Just 2 area Nordic centers have open, groomed trails; the rest need more snow
Howelsen Hill and the Steamboat Ski Touring Center are the only area Nordic centers open with groomed trails.
Employees at Catamount Nordic Center and Steamboat Lake State Park said a significant amount of snow is necessary before they can consider opening.
Sage brush is still visible at Steamboat Lake, which generally needs about 3 feet of snow before grooming is possible. Catamount needs another 2 feet before groomers can get to work.
The biggest thing preventing Haymaker Nordic Center from opening is the wind, which is keeping an even layer of snow from accumulating.
The Steamboat Ski Touring Center has about 7 kilometers of trails available with Kajsa’s Loop, Wren’s Way, Elk Valley and Fish Creek trails open. The center is hoping to open Moose Meadows soon, depending on snowfall.
“It’s been really busy, because we think people are excited to actually have snow in the valley,” said owner Kajsa Wiik-Lindgren.
Wiik-Lindgren highly recommends people planning on going to the Ski Touring Center this weekend have a reservation. That will help ensure that everyone hoping to ski has equipment set aside for them.
Season equipment rentals have long been sold out and day rentals go quickly. Lessons have also been filling up fast. Anyone looking to ski should also anticipate inconsistent conditions.
“It’s definitely early season skiing,” Wiik-Lindgren said. “But for the limited snow that we have, it’s well covered, and honestly, it looks like midwinter out there.”
The center’s website at NordicSki.net has the most up-to-date information. Skiing at the center requires a day or season pass.
A day pass or season pass is also required to access the 2.5 kilometers of groomed trails at Howelsen HIll. The groomed paths loop around the ball fields and the rodeo grounds. An updated grooming report can be found at Maps.SteamboatSprings.Net/NordicTrails. Trails will be groomed daily and the map will be updated as more trails open.
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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