Storms postpone trail openings at Steamboat Resort; outdoor activities available for sunny Memorial Day weekend
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A week of rain and snow — in classic Yampa Valley fashion — has delayed some summery activities at Steamboat Resort, but it will still open a variety of outdoor amusement over what should be a sunny Memorial Day weekend.
Late spring storms dumped more than 19 inches near the top of Mount Werner this week, according to local meteorologist Mike Weissbluth, who runs snowalarm.com.
This holiday weekend marks the start of the ski area’s summer season, but all of that moisture postponed the opening of the trails on Mount Werner, as well as Christie Peak Express. That lift will be guests’ shuttle up the mountain as crews construct a new gondola for next winter season.
The good news is that sunny days are in the forecast for most of Memorial Day weekend. The National Weather Service based out of Grand Junction calls for a high of 66 degrees Saturday dipping to a low of 36 degrees in the evening. Sunday should see a high of 69 degrees and a low of 36 degrees.
“These are going to be the nicest couple of days that we’ve had since the weather turned about a week ago,” Weissbluth said.
As scheduled, the resort will offer some family activities at the base area for those sunny days, including a climbing wall, mini golf, bounce house and the Outlaw Mountain Coaster, according to Maren Franciosi, the resort’s digital communications manager. Gondola Joes and Timber & Torch Grill will also serve breakfast and lunch.
Visitors may notice some major changes around the base area, notably the absence of the lower gondola towers that construction crews took down over the past two weeks. Next week, a helicopter will help take down the upper mountain towers, according to the ski area’s blog where people can stay up-to-date on the gondola construction process.
Franciosi said trail crews are working to have the mountain accessible for recreation as soon as possible, but weather will be a major factor for the opening date.
If all goes well, that could come as early as next weekend. The resort will only be operate on the weekends until June 14, when daily operations begin and the Steamboat Bike Park opens.
Some new connector trails have been built near the top of Christie Express for hikers and bikers, according to Franciosi.
People should keep the umbrellas and rain jackets handy as a cold front with accompanying storms makes its way to the area on Monday. Weissbluth expects rain in the Yampa Valley on Monday evening and snow at higher elevations.
The National Weather service forecasts a high of 58 degrees for Monday, dropping to a low of 34 degrees in the evening.
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