Don Lorenz: Pearl Lake, great skiing |

Don Lorenz: Pearl Lake, great skiing

The ski jumpers in Bill Fetcher’s video titled “Skiing at Steamboat Lake 1973” were the Lorenz brothers, Jim and Don. Bill’s dad, John, shot the videos on a beautiful skiing day in Routt County.

Steamboat Lake (we also called it Pearl Lake) may have been a little hill, but it had something we all wish for today — no lift lines and free skiing. Gordy Wren was a great hill manager, and we had a lot of fun racing him in old-style Alpine/obstacle/up-and-down hill competitions. W. Fisher and T. Labaree patrolled at the hill and had to haul Gordy off that little hill with a broken leg — his first broken leg in more than 50 years of skiing, jumping and competing all around the world.

As Pete Wither said in the article about lost ski areas in Routt County, the Steamboat Lake ski hill was not much, but it was better than waiting in the long lift lines each weekend at Mount Werner. At Steamboat Lake, we essentially had free weekend skiing with lift access — with no lift lines and only a few people knew about it. The skiing was free because it only had porta-potties and no real bathrooms.

Coming from an old out-of-bounds skier that was lucky enough to grow up with Mount Werner (from the late ‘50s to the late ‘70s), there was not any better weekend skiing at the time anywhere in the county.

Don Lorenz

Neenah, Wisconsin

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