Skiers can close out the season with a jump Sunday at Howelsen Hill |

Skiers can close out the season with a jump Sunday at Howelsen Hill

The Stone family of Steamboat Springs finishes up a day of skiing during Howelsen Hill’s Ski Free Sunday. Skiing is free on Sundays through March 11.
Matt Stensland

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — In true Steamboat style, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club coaches will offer ski jumping lessons during the final free skiing day Sunday at Howelsen Hill.

“What we say is if you can turn left, turn right and stop you can learn to jump,” Winter Sports Club Nordic combined director Todd Wilson said.

Howelsen will be open for free skiing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Winter Sports Club coaches will be trying to recruit future Olympians and humor adults who want to try the smaller jumps, which start at just 1 foot high.

“We teach people the progression,” Wilson said. “People start off small and work their way up.”

Those wanting to jump need to wear a helmet, ditch their ski poles and sign a waiver.

“Everybody can do it,” Wilson said.

The city of Steamboat Springs owns 102-year-old Howelsen Hill and is concluding its first full season of Free Ski Sundays.

The chairlift and Poma lift will be open in addition to two magic carpets.

The 2017-18 season of free skiing began Dec. 17 with 204 skiers. The numbers soared Presidents Day weekend with 1,023 people, and that did not include season pass holders.

“It was a very busy day,” said Emily Hines, marketing and special events coordinator for the city.

With one day still left, nearly 7,000 lift tickets have been given out during Free Ski Sundays.

“We hope that it’s going to be another good turnout,” Hines said.

The city has been tracking who has been participating in the Free Ski Sundays.

Hines said shuttle vans have dropped people off, and 15 percent of the participants lived outside Colorado. Nearly 20 percent of the other guests came from other areas in Colorado and 45 percent were Steamboat residents.

City Council members will be handing out free hot dogs, and there will be a bake sale to benefit the Howelsen Hill Endowment Fund.

Howelsen will then be closed to the public, but there are other special events scheduled including the Alpine Rocky/Central U14 Championships.

The Nordic trails will remain open and groomed daily until March 18. They will then be groomed as conditions allow.

Passes will still be required for Nordic skiing after Sunday.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.

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