’s not my dog after a long absence, or even a visit to my doctor or dentist. It’s something far more crucial to living in Ski Town USA: my snowblower.
Some wedding table conversations are better than others. Still, none of us at Table 9 were prepared for the doozy related by John “Maddy” Madigan, a not-too-backcountry-savvy friend from Seattle.
A lot of people have grandiose dreams of building a house in a ski town. A minimal commute to the slopes, a ski rack inside the front door, a crackling fire … maybe even a strategically positioned dump light outside the living room that lets you monitor snowfall.
Whether it’s trudging up Mount Werner before the resort opens or breaking trail in the backcountry, donning skins and earning your turns is ascending in popularity, just as its minions are doing on local mountains.
For a spur-of-the-moment camping adventure, Utah's Flaming Gorge is "flaming gorgeous."
Blame it on my Boulder upbringing. How else would you explain my jumping at the chance to hop in a giant clam to test the new, space-age float tanks at Neptune Healing and Float Spa downtown?
OK, we’re heading into week three of this year’s Free Summer Concert Series — this time with Jonny Lang and his five pianos taking the stage — which got me to thinking about how good we have it whenever the shows come around and why I like these concerts.
Magazine editor Eugene Buchanan joined local bike manufacturer Moots on its second annual, 50-mile Moots Ranch Rally, a communal dirt-road ride showcasing area ranches while benefitting the Community Agriculture Alliance.
Debuting at the Steamboat rodeo last year, 2015 marks the second time the mini bareback riding event, fully endorsed by the PCRA, will take place at Romick Arena, with the contests slated for July 25 and 26 and July 31 and Aug. 1, as young riders prepare for a berth in the National Finals in Las Vegas.
Every sport has its Holy Grail, that pinnacle of perfect conditions. For kayakers in Steamboat this past week, it’s catching the Yampa at peak flood. This is when the river is its most powerful.
Magazines editor and columnist Eugene Buchanan writes about his experience at one of Conservation Colorado's sage grouse viewing trips.
I’m halfway through a 7-mile cross country ski trail on Hogan Park from Rabbit Ears Pass to the top of Steamboat Ski Area. With only 800 feet of elevation gain, and wide, flat meadows to traverse, this gives my mind plenty of time to wander.
If ever there was a stand-in for the famed mountain man, who actually trapped just north of here, it’s fourth-generation Steamboat Ray Heid, who runs Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch outside Clark.
A diehard backcountry skier, Edge, vice president of Backcountry Access, was hitting Rabbit Ears to learn riding tips from pro rider Brett Rasmussen. Did I want to tag along? Of course.
One day we’re languishing in the remnants of the worst snow layer ever, and the next thing we know, a 20-inch snowstorm wallops Mount Werner into submission, popping the celebratory cork on full-blown, Steamboat-style Champagne.
The first skate ski of the season, which occurs on Bruce’s Trail atop Rabbit Ears Pass, happens earlier than it does anywhere else in the country,
While skiers flocked to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s ski swap this weekend, for me it’s another gear exchange that truly marks the change of the seasons. Only this one involves the garage rather than the school gymnasium.
The storms hurtle by, missing us by mere miles. Rain streaks come between us and Porcupine Rim to the south, while another burst blows by to the north. Had we been in Moab mountain biking as usual, we’d fear mud, a douching and perhaps a case of squeaky brakes.
Those with mortal lungs were milking freshies on the 4.25-mile Morning Gloria, Steamboat Springs' newest mountain bike trail. You only get one chance at a first impression and Morning Gloria’s was...glorious.
Sometimes when you travel you can’t help but think about home. That was the case for me recently when attending the three-day-long Salmonstock Festival in Ninilchik, Alaska, with my in-laws. Billed as “three days of fish and music” and benefiting efforts to protect salmon from such threats as the proposed Pebble Mine, the event resembled our free concert series here in Steamboat.
We’ve all had those times when something Colorado-ish just clicks — a moonrise over the aspen, a rainbow framing a deer, a trout rise in the early morning mist. My mile-high moment came last weekend, when even the good lord above would’ve had a hard time scripting a more scenic scenario from our 38th state.
Members of the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association were here for the weekend to play a benefit game for the Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey Association.
Having your roof electrified with 120 volts reaffirms that anything can happen in Ski Town USA
Science teachers: Want a case study for your next class? Use my house. It all started on Valentine’s Day, when my 5-year-old niece, Lily, visiting with her parents from Alaska, came into the laundry room and told her mom, Laurie, she “was scared of the fire.”
What did you do on New Year’s?
Jim Creeggan, of the Barenaked Ladies, was in town with his family for the holidays, staying at the well-appointed second home of his in-laws. Our far-from-polished, midlife crisis band El Kabong was invited to said house on Jan. 1 for a New Year’s party. And there, sure enough, Creeggan grabbed a bass and joined us on the makeshift living room stage, where I made the most of the opportunity.
When a perfect crust forms on the spring snowpack atop Rabbit Ears Pass, it serves up something relatively unusual in Steamboat and its high-altitude flats: crust skiing.
There are countless ways to lose time in your first Randonee race: Being out of shape is one, as is being spastic at transitions, slow on the downhills and schizo about layering.
If this month gets remembered for its lack of snowfall, it also might go down for its urban line accolades. Not even a windstorm swept up to Etch-a-Sketch away locals’ snowy artwork.
Forget the in-laws, last-minute shopping and stress of frothing your meringue to a pointed whip. The real test of the holidays is surviving the white elephant gift exchange.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen such a feeding frenzy. Sixty-three inches of snow in 10 days after a prolonged drought will do that to people.
Erik Weihenmayer is taking the expression “running rapids blind” to new heights.
Well, I’ve done it. I’ve done gone and reached the end of my soccer coaching era in Steamboat. With the end of the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament on July 15, my daughter Casey, 9, officially has graduated from recreational soccer.
Bob Marley would be proud of Steamboat Springs, where every spring break sees an exodus, a movement of the people as locals abandon mud season for greener and warmer pastures. And this year more than most, it seems that movement was to Moab.
Well, it’s over. Another winter beer league hockey season has come and gone, and with it the hopes and aspirations of every team but the one that will get its name enshrined on the coveted Barn Cup trophy and get bragging rights for the year.
With the “Gondola Line Starts Here” sign outside One Steamboat Place, I could tell Monday was going to be a doozy — one that would call upon every lift line negotiating skill I had ever honed.
Live in Ski Town USA and there’s a good chance either you or someone you know heads down to the annual SnowSports Industries America (SIA) trade show every January in Denver.
Even with a subpar start to our skiing and riding year, all that snow has to go somewhere come runoff. And when it does, it fuels another sport relying on gravity and precipitation: river running.
It’s hard after nine months to get back into the powder swing. There are a lot of things to remember and nary any time to spare.
Ski patrollers might notice skiers and riders schussing a little faster down the mountain this season, and not just because of the winter’s firm snowpack.
She’s gone. There, I said it. While we all have moms and other relatives who visit for the holidays, staying in tight quarters often can be taxing. Especially if your mom is more eccentric than most.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Puh-lease. This might hold true for the Routt County Courthouse lawn, the lights hanging over Lincoln Avenue and the bell-clangers outside City Market, but not in the most traditional sense of having a very white Christmas.
Why is the daffy — that glorious, crotch-ripping badge of courage involving one or more midair splits — tainted with dorkdom? Pop a daffy under the lift today and you’re considered an ironic hipster or a loser.
Veteran Steamboat Springs-based journalist Eugene Buchanan has been hired as the magazine editor for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. His first day was Tuesday.