First turns of the 2015-2016 season!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

First turns of the 2015/2016 ski season on Saturday, 7 November after presumably the last mountain bike ride of the season on the previous Tuesday, 3 November! That beats last year’s 5 day break between summer and winter sports by two days!

The storm responsible for this quick switch dropped about 17 inches of snow over 3 days at the top of the Steamboat Ski Area as well as this location, which was at the upper end of the advertised forecast.

This area is Fox Curve which is on the east side of Rabbit Ears Pass several miles east of the West Summit. After a few uphill traverses without skins, we took off our skis and followed the bootpack up to the top of the ridge.

Below is some video evidence my buddy Dave Moloney shot as I was coming down the shallow ridge - The skiing was not nearly as good as last year, but bottomless powder on day 1 is always a good thing!

Milly followed Dave down ahead of me, so she was unavailable for the starring role this year.

Some recent pictures of our stunning fall

Saturday, October 17, 2015

steamboat_from_chisolm_sam_27sep2015_2626_450x450.jpgI have lots of pictures I need to go through more systematically, but here are six that I quickly grabbed. To the right is our fair town of Steamboat Springs on 25 September as seen from the Sunshine trail as it cuts across Twister. Elk Mountain, also know locally as Sleeping Giant, can be seen just above the aspen tree to the right!

sunset_1oct2015_sam_2723_450x450.jpgHere is a beautiful sunset seen from the lower half of Gunsmoke on the lower mountain taken on 1 October.

/sunset_09ct2015_sa4_2764_450x450.jpgAnother sunset taken from a similar place on Gunsmoke, but a week later on 9 October.

new_trail_bottom1_sam_210oct2015_2795_450x450.jpgSteamboat has really spent considerable time developing new mountain bike trails on the hill, and this is a new trail that starts at the base of Pony Express and winds through Pioneer Ridge before ending up at Rainbow Saddle. I’d call the trail Prime Rib if it were up to me since it cuts across Middle Rib and the trail has some of the best single track on the hill! Incidentally, the moose on the ‘Big Moose, litlle moose’ post was located along this section of new trail, though this was taken on 21 September.

new_trail_middle_sam_210oct2015_2801_450x450.jpgThis is near the top of the new trail as it enters the aspen forest around Twister on 21 September.

new_trail_middle_rib_sam_27sep2015_2583_450x450.jpgSurprisingly, this was taken on 27 September on the new trail as it winds through the aspen around the Pony Express chairlift. There are a lot of aspen on this trail that change color at different times, lending spectacular color from the lastweek of September through mid-October.

Big moose, little moose

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Big Moose from 4 Oct 2015 on Pioneer Ridge Came across a family of moose over on Pioneer Ridge this past Thursday blocking the trail. After carefully bushwacking around the apparently content moose, I was able to get some photos of two of the three. After riding to Rainbow Saddle and as I was descending Rustler’s Ridge, I scared up ANOTHER family of three moose resting on the trail. These were far more agitated at being disturbed, and the twitching ears and snorting precluded any picture taking as we again bushwacked around the family. Lots of animals on the trails getting ready for winter, so be careful out there!Small Moose on 4 Oct 2015 taken on Pioneer Ridge

Hiking for spring powder

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Snow starts here - looking toward Thunderhead baseThere are still spring powder turns to be had for those willing to hike. Shown to the right is about the 5 minute hike across bare ground needed to reach the snow on Lower Vagabond at the Steamboat ski area Tuesday afternoon. It is amazing how much this dried out from Sunday after recent snows, when you could start hiking from the lift terminal, but access to that was through a mud pit.

Tornado zipper-line from Sunday 19 April 2015Speaking of Sunday, my tracks down the Storm Peak liftline on Tornado were clearly visible two days later as I hiked up from just above the Vagabond saddle! Skiing on Sunday was better than Tuesday as there was about 8-10” of dense powder from the weekend snows.

Tornado turns from Tuesday 21 April 2015Shown to the right are Tuesday’s turns, where the 8-10” from Sunday consolidated to about 5-6” of even denser snow. I had started out intending to ‘8′ my tracks from Sunday, but the debris from Sunday’s turns made the skiing a bit inconsistent. About half of the way down, I sought the far more consistent untracked powder to skier’s left and finished the run next to my old tracks from Sunday.

Milly on Tornado 21 April 2015Milly, my hiking companion, Lower Tornado inspecting our turns on the lower slopes of Tornado. Note her paw prints bisecting my turns! She was the only one I could find to accompany me Sunday and Tuesday. If the snow allows it, she is always eager to help me start the season and end it!

Lots of soft skiing around

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A surprise 1.5” of snow on my deck this morning accumulated to 2” at mid and 4” up top from this morning’s report, with an additional 2” falling during the day today. I missed forecasting the early morning snowfall as some energy escaped from the parent storm to our west, but otherwise the storm is on track, with the cold front moving over the upper mountain around 3 pm and enhancing snowfall rates. I still expect 4-8” to be reported tomorrow morning, with and additional 2-5” falling during the day and overnight, which will be reported Saturday morning.

The consecutive days of snowfall have kept the mountain in great shape. Though my first run down Rudi’s was a bit scraped by mid-afternoon, Upper Closet and Shadows skied soft, though a bit inconsistent. There are still places where the very dense snow from the Sunday night storm is waiting to grab your ski, but overall the newer and lighter snowfall has been mixed in well by the current skier traffic.

I next headed up Morningside for a short walk up to No Names to ski some steep and less tracked snow. The flat upper section is skiing like a silky dream, though you can still uncover the heavier snow underneath as the pitch steepens. The snow stake up top read 57”, yielding a 51” base up there after subtracting the 6” bias (as I verified two summers ago, the ruler starts at 6” above the ground!), which is still not quite enough to completely cover the sharp rocks at the bottom of the run, so ski carefully!

Caught close to last chair up Storm Peak for a run down alongside Bar-U-E liftline and then over to Typhoon for more soft turns. After skiing down to Thunderhead, I closed out the day with a pleasant run down Ted’s Ridge.

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21 June 2019

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