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Steamboat ski area receives first snow

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

First snow of 2014 at Four Points on 30 Sept 2014  taken around 8:15amFirst snowfall for the Steamboat ski area arrived yesterday afternoon as the upper low advertised in last Thursdays forecast moved over our area about 12 hours slower than I thought. This picture was taken around 8:15 am Tuesday morning 30 September 2014  and is from the Four Points Lodge Mountain Cam. Unsettled weather will continue today and tomorrow with the last and coldest part of the storm pushing through tomorrow afternoon, bringing accumulating snow to the mountain tomorrow afternoon and likely snowflakes to the valley floor by Wednesday night.

Spectacular sunset instead of rain

Saturday, September 20, 2014

emerald_sunset_19sept2014emerald_sunset1_19sept2014The first part of the storm forecast for this weekend was weaker and drier than expected, bringing some scattered clouds into our area late in the afternon. Rather than rain, a spectacular sunset graced Steamboat Springs last night.

Both of these were taken looking west towards Emerald Mountain from my deck Friday evening.

I still expect the second part of the storm, which is currently a cutoff low just off the coast of south-central California, to move westward during the day tomorrow, bringing first showers earlier in the day and then moderate to heavy rains by the late afternoon or early evening. Rain and rain showers will continue during the day Monday, until the upper low moves east of our area by early Tuesday, bringing warming and drying to the area.

From Green to Gold in 2 days at the Steamboat Ski Area

Friday, September 19, 2014

After a late start, the fall color show has seemingly appeared overnight! Well, not quite overnight, but literally in several days. Monday afternoon, the Twilight trees in the Priest Creek Area were tinged with light green, by Tuesday they were light yellowish and by Wednesday they were full yellow.

priest_creek_18sept2014I escaped for a mid-afternon ride Thursday afternoon as temperatures touched 80F in the Yampa Valley. I took the this picture looking over Priest Creek from the Elkhead loop, and you can see the Duster road cutting horizontally across the middle of the picture.

twilight_18sept2014I like riding the Sunshine loop in a counter-clockwise direction, so the next picture is taken from the Duster road looking up at the Twilight trees. The underbrush has turned a beautiful red color which contrasts nicely with the aspen.

tomahawk_18sept2014This picture was taken looking down what I believe is Flintlock about a third of the way up the new reroute of the Sunshine Trail

sunshine_18sept2014Finally, I took this picture cruising down the long traverse on Sunshine Trail somewhere in the Shadows area. You can see the town of Steamboat Springs over the ridge in the left hand side of the picture down in the valley floor.

Independence Day funnel clouds in Steamboat Springs

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fireworks in Steamboat Springs started ahead of schedule on late Friday afternoon as funnel clouds appeared over the the south part of town around 5:30 pm MDT. These photos were taken on Village Dr, first near Meadow Lane and then about 1/4 mile north near Walton Creek Rd. As the radar loop from Grand Junction in the lower right shows, the storm rapidly gained strength soon after 5:09 pm MDT and was quite strong between 5:28 and 5:48. During this time, rotation was evident in several areas of the cloud base, and it appeared that 2 or 3 shallow funnels briefly formed around this time. Along with favorable wind shear that helped cause the rotation, atmospheric instability was enhanced as the storm formed along a dry-line that was present at the boundary of the moist monsoonal air to our south and some drier air to our north and west that appeared in the afternoon.

Storm base at 5:24pm
Storm base at 5:28pm
Storm base at 5:31pm
Grand Junction radar loop at 5:09pm, 5:28pm, 5:48pm and 6:13pm

Uphill access restored to Zig Zag between Thunderhead and Creekside

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Steamboat ski area recently completed the lower section of the mountain biking downhill trail Tenderfoot, and as promised 2 long years ago, restored uphill access on the old Zig Zag trail between the base of the Thunderhead lift and the top of Creekside. This is great news for uphill riders like myself as we will no longer be subjected to the mind-numbingly boring ride up Why Not road to gain access to the excellent Creekside singletrack.

Personally, this has restored my standard lunchtime ride which I call the Creekside-8, which traces out a figure eight by following Zig Zag from the gondola to the top of Creekside, then down Creekside and back up Burgess Creek Road to Lower Valley View and finally the top of Christy Peak, then down Lower Rustler’s Ridge to the base of the gondola. It’s about 1800 vertical feet with two excellent descents separated by a 15 or 20 minute climb up Lower Valley View.

The trails are riding great after the rain we received last Friday, and the trail crews are keeping the singletrack and widetrack in excellent condition.

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