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Heading to Steamboat

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
We are heading out to Steamboat next week with the family. We have three younger to older teenage snowboarders and skiiers. My wife and kids are intermediate skiers/snowboarders and I am a more advanced skier. We would like to ski some of the infamous champagne powder but my wife is very conservative skier and is a little reluctant to head to the top and do and powder skiing. Can someone with any steamboat experience suggest some runs or point us in the right direction of where to ski at Steamboat so that we as a family can truly experience the champagne powder as well as feel comfortable skiing with the family? Greatly appreciate your input.
post #2 of 18
We were there last year and got dumped on. My wife is the same boat as yours. Head to the Sunshine lift. Blue cruisers that both your kids and wife will love. The kids can play in the trees and your wife will love the wide open spaces.

My wife enjoyed the top of the mountain much more than the lower portion. The bottom gets chewed up and bumpy. The top is a much better bet in my book. She can take the gondola down when she gets tired.

Have fun. We loved it there.
post #3 of 18
Our family loves Steamboat and we head out there every year. Things not to miss with the kids include: Strawberry Hot Springs, the Western BBQ dinner at the top of the Gondola, and watching the ski jumping at Howlson Hill (I think it's Wednesday nights). There is a lot of great intermediate terrain for your wife, a great park for the kids, a well run Nastar race program, and very nice locals. The bus system is easy to use and we let our kids navigate their way back to the condo without us after the first time. Cell phone coverage was good so you can all keep in touch. Kids 12 and under ski free with your 5 day pass so if they are close to that age, or look it, be sure and bring a birth certificate. You'll have a great time! I'm jealous!!
post #4 of 18
Rent fat skis for your wife, she will enjoy the powder more.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
All -- Thanks for the great advice. Sunshine lift area looks awesome. We all can't wait to head out ther.
post #6 of 18
I went to Steamboat for the first time this past weekend and was fortunate to get a foot or so each night of powder. It's odd and wonderful stuff - no resistance at all (unlike our Tahoe material.) Feels like high fluoro snow. You'll love it. The mountain has a lot of intermediate terrain so you should have no trouble finding the right areas for everyone. For yourself, if you break away, the tree skiing in the Closet and Shadows area is wonderful. Christmas Tree Bowl, No Name and N. St. Pats, though short, are steep and had freshies late in the day. This place lives up to its reputation.

Try the Double Z for barbecue (on Yampa St. near 11th downtown) and Winona's for breakfast (on the main drag around 6th street or so.)
post #7 of 18
Originally Posted by sierra

Try the Double Z for barbecue (on Yampa St. near 11th downtown) and Winona's for breakfast (on the main drag around 6th street or so.)
Also the VFW for cheap beer, microwaved burritos and pickeled sausage.
Pay off my bar tab if you get a chance.
post #8 of 18
Do not go to Sunshine lift on a powder day. The slopes there are not steep enough to even get through deep powder. The blues over there should be greens.

Any of the Blue runs can be skied and there's lots. Many of the blacks including Storm Peak meadows can be skied by most intermediates.

Powder day, be early at the Gondola, get off the Gondola, ski to the left down to Storm Peak Express. Get off and exit right to some of the easiest powder skiing anywhere. If it's not crowded, head down to the same lift, a long ski, and do it again. Otherwise, get off the lift to the left and do Buddy's Run all the way to the same lift. Next time up, head to the right and traverse over to High Noon and ski too Lower High Noon and the Priest Creek Lift. There you can do upper Shadows and bail out on the cat track to some easy stuff back to the same lift. You'll be tired by then so break at Ragnors between the noons. Then after it's trackedout, go over the back to Cowboy Coffee and play in some real easy trees, then if you want go to Sunshine.

If you still want some pow, you should head to the lower part of the mountain where some good blues and some good stuff left along the edges.

Believe me, if the snow is boot top deep or deeper, don't go to Sunshine.
post #9 of 18
Originally Posted by tief schnee
Also the VFW for cheap beer, microwaved burritos and pickeled sausage.
Pay off my bar tab if you get a chance.
No wonder you can't get a table at Wynonnas anymore, ZZ either, now my other stash the VFW.

Is nothing sacred?
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Lars
No wonder you can't get a table at Wynonnas anymore, ZZ either, now my other stash the VFW.

Is nothing sacred?
The Inferno, but only in our memories. Long live the Shot Wheel!
post #11 of 18
Originally Posted by tief schnee
The Inferno, but only in our memories. Long live the Shot Wheel!
Ah the Inferno. The party place of the 80's.

