Opening day at Steamboat Resort, Gina Toothaker is remembered: Top stories of the week at |

Opening day at Steamboat Resort, Gina Toothaker is remembered: Top stories of the week at

Four Points lift was running in the biggest opening day in eight years at Steamboat Resort on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

1. U.S. Highway 40 closed in both directions on Rabbit Ears Pass

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Rabbit Ears Pass was closed because of a crash.

2. One hurt in Sunday wreck on U.S. 40 in Routt County

A car wreck on U.S. Highway 40 near Rabbit Ears Pass closed the route Sunday morning, Nov. 20, with one driver suffering injuries that were described as serious but not life threatening.

3. Steamboat Resort announces largest opening day in nearly a decade

The amount of terrain is the most available on opening day since the 2014/2015 season eight years ago. The release credits Steamboat snowmaking teams for the ability to open so much terrain so early, as well as five feet of pre-season snowfall.

4. Steamboat Resort’s big opening day gets bigger

A few days before opening day, Steamboat Resort announced its biggest opening day in nearly a decade would be even bigger with six lifts and 34 trails, covering 257 acres of terrain, on opening day. 

Gina Toothaker practices a dance piece in 2017.
Danielle Zimmerer/Courtesy photo

5. Longtime Steamboat resident Gina Toothaker’s life, contributions marked by grace

The grace of a dancer infused the life of Steamboat Springs resident Gina Toothaker.

Her husband, Michael Toothaker, whom she met some 20 years ago through their work at Mind Springs Health in Craig, said his wife was graceful physically, mentally and emotionally.

“She was beautiful inside and out,” her husband said. “Even in horrendous situations, she always kept her cool and knew the right things to do.”

6. Avalanche closes I-70 near Loveland Ski Area Monday; Vail Pass skiers trigger slide Saturday

“Deep blue, Alpine” skies and “soft, glittering snow” enticed four skiers to take turns down a north-facing slope near Uneva Peak close to Vail Pass Saturday, Nov. 19, but as the second skier carved down the backcountry run, the snow collapsed around him. 

The first skier was standing in the path of the avalanche but was able to move before the debris reached him, and the skier caught in the slide was able to ski out while the remaining two descended an adjacent slope, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center reports. 

Routt County’s Michelle Petix begins her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia on Feb. 26, 2022.
Michelle Petix/Courtesy photo

7. 2,000 miles of Spitfire: Steamboat woman hikes Appalachian Trail in 165 days

Moving on from her time as an executive director at Partners in Routt County, Steamboat Springs local Michelle Petix wanted to heed the advice of so many and decided to take an adventure while in between jobs. 

While the specific origin of her motivation was hard for her to pinpoint, Petix decided she would embark on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

“At the end of the day, I just knew I was supposed to do it and I was pretty sure it was going to become clear on the trail,” Petix said.

8. Not an Irish goodbye: McKnight’s celebrates final anniversary as owners close pub

Owner John Oberly, who back in the late 1980s opened and ran Paddy O’Brien’s American Pub in Steamboat, said he is leaving the pub behind as he and his his wife head toward life’s next big adventures.

“It’s bittersweet,” Oberly said of the closing. “I was going to carry through the ski season if nobody ran the place, but my wife says, ‘Really, you want to go through the ski season with one cook?’ … So I’m going to try to double my ski days. I’ve been struggling to get 20. I’m going get a head start in December.”

9. Yampa Valley clinics prepare for psychedelic mushroom mental health therapy

After Colorado voters narrowly passed Proposition 122, or Access to Natural Psychedelic Substances, training is progressing for several clinicians at Minds in Motion integrative care clinic in Steamboat Springs to offer supervised services with psychedelic mushrooms in 2024.

Angela Melzer, owner of Minds in Motion, said the state timeline for implementation of the psychedelic-assisted mental health therapy measures approved by Proposition 122 is late 2024, but providers have “a lot of work to do before then.”

10. Will Steamboat see more snow before opening day at the resort and Howelsen?

Snow would add to the magical feeling in Routt County this week as Howelsen Hill is expected to open on Saturday, Nov. 26, as well, but it’s hard to say if it’ll arrive or not. 

“I’d like to stress the uncertainty for the storm around opening day,” Weissbluth said. “There’s a chance we’ll have some fresh snow around the beginning of the ski season. Have people do their snow dances. They’ve done a good job this week.”

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