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Steamboat trail question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Having never been to Steamboat, i have a question about getting from the top of the Gondola to the Sundown Express Lift.  It shows on the map that there is a green trail leading down the side of the mountain "Spur Run".  This appears to nothing more than a cat track.  Is it possible to ski from the top of the Gondola over to the blue run called Moonlight.  From some pictures I've seen on the net, it appears that the top of the ElkHead/Burgess Creek lifts are higher than the top of the Gondola making it "uphill" to go from Gondola to Moonlight.  I see another green run called Arc that seems to cut around the side of the mountain but can't tell from map which direction it runs. So, is there another option IE moonlight, to get to Sundown Express other than Spur Run?

post #2 of 9

Gondola ends at the top of an intervening high point which is in front of storm peak and sunshine peak.  Think "depth" when you look at the map.  It's actually very user-friendly.  You will ski down and around on Arc/Sunnyside or even Moonlight to get to Sundown Express. 

For clarity, look at Elkhead lift.  Its base is actually very close to the base of Sundown Express.  It goes up to deposit you close to Gondola top.


BTW: one hint if you're there on a pow day.  Sometimes it's more productive and enjoyable to simply ski Thunderhead Express area on a powder day.  Everyone else wants to charge the upper mountain (and it is great!), leaving plenty of the goods for you lower down.  I've had days where I skied fresh off Thunderhead until 1:00 in the afternoon before anyone else really found it. 

post #3 of 9

The easy way to get to Sundown Express  is go out the Gondy building and look right up the hill in front and look at about 2 o'clock and you will see a trail called Spur. Take Spur to where it merges with Moonlight, turn right and you can see your goal from there.


Enjoy....      Rick H

post #4 of 9


Easiest or fastest?  going down va Spur is only 5 minutes (if that) If the goal is to get to Sundown, you want to go this way.



Fastest is to go down Spur (which is a cat track that will be full of newbs so be careful!) , Take a right onto Huffman, keep the speed up, it will bypass a pretty good chunk of Spur.  After it rejoins with Spur you will see the Elkhead lift, you can ski down the lift line for about 50yds under the lift, you will see the Sundown lift on your right.  the map is off a bit.





Edited by Finndog - 12/8/11 at 10:55am
post #5 of 9

Weird thread--are you lost at Steamboat now posting on your phone? Or maybe just really itching to get out there and mapping out an entire itinerary? Why does it matter how fast you get to Sundown?


I rarely ever went Spur when I lived in Steamboat. More fun is to shoot down to Storm Peak, take that lift and then you can take the black Storm Peak face to Sunset or ski a little farther out at the top and get to Steamboat's most famous glades, depending upon conditions or preferences. If you're not digging the green run, that's the way to do it, imo.

post #6 of 9

I get the feeling he's just jonesin' and is memorizing the trail maps. I suggested the cat track since my guess he's trying to get to Sunshine.

post #7 of 9

JoeUT has a decent point. 


While Spur (Huffmans is a nice shortcut) is quick and depending when you go, seldom horrible and a good way to warm up .... and depending on what your seeking ...


my kids and I (they are much better than I) do figure eights .. we head off the gondola down to Storm Peak express, down Buddies or Storm Peak to Sunset/Rainbow to Moonlight, up Sundown to Tomahawk side and some trees (where i'm very slow and kindly my kids wait) to get back to Sundown or Elkshead ... where we can loop back to Stormpeak express (one can cut out some of the lift with Four Points) back towards the Sunset/Rainbow run.


We also like to move from Sundown to Hotcakes up to top of Buddies, etc and simply do odd about loops.  there are places between one can hit trees ... etc if your in the skill or have kids that allow you to poke about.


all very fun and can kill a day quickly but still gives ya places to stop, rest and drink or eat ....

post #8 of 9

yes but if you are looking for gentle terrain which I think he may looking for, this ^ would not be a good suggestion; not that this isn't a great idea.  


My norm on a pow day is to get up early, rip down to 4 points before storm peak opens and lap that down 1-2 times; either rainbow, twister tree line or Storm Peak lift line down, then get up to the peak and work across the ridge or get to the Peak and head over to what Joe suggests and work Side burns and the trees going south. The lower mountain is also rarely hit heavily in the AM and this season with all the Beetle bore mitigation there are going to be some interesting gladed and clear-cut swaths that I may have to hit early and often.  Pretty much dropping off from the T-head lodge through the trees and keep working the mitigation line may provide 2100 vert of gladed trees and open shots that most will overlook.  

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

just as a follow up, my wife is a good skier but not great ( i suppose i might fall into that catagory as well lol) and she really hates any narrow crowed cat track runs.  She is not much into trees so i was just trying to prevent her having to deal with a narrow crowded run right off the bat.  Thanks for all the options and any other steamboat thoughts or advice is appreciated.  looks like maybe arc to moon light would work.  Even though its tagged as "Disney Land" her preference will probably be the sundown/sunshine area so i was just trying to find a less than frustrating way to get there.  I like the option of heading to storm peak and then down from there.  Looks like there is a run called Traverse that connects top of storm peak to sunshine area.

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