Number one chick spot for many years.
post #12 of 18

the boat

definitely your wife can do the top of buddys (don't forget to give the statue a tap at the top!) and ski down to BC lift. If you go past BC, your wife will probably want to cut over on (? some busy wider-than-cat-track thing-I can't remember) that will take her back to the bottom of rainbow and down to storm peack. If you go all the way down buddy's you get to Drop out, not a bad black but depending on conditions can be icy and full of moguls.
Or you both can cut off buddy's to the left down Calf Roper which takes you to the four points hut and, if she wants, over to rainbow, a nice intermediate run, which you can take then cut down hurricane and meet her, or you both could do I think its tornado, just to the right of the storm peak lift line, can't remember if its blue or black but its a very easy black if it is.
Also, when you both ski down rainbow you will get to the rainbow saddle which separates drainages. You can ski rainbow back to storm peak, or ski moonlight, a nice short intermediate (easy) run to sundown express. The down side of sundown is usually the lines but, if you are on a weekday, take this lift, head down the top of high noon. If its lunch time, ski the sunshine lift line (a very easy cruiser to the southpeak, I think, lift, and take this to the back of the lodge (saves having to hike up stairs and your wife will like the lift line). I think lower high noon gets really crowded and even tho it is black, you both could cut left and your wife could ski westside and you could ski rolex back down to sundown express. Off sundown, high noon to one 0clock, is intermediate, two oclock is a very easy black, she could ski these and you could take three oclock down. As people have said, you would liike twilight or closets...so have a blast! your wife probably doesnt' have to take the lift down, could take vagabondage all the way, just want to avoid heavenly daze at the end of the day, really crazy BUT off of heavenly is a great run called Ted's ridge which I always loved, I think its a black but a very mellow one.
If you are skiing down upper high noon, the trees on the left are great, and your wife might like them too!
If the four points lift is running (sometimes can aviod the storm peack lines) take that to the hut. Sunset is another good easy blue/black and has nice trees for you!
The bus will pick you up at the turn at the bottom of See Me in front of the christie condos so you don't have to schlep your skis all the way back up the stairs. And the bus is definitely the way to get around! Just ask for the condo line (or the down town line if headed that way)
The strawberry park hot springs are great, but they might require a four wheel drive to get there this season, check with whereever you are staying!
I'm jealous!
post #13 of 18
Going to the top of the mountain does not equate to going up in difficulty. The lower mountain can get very tracked up, bumpy and hard-packed...certainly not the skiing vacations of which vacations are made.

Cajole your wife to the top once and she will laugh that she was ever reluctant. Steamboat powder made me a much better skier and made me look good while doing it. What girl could ever say "no" to that?

Do not tell others but you must check out "Morningside Park" on the back of the mountain. The powder is very well preserved here, long after the front side has been chewed. "Jump Start" and "Hot Cakes" are great runs, with some optional drops and a really unique "I'm the only one skiing" type of feel. For blues, take the gentle "Cowboy Coffee". All of your group can take the Morningside lift to top and get a little mini-bowl feel. Blues can take "Rooster" and then have a FUN cut through the trees to "Snooze Bar". Blacks try "Alarm Clock" or "Wake Up Call" and join up with blues on "Snooze Bar". The trees are a lot of fun to dart in and out of. You will also find drops and jumps, if inclined. The cool thing is that a blue who wants to get a little more aggressive can find try these out on an OPTIONAL level. This is a unique area as everyone can ski the same area and have a maximum experience. No one feels like they are "holding someone back" or that they are pushing someone beyond their comfort level. Both are very key to avoiding tense dinner conversation.

During last year's to Steamboat, my husband and I spent a couple of days just on this backside. There are no lift lines, you feel like you have just discovered the best natural ski place in the world and the powder is sublime.

After a killer day on the slopes, go to Slopeside Grill for dinner (also good for a leisurely ski-in lunch...don't miss lunch on the patio, under the heaters with perpetually great music). They take dinner reservations (yeah!) and have SURPRISINGLY good and accomplished entrees. Ahi fans unite! Nice bonus for carnivores: rare burgers are available (illegal in my home state).

Have a great trip. Tell your wife I cried the first time I took a gondola to the top of a mountain. I now out-ski my once patient husband. Last year he tentatively followed my aggressive a** into our first double black. We have champagne powder to thank for this.
post #14 of 18
In addition to my earlier recommendation that you should rent your wife some fat skis so she feels more comfortable in powder, I also want to second the motion above that if it's a powder day, the trails off Sunshine are not steep enough to carry any speed. She will do nothing but flounder there in those kind of conditions.

If in doubt, sign her up for a powder lesson.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
WOW, you guys are awesome for taking the time to help us out. We will be printing this discussion and taking it with us on our trip. If I understand you all correctly, it sounds as if because of the anticpipated great conditions we can ski some of the more difficult terrain (ie. harder blues and truer blacks) very comfortably. I sincerely appreciate each of your suggestions. This information will help to make our trip a fantastic experience.

Keep 'em coming.

post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by skifamily
If I understand you all correctly, it sounds as if because of the anticpipated great conditions we can ski some of the more difficult terrain (ie. harder blues and truer blacks) very comfortably.
That is correct. The more powder, the steeper you need the terrain to be so you can carry enough speed to turn. Do not be afraid to ski faster, that is what will make you float. And when you get that floating sensation, you will surely think you have died and gone to heaven! Warning: The giggling will become incontrollable! You'll know what I mean when you get it just right. Then your goal is to repeat that sensation, over and over...

post #17 of 18
Powder Day? Intermediates? Pony Express is generally less busy then the rest of the hill. For yourself Porcupine trees and Twistercane.
post #18 of 18
Steamboat has lots of good places where people can take seperate runs down and end up at the same lift. Do you have some of those 2 way radios? That can be helpful in reconnecting at the bottom of the hill. When will you be out here? If you have a ski day on a weekend or if it is going to be a good snow day (since I have been accused of being a snow snob), I would be happy to hook up with you and show you some of the better parts of the mountain.
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