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steamboat-a few questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
we enjoy blue cruisers(most of our group are in the low intermediate group)...we really enjoyed snowmass(especially as a group the easier blues) and wondering if we are going to find the same at steamboat...looking at the map and listening to comments is that the wally world area is probably excellent in fulfilling our expectations. but what about the rest...i hate bumps but love a little steep, groomed blue/black or easy black runs....will we be disappointed? also, what do you think about the torian plum? any places we have to eat? any good piano bars? thanks always for your input.

p.s. how is the snow typically in mid-December?
post #2 of 4
Wally world would suit you fine. It's mostly blue groomers and also offers the intermediate the chance to play around in the trees (blue runs as well) to find their own powder stashes. Heavenly Daze, Rudy's Run and Vagabond are also very good long groomers, although HD and Vaga will get very busy later in the day. There are also plenty of blacks that are bumped on one side, groomed on the other for cruising. If you like blue/blacks and blacks, check out the Pioneer Ridge area off the Pony Express lift after a good dumping, awesome terrain there.

I don't really recall a "piano bar" that I know of there, but Antari's is a really nice, quiet place to have some really good martinis in town. Wired in the Village is also good.
post #3 of 4
I am likely in a similar boat as you. I would consider myself no more than an average intermediate and I went to Steamboat in the middle of December (15th - 18th, I think) last season. In my humble opinion, much of the mountain is suitable for you. At that time, the mountain was completely uncrowded. There were a few individual trails not open yet and the Pony Express and Christmas Tree Bowl areas (neither of which seem like what you are looking for) were closed. Morningside Bowl opened during the week. Coverage was very good and there was about 4 - 5 ft of snow during the week. From what I have read, Steambaot is considered one of the more reliable early season areas.

I found Wally World to be as you describe. And in December, uncrowded. (At 3:00 one afternoon, I went down one of the trails between Tomahawk and Quickdraw and it only had two other tracks. I had to find a grooming report when I came off the mountain to convince myself the trail was open.) I also had a lot of fun on the intermediates off the top of Storm Peak, especially the trees beside Big Meadow, and in Morningside. I kept off the lower mountain as much as possible, but there are a fair number of groomers there, also. Some of the runs would have part groomed and part bumped. Let me try some bumps with an out if needed. Powder + Bumps = FUN. It did seem to me, however (based on looking at grooming reports while there and then later in the season) that they were not grooming nearly as many runs in December as they were later. There were at most 1 - 2 groomed blacks each day, if any. But it was a powder week, so no grooming could be considered a plus.

I'll throw Grand Targhee out there. From what I have read, about the most consistent early snow you'll find. The vast majority of the mountain is intermediate. But, they don't groom much if your snow really has to be groomed rather than skier packed. There really isn't enough traffic to form many bumps, though. Some think that it isn't big enough for a week, but I did not get bored in four days.
post #4 of 4
I agree with what has been said. I'm probably at about similar ability and had a great time in January of last year. Even though locals were disappointed with the lack of a lot of new snow that week, conditions were in my opinion still very good for this easterner. They groom some areas on a daily basis and rotate other runs, so check the grooming report each morning. Plenty of groomed blue/blacks in addition to "Wally world" -- though that area really is green/blue and serviced by a very slow fixed grip lift. You will want to explore other areas of the mountain. Hard for a solid intermediate to get in trouble in any area there so be adventurous.

I would add, though, that it is a very good place to be introduced to bump skiing. I had a personal breakthrough after a lesson there and now enjoy a whole new part of the mountain that I previously avoided.

You won't be disappointed there, trust me!
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