Best Ski Bum: Daryl Newcomb
If he’s not serving you award-winning cuisine at Cafe Diva, where he’s earned town’s Best Server award for six straight years, you can bet you’ll find longtime local Daryl Newcomb on the slopes — which is why he also won this year’s coveted Best Ski Bum title.
The reason is simple: his dedication to getting his ski days in.
“My goal each year is to get 100 days in a row, but I didn’t get it this year,” says Newcomb, who’s known for his off-piste forays and stoking up the barbecue at his secret Area 51 hang-out. “I skied 135, but they weren’t all in a row. And this was my lowest tally in 10 years.”
Woe of woes.
Getting every single day of the season in is tough, he says, admitting “I’ve done it two or three times” since moving to Steamboat in 1985 from Peoria, Illinois, after visiting the resort on family ski trips.
“I used to sit in elementary school in Illinois dreaming that I was on the Priest Creek chair and gazing west all the way to California,” he says. “I tried a few other places first, like Summit and Winter Park, before realizing that the ski scene here and summer are just way better.”
Newcomb, 54, regularly rocks a pair of 115-underfoot Salomons with his trademark Voile three-pin tele bindings. “If I lived somewhere else, I’d probably be on an Alpine touring set-up by now,” he says. “But our mountain lends itself to telemark gear.”
He adds it’s easy for him to get so many ski days in because he both lives and works on the mountain. “And I try not to travel during ski season because I love it here so much,” he says. “I love the soft snow and camaraderie here, and also the fact that it keeps me active. If I can ski during the day, I perform way better personally and at work.”
Despite his skiing stripes, don’t ask how the upcoming winter will be; while he might be able to find untracked days after a storm, he doesn’t know any better than you do. “I get a kick out of people talking about how tall the skunk cabbage is or how many rings are on the local caterpillars,” he says. “I try to think I’m not possessed or a weirdo. Skiing is just something I love to do.”
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