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Welcome a season of powder days the Steamboat way

Steamboat Springs skier Benjamin Hoffner heads off the mountain after a morning of powder skiing at Steamboat Resort during the 2017 season.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Opening Day at Steamboat Resort is less than a week away, and the question remains — what will this ski season bring?

Though the answer is unclear, boosting the winter stoke is key.

Thanks to the Big Snow Dance, Friends of the Yampa’s largest fundraiser of the year, Steamboat Springs will have a chance to do just that, and of course, bust a move.

If you go

What: Big Snow Dance fundraiser
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
Where: Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave.
Cost: $10 suggested donation at the door

What: Opening Day
When: 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21
Where: Steamboat Resort, 2305 Mount Werner Circle

“You know how you dress up in your Sunday best — we’re coming out in our best form to boogie down for the Yampa River in hopes for an abundant year of snow and river season,” said Juliann Poma, event organizer and Friends of the Yampa board member.

Powder hounds will gather at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Old Town Pub, 600 Lincoln Ave., for the annual winter pre-season bash with live music by Buffalo Commons and a live and silent auction with items donated by the community, including gift certificates and ski passes.

In addition to attending Saturday night’s bash, you can also try one of these rituals that locals say help bring snow to the Yampa Valley.

• Inside-out, backward PJs: “I’ve heard that when people go to bed wearing inside-out, backward pajamas, it snows the next day,” Juliann Poma said.

• Put it in the freezer: “I’ve also heard of some people putting tip money and even a white crayon in the freezer to welcome snow,” Poma said.

• Wax on, don’t wax off: “I wax my snowboard and don’t scrape that wax off until the snow is actually here, or on the first powder day,” said Al Compos, owner of Mountain Brew and an avid snowboarder.

• Burn candles, and skis: “I have a specific powder candle, and when I’m really desperate, I will burn skis and have a bonfire. In 2012, that was the last time I burned skis,” said Kent Vertrees, Friends of the Yampa board president.

Big snow season, big river season

“Without a big winter, our runoff season will be no bueno,” Vertrees said. “March, April and May are significantly important based on how fast the snow runs off. If the spring is cold and delays the runoff, we can have a longer river season.”

The Yampa River is a source for more than just water sports in the spring and summer. It provides water that becomes snow when the snow guns fire up and temperatures get cold.

As of Tuesday, snowmaking crews at Steamboat Resort had made enough snow to cover 210 acres of terrain with 1 foot of snow. On Nov. 7, the resort set a new record with 139 snow guns in use at the same time.

A toast

On Opening Day, Steamboat Resort will host a variety of festivities starting at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21 in Gondola Square with a toast to the 2018-19 ski season, a performance by the Ute Indian Tribe snow dancers and drummers, complimentary mimosas, Champagne Powder donuts and more.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.


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