Snowmaking crews hard at work as Howelsen Hill prepares for busy December |

Snowmaking crews hard at work as Howelsen Hill prepares for busy December

Snowmaking guns were hard at work Monday morning at Howelsen Hill as crews prepare for the season to begin. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s only been a couple of weeks since crews started making snow at Howelsen Hill in downtown Steamboat Springs, but ski area supervisor Brad Setter said things are coming along quickly.

“Conditions have been fantastic,” Setter said. “We are making really good progress this last week and a half.”

Setter said crews have been focused on getting the snow needed to open the jumps and cross-country trails for the Dec. 14 to 16 Continental Cup competition. At the same time, crews will be busy making snow on the face for a snowboarding competition slated for Dec. 9.

Setter said the HS57 and HS45 landing hills have been completed and crews were hoping to get to work on the HS100 Monday night.

“We are hoping to be done with all that in the next two days or so,” Setter said. “The flats will be done tomorrow, and the face, first exit down, should be completed in the next day or two. Then we can concentrate on the upper face.”

Setter said Howelsen Hill presents many challenges for snowmaking crews, including making snow on the outrun of the ski jumps, where guns and groomers must be winched.

“It’s fairly challenging snowmaking on the jump complex,” Setter said. “Once we are done there, it’s a big check mark on our list. Once we get that done, everything else goes fairly fast.”

Howelsen Hill ski area, which includes 13 miles of Nordic ski trails and 17 Alpine trials, is scheduled to open Nov. 24 conditions permitting.

Season passes to the downtown ski area are available at The ski area, which is owned and operated by the city of Steamboat Springs, will continue to offer free skiing on Sundays this season beginning in mid- to late December.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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