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Steamboat Blue Runs

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hello all. My family and I are going to steamboat for Christmas week. This is the second time in three years we go. Two years ago the whole family were beginners. My two sons, ages 15 and 13 are a little bit better skiiers than where they started. I was wondering what or some easy blues that we can take them on that are close to some greens in steamboat. Something wide and not as steep as some of the more difficult blues. Thanks in advance!!
post #2 of 15

Take the sunshine lift.  Sweet blue runs.

post #3 of 15

beat me to it!  Sunshine area is your best bet for sure but Also Vagabond Buddys Run is pretty mellow. Theres just one steeper section towards the bottom but its not long.  I would suggest starting out over on the Christy Chair and warm up on some easy greens. then you can move on.  

post #4 of 15

Agreed, you can do some nice loops on the upper Tomahawk area, they're wide and other than very start usually not overly crowded. Though I can't vouch for Christmas week. Only negative may be a rest/bathroom stop, but Rendezvous isn't really way off course and one can head back up or one could opt to head down.  Also, depending on breeze, it could be a bit brisk.


Another loop for kids from Gondola is down Rudi's, Lightning or Blizzard to Burgess Creek lift, then to Velvet to Moonlight up Elkhead. then you can loop this back to Gondola, another loop on Moonlight via Velvet. If they get comfortable and doing some bumps, there may be some smaller ones they can hit between Why Not on way to Blizzard (skipping Rudi's) or one can catch a few hanging high on Rudi's onto Blizzard. Note, lower part of Blizzard does get a bit steeper but is what I'd call similar to what one finds just off of the Christie lift. So depending on your kids, may want to be aware of but I'll guess they can handle the short bit if the short first part of Christie (to Main Drag) doesn't bother them.


Another loop popular with classes is Rudi's to Why Not, then either Why Not or Vagabond to Betwixt, then this to Eagles Nest to Giggle Gulch to Basher for loops (they may have the timed race gate to play in) and then back down to base via either Vogue or Short Cut.


One can mix too and cut though the Rough Rider basin (though since the trees were cut down, there isn't much there, down to Thunderhead lift back up to Gondola/Thunderhead Lodge.


Also, if coming down Vagabond, you can hit parts of Why Not and cut back onto the lower or upper parts of Vagabond down to the Thunderhead Lift.


Kid wise thing on Why Not is there are short little paths typically at beginning of a run or at a turn where kids can do a bit of narrow path skiing in trees or doing a drop (mini chute) where you can easily see em if you don't care to follow.


Tomahawk area has quite a few tree paths but I only did those with my kids when they knew the paths taken in a class and I kept close. Some of these while they cut between blues can be more dense and until I could ski comfortably enough to follow em, didn't really care to try and keep an eye on all while navigating branches low enough for adults to whack. however we would simply ski from point to point where we could all have an eye on one another and were confident the path was well traveled and used by classes.


Breaks and Hershey's chocolate bars did wonders too, even when my kids were older

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Awesome info guys!!! We are gonna try these runs!!! Thanks so much!!!
post #6 of 15

I didn't see it mentioned and others know Steamboat much better then me but Heavenly Daze was popular with our families ( well our wives and they are pretty cautious skiers). As long as the gondola has no line they loved it, which seemed to be the case towards the end of the day all the time!!

post #7 of 15

This link gave pretty good information ( but not as good as Finndog's guide):

post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by Bill9994 View Post

Heavenly Daze


I agree that Heavenly Daze is a great run, but it is definitely steeper than the blues off of the Sunshine lift (Tomahawk, Baby Powder, Quickdraw, etc.).

post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post


I agree that Heavenly Daze is a great run, but it is definitely steeper than the blues off of the Sunshine lift (Tomahawk, Baby Powder, Quickdraw, etc.).

Agree with you but it is groomed very well and is a real feel good run. It really doesn't feel like a difficult blue. Maybe save that for day 2 after getting a feel for the skis and terrain.

post #10 of 15

The unfortunate thing about Heavenly Daze is its location.  I usually will ski it once first thing in the morning for the fresh corduroy warm-up and then maybe at the end of the day if I'm not in the mood to tackle Valley View.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys!! I'm stoked with all of this info!!! On some maps, the area of "Wally World" has a green named Sundial that leads into Rendezvous Way. But some maps show only blues up there....I guess we will find out when we get up there!!!
post #12 of 15

Both Sundial and Rendezvous Way are narrow traversing trails which cut across terrain which isn't all that steep to begin with and will require some poling/skating to navigate.  Last time I was at Steamboat (two years ago), there were very few on-mountain signs for those trails, but there were plenty pointing the way to Rendezvous Saddle.  If you want to get to the Saddle for lunch (or a potty-stop), the best way to get there is just taking the High Noon run which is a little steep (and crowded) at first but then opens up and levels out after the first initial pitch.  The reason I make this recommendation is that I have on numerous occasions planned to start on one of the other runs (such as Flintlock or Sunshine Lift Line) and then take Rendezvous Way to the Saddle for a much needed bathroom break only to miss this turn.  The trail map makes Rendezvous Way look like a huge boulevard which you can' t miss, but really it's just a narrow (and FLAT!) path through the woods which you wouldn't even notice 9 times out of 10.

post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by Lofcaudio View Post

Both Sundial and Rendezvous Way are narrow traversing trails which cut across terrain which isn't all that steep to begin with...

