Steamboat boosts available ski terrain to more than 700 acres for the weekend
Steamboat Springs — The ski slopes of the Steamboat Ski Area benefitted from a series of light, back-to-back-to-back snowfalls this week that combined to produce more than a foot of fresh snow in the midst of ideal snowmaking conditions and allowed the ski area to boost the available terrain from 495 acres earlier in the week to more than 700 Friday.
Skiers will gain access to some of the popular trails in Priest Creek, including High Noon, One O’Clock, Two O’Clock and Twilight as far down as Duster, which connects to the saddle of Rainbow. Lower on the mountain, north facing Ted’s Ridge will also open. Altogether, Steamboat will have almost 24 percent of its total terrain available, including 66 trails accessed by six lifts, according to a news release.
Earlier in the week, the ski area was able to open runs on the north side of Mount Werner, including Big Meadows and Flying Z.
On Wednesday, skiers started the day with temperatures in the single digits at the base, however a temperature inversion and calm conditions pushed afternoon temperatures into the twenties and made it feel warmer above 9,000 feet.
“There’s never a bad day,” Chris Hennessay said after coming off the mountain to report to work at Ski Haus. “I was skiing pretty much groomers — I didn’t seek out any powder. It was mild up top today. I was wearing a base layer and a shell. There was no wind. It was very quiet.”
Sean Battiste, of One Stop Ski Shop, said there were very few people on the slopes during his morning ski.
“Top to bottom, conditions are great,” Battiste said. “After this last holiday weekend, there was literally nobody up there. I skied Storm Peak to Rainbow, and Heavenly Daze was fantastic.”
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. spokeswoman Loryn Kasten reported Wednesday the resort’s snowmaking crews have used more than 65 million gallons of water so far this winter.
That’s “far ahead of what is typical for this time of year, and (they) will continue to take advantage of weather patterns favorable to snowmaking,” Kasten said. She added the emphasis in coming days will focus on Priest Creek and Sunshine Bowl.
The National Weather Service expects temperatures in Steamboat to begin to moderate Thursday, with sunny skies and a high of 35 degrees. Friday’s high could reach 38 degrees before a chance of snow returns to the valley Friday night. Sunshine is forecast to return for the weekend, when highs will be near the freezing mark.
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