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Steamboat Jan 27-Feb 6

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#21
Day 5 Sunday
I skied a half day today. In the morning I chose to horseback ride instead. In the afternoon I did a warm up tour to an area called South Fork. We did some light climbing and found some pitches to ski down. There was lots of fresh snow though, so it made it mostly impossible to want to turn or you would stop. Pretty much had to just go straight down.
Below is a picture of what is normally a pond when it's not snow covered.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#22
Day 6 Monday
Did an easy but very pretty ski this morning along and on top of the Elk River. It snowed most of the day too, so it looked really pretty being on the river with the snow falling.
Below is a shot of crossing the river.


In the afternoon did a much more strenuous ski. We went to a location they call the sky chutes. We hiked up 4 times and got to make some fun turns. It's not super steep---like an easy blue but having to ski around the trees makes it more challenging, especially if you are not terrific at tele turns. My turns get better every year but I want to improve them more.
Hiking up the Sky Chutes
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#23
Day 7 Tuesday
Did a ski up by Hahn's Peak Lake this morning. The picture below of what I wanted to ski (on the right) but didn't get too, as we didn't have time and I don't think the rest of the group was that keen on it. I love climbing.


In the afternoon, more snow moved in and I did a ski up behind the ranch property which was actually quite pretty. Lots of aspen trees. We did a little bit of climbing and were able to find some fun pitches to ski down through the aspens.
 

Powgirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#24
I have really enjoyed your thread and photos...my mom lives in Steamboat and I ski it a couple of times a year...its probably my favorite resort in Colorado!
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#25
Day 4 Saturday
We got about 3 inches of snow overnight but it was the heavier, wetter variety due to warm temperatures. In the morning the visibility was okay but even though there wasn't much fresh snow because it was heavier and sticky, the push piles that formed were also the firmer variety. I had another lesson today.

There was a junior big mountain competition happening on Chute 1 and 2, so we traversed over Crow Track area to see a couple people go.

About 12:30 or so the snow started and the visibility deteriorated. We stayed in the trees for a little while since we could actually see there. Below is a picture from the Thunderhead Lodge about 2:30pm.


I skied poorly and defensively in the afternoon due to the heavy snow and poor visibility. In some parts of the mountain you couldn't even see the push piles, so you couldn't tell when you were going to ski into one. Annoying, as all the bad habbits I'd worked this week to correct came screaming back. Oh well, at least I stayed upright. Another day will be back to the drawing board.

Now, I'll be taking a 4 day break from downhill skiing and switching to some light backcountry touring. As those who have seen my prior Steamboat trip reports know, I always make a stay at Vista Verde Ranch where the touring part of the trip takes place. I'll be posting updates and pictures from that part of the trip as well.
It's snowing now--that storm they've been talking about for days. So hopefully it delivers.
I love your report, too! And I wanted to say we have had the same heavy snow and poor vis here in Utah a few times, and kudos to you for sticking it out! Honestly, it's hard to NOT ski defensively in that, but I am finding it makes me a much better skier overall--conditions that are good for you! I have a feeling your "bad habits" will go away as soon as you get some bluebird skies and hero snow.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#26
Thanks--glad people enjoy it!

Yes, that wetter snow combined with low vis can be a bugger--but it's true that even 5 years ago I wouldn't have been able to negotiate those conditions very much at all, so I guess I've improved.

We've been lucky since I've been here at the ranch that the snow is actually pretty light, so it's been perfect conditions. There is way more snow than last year which of course was a low year. This is much more like what I'm used to here.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#27
Day 8 Wednesday
Woke up to more snow coming down. We didn't get a ton, but a few inches to freshen things up nicely before it cleared.
For my morning ski we did "power line" which gets it's name because you cut up a power line right of way for a short piece.
Below is a picture of a little "christmas tree forest" as I like to call it.


Then in the afternoon we did a ski similar to the one we did yesterday afternoon, up behind the ranch and skied down through the aspens. This time we changed it up a little and found some different pitches to ski down.
Here's a view from near the top.

This turned out to be a fun ski since the visibility was a lot better with no flat light so you could see any stumps or anything in your way.

Tomorrow it's back to Steamboat for more downhill.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#28
Day 9 Thurs
Arrived back at the Sheraton Steamboat by 9:30. Got a room upgrade again but not to a suite--just a better view. Got out skiing by 10:15. Wanted to ski the Volkl Kenja but it was out, so I got the Head Total Joy in 163.
Conditions were nice, soft groomers and soft moguls. The skis were fun on the smooth groomers and in the bumps. They were forgiving. However, in the afternoon when the storm rolled in and the snow got more chopped up and it got hard to see, I didn't have such a good time on those skis. They bounced me around a lot and felt squirrely. I didn't have much confidence in wanting to pick up speed. So, I switched them out at the yurt up top--they did have the Kenja in 163.
The Kenja was much more confidence inspiring when skiing faster but not as forgiving to pilot error in the bumps. They gave me more confidence overall in the conditions in the afternoon though.
Below is a photo of the weather rolling in.


