Just one more run
Steamboat's skiers and riders celebrate season's end
April 9, 2006
Steamboat Springs — Late in the afternoon Sunday there were bluebird skies and highs in the 60s, and the ski runs were empty and thick with snow. There was an air of tranquility as an epic ski season came to a close.
It was quiet because most skiers and riders were at Gate D.
It is a tradition on the last day for people to go to Broadway bench or Gate D and build jumps, get dressed up and celebrate the end of the ski season.
“It’s a ski town holiday,” Katie Peyser said, hanging out at Gate D. “It’s sunny, and it’s been the sickest season I’ve ever skied.”
This year’s closing day has more to celebrate than the 432 inches of snow the ski mountain received. “Last year was freezing,” Chrissie Hodges said. “Today is the perfect spring day, everybody is so happy, and the comradery is unbelievable.”
Hodges was dressed up in a hot-pink wig, vintage ’50s glasses, bright red tights and bloomers with “catch me if you can” printed on the rear. “I dressed up for the shock factor. I just pulled this stuff out of my closet,” Hodges said.
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Ambree and Tesia Zuba, who are sisters, also were dressed in festive attire. “We love to dress up,” Tesia Zuba said. “I wanted to wear a cape so I can fly. Come on, don’t tell me everybody doesn’t want to fly down the mountain in a cape.”
Luke Krueger was brave enough to be the second jumper to soar off of the kicker built at Gate D. “It helps to have a whole line of people screaming,” Krueger said.
Travis Lawson, a spectator, marveled at the jumpers’ tricks as snowballs flew intermittently past the jump. “Nine out of 10 people are crashing upon us,” he said. “People are gonna get hurt real soon.”
Lawson captured what closing day is about. “The last day of the mountain is not for skiing. Ninety percent of the town is up here, and the goal is to join together as a community.” Lawson said. “We ski down after the lifts are closed, and the tourists are gone — it’s our day.”
For skiers such as Pete Kuhl, the last day of ski season means the beginning of biking season. “I’m ready to get the bikes out of the shed,” he said.
But for skiers like such as Jordan, besides going down to Slopeside Grill from Gate D, the future after an epic season is less clear. “What am I going to do tomorrow?” he asked.
— To reach Allison Plean, call 871-4204 or e-mail email@example.com