Originally Posted by Christy319
Very effective--I bought that hook, line and sinker before I went. I fully expected fantastic snow and an interesting, historic town, but I got rain, fog, and mashed potatoes (in January). The historic town is subsumed by miles of strip malls, fast food joints and ugly 70s-era condos. Maybe I would have felt differently had conditions have been good--maybe the ugliness of the development wouldn't have stood out so much--but I left baffled by the appeal of Steamboat.
This was before I'd taken many ski vacations outside the PNW, and was (naively) under the impression that the snow in CO and UT was always good. I know better now.
Snow in Colorado usually IS good. Its a rare day that we get snowfall that isn't light, blower snow, but that's true all across the state, not just at Steamboat.
Personally, I love visting Steamboat- in the Summer. I spend a weekend or two up there a year, camping at Stagecoach Lake (home of the former ski area) and running jet skis around, tube the Yampa, sit in Strwberry Park hot springs, and have a generally awesome time.
I has visited Steamboat for years in the summer before I ever skied there in the winter, and the first time I was terribly excited, just to be totally underwhelmed. The whole mountain is an intermediate mountain, and most of the black runs (of which many are regularly groomed, WTF?) are milder in pitch than moderate blue runs at many other Colorado areas. The only part of the mountain with any level of challenge is the Chutes/Christmas Tree bowl, and its 200 vertical feet before you are back to skiing runs that have a green pitch but are labelled as blacks because theyd on't send a groomer up them every 15 minutes.
The first weekend I was there it was a powder day both days- 8" day 1, 13" day 2. Even then, I've never in my life seen snow get skied out faster than those 2 days. By 10:30 on both days, the only soft snow was found deep into tight trees (closet and shadows were totally packed out, and the only soft stuff I could find otherwise was morningside park and some lines in Christmas tree). The mountain has a handful of runs that just about everyone funnels into (Buddy's run) to get back to the lifts, and 10:30 these runs were nightmares of hordes of people of all ability trying to avoid creaming eachother while navigating speedbump proto moguls.
Don't get me wrong. I know the above is very negative, but I don't think Steamboat is a BAD place to ski. I just came in with very high expectations, and came out with the realization that it is a mountain that gets decent snow, has Keystone/Vail type terrain (hyped but not anything special in the slightest), sees more crowds than I like (but better than Breck, Vail, Keystone, etc.), and generally does not live up to the "Champagne Powder/Ski Town USA/Billy Kidd riding horses to the lifts" marketing image that has been expertly, expertly crafted.
My two favorite places in Colorado are Monarch and Sunlight. When they get snowed on (and Monarch gets more than the Boat), I know I will have steeper terrain and fresh lines for a lot longer than what I'll get at Steamboat.