So, I get off the mountain at the end of the day and not having had cell service at the ranch for a few days, turn on my phone. I get all these messages from my ski instructor letting me know he had wrecked his knee so would no be able to ski with me the next 2 days. So after finally communicating with him and him lining up someone else for me to ski with, I'm somewhat nervous since I've never skied with this other person before!
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#29
Day 9 Thurs
Arrived back at the Sheraton Steamboat by 9:30. Got a room upgrade again but not to a suite--just a better view. Got out skiing by 10:15. Wanted to ski the Volkl Kenja but it was out, so I got the Head Total Joy in 163.
Conditions were nice, soft groomers and soft moguls. The skis were fun on the smooth groomers and in the bumps. They were forgiving. However, in the afternoon when the storm rolled in and the snow got more chopped up and it got hard to see, I didn't have such a good time on those skis. They bounced me around a lot and felt squirrely. I didn't have much confidence in wanting to pick up speed. So, I switched them out at the yurt up top--they did have the Kenja in 163.
The Kenja was much more confidence inspiring when skiing faster but not as forgiving to pilot error in the bumps. They gave me more confidence overall in the conditions in the afternoon though.
Below is a photo of the weather rolling in.


So, I get off the mountain at the end of the day and not having had cell service at the ranch for a few days, turn on my phone. I get all these messages from my ski instructor letting me know he had wrecked his knee so would no be able to ski with me the next 2 days. So after finally communicating with him and him lining up someone else for me to ski with, I'm somewhat nervous since I've never skied with this other person before!
You'll do great with the new instructor--new perspectives can be a great thing!
I'm intrigued by your Kenja comments in the bumps--I love them in everything but haven't skied bumps yet because I don't ski bumps. Now I'll know if that day comes and I am awful, I can blame the skis :tongue:
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
#30
We are driving to Steamboat right now for a wedding this evening. Just skiing Saturday and heading home Sunday to watch the super bowl.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#31
@contesstant I don't ski bumps that well either! The bumps I do ski tend to be on blue runs that they never groom and not huge----but in general I've found I like softer skis in the bumps as opposed to stiffer---not that this years Kenja is super stiff, but it was stiffer than the other skis. Hopefully one day it won't matter to me what skis I take in there but right now I need all the help I can get!
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#32
@contesstant I don't ski bumps that well either! The bumps I do ski tend to be on blue runs that they never groom and not huge----but in general I've found I like softer skis in the bumps as opposed to stiffer---not that this years Kenja is super stiff, but it was stiffer than the other skis. Hopefully one day it won't matter to me what skis I take in there but right now I need all the help I can get!
Yeah, you and me both! Have a great day skiing!
 

a_banana

Certified Ski Diva
#33
Thank you for the trip report, NewEnglandSkier! Steamboat has always held a special place in my heart and is the one place I would ever think about buying a vacation home in Colorado. All I need is a teeny cabin with a wood burning stove, a big bed, and small stable for a horse. :thumbsup:

I'm actually headed up there for five days in a couple of weeks (eep!) and am SO looking forward to it! This is kind of off topic, but does anyone have any recommendations for things to do at night? I'm not much of a partier any more and will be on my own, so that might narrow the options a bit. Like, I wouldn't feel comfortable just going to some bar, but a friendly, safe bar with a band might be fun for a while. I'd also be perfectly happy with skiing all day and then hot tubbing/book reading for après until bedtime, but that seems a bit lame for a mini-vaca. Any suggestions?
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#34
Day 10 Friday
It snowed all day today and once again visibility was challenging. I had my lesson today with my stand in instructor. It was fun--we worked a lot on bumps and I skied a run that I hadn't skied before----Surprise. We also went into some very easy trees in Morningside. We ended the day in the terrain park. So while it wasn't what I was used to, I had a fun time and learned some new things, so it all worked out. I skied badly though; I feel like this guy has seen all my worst skiing--of course he kept telling me I was doing fine but I felt like crap. I get to do it again tomorrow.
I didn't take any pictures today since visibility wasn't great.
 
#37
Is there a wine bar close by? A nice glass of wine and appetizer would be lovely by yourself.
 

Kimmyt

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#38
Day 10 Friday
It snowed all day today and once again visibility was challenging. I had my lesson today with my stand in instructor. It was fun--we worked a lot on bumps and I skied a run that I hadn't skied before----Surprise. We also went into some very easy trees in Morningside. We ended the day in the terrain park. So while it wasn't what I was used to, I had a fun time and learned some new things, so it all worked out. I skied badly though; I feel like this guy has seen all my worst skiing--of course he kept telling me I was doing fine but I felt like crap. I get to do it again tomorrow.
I didn't take any pictures today since visibility wasn't great.
Try not to be so hard on yourself! With all the snow and low vis the conditions are challenging, I'm sure. I bet that instructor has seen way worse, anyway. ;)

In regards to nightlife questions @a_banana , I'm a dinner and drink person myself, there are plenty of nice restaurants to hang out in (there was a great microbrew place called the Barley that you should check out if you're into beer) and you can always swing up to the hotsprings at night.
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#39
Thanks @Kimmyt I'm definitely a perfectionist type personality so I tend to feel like if I don't do something perfectly or improve a skill 100% then it still wasn't good enough! That's the annoying part though--I fall back into my bad habits when conditions get more challenging so it feels like all my progress is erased! Hopefully today visibility will maybe be better.
 

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