Agreed, but my presumption is that if you going up for most instructors refer to as Tomahawk area, then you have two ways in general. That's up Storm Peak to Traverse or Sundown Express. Over the last 10 years, my kids almost always do Sundown Express, hitting it from the Gondola area. From the Gondola area you head straight out to Spur Run and simply follow it down. It's all pretty low grade. Once off Sundown, everything is marked well. In fact, that's on reason we stuck with Steamboat as all the runs have from my opinion, been well marked.


Up there you can hit High Noon as Lofcaudio noted or veer towards Tomahawk. Tomahawk too is a bit steep for two shorter sections (these were long to me when I first started) but like High Noon (as well as  Sunshine Lift Line, Flintlock and Quickdraw) flatten out and are all pretty wide.


If you wish to avoid the more steep parts, then Sundail is fine. It's more what many call a catwalk, much like Why Not or Main Drag but it does cut around and connects back to Tomahawk. I'll claim that most everyone I know learned at Steamboat, while they may of taken Sundial, they took Tomahawk or the other parallel runs down. But Rendezvous will get you to the Restroom quicker if not taking High Noon.


I can say that for my kids, and for me, once one was comfortable with doing Rudi's, Vagabond and/or Eagles Nest, the upper runs are not bad, however they are longer. I know my kids all would just pick up speed as they're just long wide open runs whose grade just lets you build up speed. They didn't mind but I was learning too so we got into the habit of stopping at the occasional "peaks" along the way and regroup.


This helped too keep the my kids rested a bit and not burn out. allowed them to snag a pc of Hershey's and/or some other item like some Cheerios or water. Actually, that's one thing I'd keep handy, some easy snacks, gum, heat packs and toe and hand warmer and a few kids Motrin's handy. I know first hand how helpful these are as have given em out to a good number of parents whose kid was melting down.


Other thing that helped, though maybe for your boys it's no big deal, is that I'd let my kids lead to the next point. This mostly as they had classes in Steamboat and knew the mountain better than I but also allowed me to be "up hill" in case of a spill. Between me and my wife, we'd try and ensure one of us were the anchor.


Don't forget too, keep the patrol number handy. It's on the maps but we programmed it into our phones. First year our eldest skied, we agreed after classes to ski. In this one case we had a complete meltdown. Just layed there on lower mountain crying .. Ski Patrol called in a snow mobile and couldn't be nicer ... this of course better than a need due to injury but my statement is really that I doubt you'll meet any more friendly folk than in Steamboat.


Oh, last minor item. At the ticket office and at top of Gondola (and just inside of Gondola building) one can find the trail report/grooming map if early enough. They're really handy for folks skiing greens and beginning blues. They show what runs have been groomed for the day ... very handy to avoid a bumped up Blue.


Updated daily, We each normally grab one besides keeping a larger one in a pack. Small and handy to cover most your needs.

post #14 of 15

thanks Pete, well-done.  The grooming maps are available each morning at the base. Look for the folks wearing the yellow jackets (mtn ambassadors).  the perfect match for what the OP described is Sunshine. just stay off 1,2 & 3 O'clock and there's nothing there that cannot be skied by any skier comfortable on blue runs.  Rendezvous lodge is large and very easy to find. From the Sundown lift stay right but skate behind the Sunshine lift to access Sundial. (the green run) its only narrow for about 100 yards but still plenty wide. If this kind of terrain is challenging, I hate to say it but that skier shouldn't be on Sunshine, they should stay at the base and work on basics on Christy.  Nothing on Sunshine (outside 1,2,&3,O'clock and Kuss Cruise) should be overly challenging for a low intermediate.  

post #15 of 15
Well, now that I've already written this, I see the OP has already gone, didn't check the date.....redface.gif

We always start our trip in this area, just to get the feeling of sliding on snow back into the legs.

The sunshine area...other than the initial pitch, it seems pretty flat and probably more green than blue in my opinion. You can always avoid that first steeper pitch by taking Sundial around and catching the blue runs where sundial crosses them. There is also a bit of short steeper section where sundial drops down to cross the first blue run, but should be manageable. I always like to go to YouTube and look up for GoPro videos of runs at resorts. You can get a pretty good idea of what your facing. Here's one....
Other issues a beginner could face in the area...(experienced with my wife as she was learning)
- if it's storming, visibility at the very top can be poor.
It has snowed a lot a bunch of soft bumps/crud can form pretty quickly which can give newbies problems, especially if visibility is poor.
Wouldn't worry about that though, as those runs are great for learning.

A pic from the area..actually that is a photo of the trees between 2 of the runs

This is one of the short runs between the longer runs, maybe Cub?

Edited by WC68 - 12/29/14 at 5:19am
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