Yeah, those lame touristy hills in Colorado really s*uck sometimes, eh?.
I like Steamboat.  I like Vail and BC and maybe even Keystone somewhat
better.  But, that's in a large part because I have gotten to know their
secrets so well.
Colorado has long ruled the NA ski world for a reason - great resorts.,
great snow, great access.
Utah may have more powder, and BC may have more gnarl, but for varied yet
consistently repeatable vacation enjoyment, Colorado is the Windows 7 of
skiing.  Not always glamorous or cutting edge, but 100% fully functional at
what it does.  


From: Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sharon Heller
Sent: Friday, February 07, 2014 9:43 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SKIVT-L] Steamboat 2/1-5

  I was mesmerized by the quality of the snow. So light and dry. The
mountain was like Jay Peak on steroids. The sidecountry off Pony Express was
like the Dip. Go out the skier's right boundary, ski down, traverse left,
and if you go too far, you have to climb out (which we did once).  

I did not see a root anywhere...sure there were some stray limbs and the
steepest rockiest areas may have shown an easily avoidable rock. There were
so many wonderful glades either evergreen or aspen.

On Thursday I skied with a friend who lives there. Due to his sensitivity to
the cold, he could not ski the upper mountain which IMO had the best snow
all week. But he showed me some of his stashes off Thunderhead and Burgess
Creek. It was pretty cold on Thursday, though it was not as brutal as it
gets here at those near zero temps. I never had to double layer my base
layers like I do here when it is in the single digits. I didn't even need a
balaclava, just a neck gaiter.

Here you can see me becoming one with the glades (photo credit Eric Morton)
 Inline image 1

On Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 9:47 AM, telenaut <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Here ya go, Ranger.
(And just to weigh in... if you prefer expressive language to correct, and I
do, patrollerette was exactly the right choice of word in the Ranger's tale.
OTOH, of course, if you prefer clean poles to not-so, and I do, keep a ten
foot distance-or more--between you and the Ranger's tail.)

Sad to hear all the VT "woods not ready"s.

Steamboat's woods were so-oo ready. It's a big, spread out mountain. Even
staying, as we did, above the gondola for 5 days (hope Eric and Sharon had a
good day yesterday). Seemed there were these "little" tree shots almost
anywhere you looked. "Little" in quotes, because they were only little in
relation to the big, wide, long trails. (Exception: there were some little
tree shots on far skier's left that really were little, and were followed by
a long, long, near-flat runout.)

Mostly we stayed skier's right. Favorite might have been a side country run
there (thanks, Jerm and EricK) that reminded me, in name and aspect, of
MRG's 19th.

Big favotite, though, was the snow. There was plenty of it, everywhere.
Maybe I saw one rock and one root in 5 days? And two patches of what-if you
wanted to be really, really persnickety-you might call "icy." By which I
mean you could hear it when you turned on it. Other than that... perfect?!

First few days I skied my Lines, and loved their turniness. 4th day I
struggled on them. Could have been due to sinking too far into the deeper
snow. Or could have been the body slam penalty I took for my poor chairlift
skills. Misjudged where the ground was and by the time I realized it was
under my feet, it wasn't. Jumped off as the chair began to turn and got
thrown harder than expected to the ground. No serious injury, but I didn't
ski well the rest of the day.

Last day I switched to the CMHs. It was a plus-and-minus tradeoff. They
floated well, and their shortness made them easy to whip around (tele or
alpine) in tight places. But I really missed the elegant carve of the Lines.
(Never more so than when I got going way too fast on a wide groomer. Didn't
have the nerve to really dig those edges in hard, and the back-and-forth I
was doing served only to keep me from accelerating. Seemed like forever
before the pitch and my speed moderated some!) Also took a while to adjust
technique. Telegeeks, does this make sense? Turning the CMHs with Superloops
had a completely different rear foot feel than turning the Lines with 7TMs.
The Lines/7TMs make it easy to keep the ball of your rear foot down. With
the CMH/Loops, my rear foot wanted to go up on tippy toe. I had to work
harder to weight it down. Sharon informed me that you should always weight
your rear foot in a tele turn. That's not the issue. It was that I had to
weight it more with the Loops.

Another tip from Sharon-face downhill--turned out quite timely. Worked on
that one quite a bit.

Mostly, though, I just followed Eric. He was a terrific navigator and
leader. Saved me from having to think too much, and allowed me to just
pattern my turns after his smooth, easy-going style of skiing. Quiet upper
body, heels and legs swinging like a loose pendulum.

Back to the snow. Besides lovely tree skiing, I was surprised over and over
how much I enjoyed the open trails. Occasionally a groomer, but especially
the cut-up, ungroomed, lightly moguled pitches we seemed to find everywhere.
So fun when a little mini-launch in the bumps makes it easier, not harder,
to turn. 

Also enjoyed the recurring, mystical feeling when you'd find yourself on a
huge open slope and not another soul in sight.

Also enjoyed the little grey snow birds we saw on the backside Sunshine
Express lift, and nowhere else. Strange body-shape, almost bumblebee-like
with wings that looked-in flight, at least-almost round. They flew
surprisingly straight, not loopy like small bird often do, but in a smoth
pattern more like you'd expect from a big bird. Only those little round
wings were going like crazy, non-stop.    

Great trip.


P.S. Temps. It was cold. Highs in the single digits most days. But so
weirdly dry that the cold didn't seep in like you'd expect. If I heard
right, some days the "real feel" temp was warmer than the actual. Last day
(Wednesday) it did get truly cold, and off the mountain, in Boulder on
Thursday, a friend was saying he'd never seen it so cold in his many years
there. Standing around waiting for a transfer bus was Broo Tal. Cranked the
hotel room temp up to a temp that may impact the nation's fossil fuel
reserves. Sorry, people who like unpolluted air.

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