Skiing Steamboat Powder

Skiing Fresh Pow in Steamboat

Skiing Fresh Pow in Steamboat

My Powder Hound

My Powder Hound

Woo-hoo! There’s nothing like skiing fresh powder, especially when it’s the nice champagne powder we have here in Colorado, the dry, glittering fluff you float through like a glider rollicking on air drafts above a mountain peak. We’ve been having wonderful winter snowstorms here in our Rocky Mountain state with snow totals reaching over two feet at most resorts within a twenty-four hour period at the end of last week and then another biggie that hit just yesterday. I was teaching skiing here in Telluride throughout the biggest pow period and although I wasn’t able to have the fun I’d have on my own, I did enjoy introducing some intermediate skiers to their first powder day—a whole different experience from skiing groomers.

I had the biggest powder day of my life almost a month ago in Steamboat Springs, a resort that’s been particularly well served in the fluffy white stuff this year. My boyfriend, Steve, and I hit it right and managed to arrive just ahead of road closures and other inconveniences caused by a very big dump. They had such a snow event in the area that people had a hard time finding their way to the slopes (especially if they had to cross Rabbit Ears Pass). Fortunately we were staying slopeside in the newly renovated Sheraton Steamboat Resort, the best property of its kind at this popular mountain destination both due to its superb location and the quality of the establishment and services provided. We were thrilled to find ourselves in a contemporary-styled, one-bedroom condo hotel unit where we were able to sprawl out for three days. (A ski trip always involves a lot of clothing and gear even if you’re a seasoned traveler staying for a short while.)

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Loving the Pow

Fresh out of the gate on that major powder morning, I felt almost like the students I had here in Telluride during our big storm:  I felt intimidated and in need of major adjustments to my technique in order not to be thrown into “the backseat” by the resistance caused from the powder. Steve crushed it from the get-go and I could tell he had no desire to wait up for me as I found my own way of bobbing down the slope. “You head out on your own and we’ll meet up for lunch,” I hollered, forever mindful of the expression “there are no friends on powder days.” This includes pokey girlfriends, too.

Four Points Lodge

Four Points Lodge

My Chicken Pot Pie

My Chicken Pot Pie

We spent the morning gobbling up powder at our own pace and then met up at the newly opened Four Points Lodge for a hearty lunch. Steve chomped on a buffalo burger  and fries and I devoured a chicken pot pie big enough for two. Together we studied the trail map and showed each other where we had been. “They have some of the best tree skiing in the country,” Steve said after indicating the area where he played most of the morning. I showed him where I went and we agreed that Steamboat is an expansive, well-balanced mountain with plenty of options for everyone.

Steamboat Views

Steamboat Views

Sparkling Trees

Sparkling Trees

My Tour Guides

My Tour Guides

On Tour

Me on Tour with a Fellow Visitor and the Guide

Enjoying More Steamboat Hospitality at the Cocoa Covered Wagon

Enjoying More Steamboat Hospitality at the Cocoa-Distributing Covered Wagon

Day two the sun shined brightly and I was happy to discover the expansive views of the surrounding ranch lands from atop Steamboat mountain. I marveled at the aspen trees encased in a crystalline frost, a characteristic of Steamboat produced by a good amount of moisture—often in the form of fog—in the air. I did a mountain tour, something I like to do whenever I’m new to a resort in order to get the lay of the land and sometimes even a little local color. It’s also a good way to find instant ski buddies since I cut Steve loose for another half day and didn’t want to ski the whole time on my own.

We met up again at Four Points Lodge for another delicious lunch, this time washed down with Bloodies and brews. By now, Steve knew the mountain as though he had been skiing it for weeks, so for the remainder of the day he toured me around until we didn’t have an ounce of strength left in our legs and were so parched that all I wanted at happy hour was a big tall frosty Coke.

On the third day, I rested and lolled around our luxurious accommodations, something I rarely have the chance to do during ski season. We had to leave by noon, but Steve still managed to pack in a full morning of skiing on the fun terrain he’d discovered during the weekend. We rolled slowly out of this old Western town, half longing to amble about and explore the selection of shops and eateries that line main street.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Skiing Cowboy

Skiing Cowboy

Iconic Steamboat Springs Resident Billy the Kid on a Powder Day

Iconic Steamboat Springs Resident Billy the Kid on a Powder Day

But we knew we had a long drive ahead of us back to Telluride, so we decided to save it for another trip. Most likely one in the summer, since damn, only an old cowpoke would pass up on such good skiing. And even then, it would likely be a cowpoke that’s already delighted in a cattle farm-sized share of turns. Yee-haw!

Steve on the Long Drive Home

Steve on the Long Drive Home

Tips on Skiing Powder

Maintain a balanced stance on your skis, flexing ankles, knees and hips. Ski with a more narrow stance so that your two skis practically work as one. Think of foot-to-foot pressure—or soft peddling—to steer down the slope, avoiding big rotary movements which will trip you up. Flex and extend as you bounce through the powder. Smile and have fun. And be sure to give out lots of hoots, too.

Après Ski Suggestions

Truffle Pig, the more upscale choice in the heart of the base village at 2250 Après Ski Way (love it!), 970-879-7470.

Slopeside Grill, located on the right at the base as you ski down Preview ski run, 970-879-2916. This is a great place to soak up the rays and the scene outside.

The Outdoor Scene at Truffle Pig on a Powder Day

The Outdoor Scene at Truffle Pig on a Powder Day

Steve and Me Toasting Our Powder Day in Steamboat at Truffle Pig

Steve and Me Toasting Our Powder Day in Steamboat at Truffle Pig

Thank you to Steamboat for some of the photos used in this post.

 
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