INside the OUTside
by Dan Cassidy
A large group of NASJA (North American Snowsports Journalists) ventured to the Colorado Rockies recently to ski several notable resorts, including Vail, Copper, Winter Park, Loveland, Breckenridge, Crested Butte and Keystone as pre trips and then all joining up at Steamboat Mountain resort located in northwestern part of the state.
Steamboat is one of the finest world-class ski resorts, with a peak elevation on Mt. Werner at 10,568 feet, covering 2,965 acres of skiable terrain and even though there are more lifts than other ski areas, the lift infrastructure struggles to cover the entire mountain. There are 165 named trails for skiers and riders to enjoy, from steep (double black diamond) runs to easy cruisers, and tree skiing with plenty of room to spread the fun.
The resort also has backside skiing on Morningside Park that adds to the fun for everyone’s ability. You can make first tracks by boarding the eight-person gondola between 8 and 8:15 a.m.
Ski with Billy Kidd
Join Billy Kidd, Olympic Medalist and World Champion where you’ll get some pointers and take a run down the intermediate run Heavenly Daze.
A special treat at Steamboat is you won’t need a vehicle to get around any of Steamboat’s properties. There are several shuttle buses that transport passengers throughout the area including the mountain lifts, shopping facilities and the many restaurants.
High altitude environment
If you’re heading to Steamboat, you’ll want to take notice that you might experience symptoms of dizziness, headache, nausea, loss of appetite, sleep problems, coughing and difficulty breathing. Also, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, stay hydrated and be sure to dress appropriately for cold conditions.
Steamboat offers an experience of a laid-back western culture. There are hundreds of restaurants, cafes, galleries and shops as well as the finest lodging and ski experiences that Colorado has to offer.
Before you go …
If you’re planning to just fly to Steamboat with a few friends, that’s one thing. However, if you’re planning on going with a group, make sure you have a travel agent that will deal with the public relations department at the resort and make sure you have your commitments in writing and that they are honored. I recently learned that the travel agency our NASJA group dealt with did not honor many of the requests and that they did not provide a detailed accounting of several other commitments.
I was hoping to end this column in a favorable way because the mountain resort is truly a great area. But with the amount of work our executive secretary did to make our trek a success, I don’t think that as a journalist I would be willing to promote or recommend Steamboat as a go to place. I am constantly asked by many skiing friends questions like where have I skied out west or to foreign resorts and how I would recommend my experience. I have made it a policy to be truthful with anybody who will be spending a lot of money for a ski vacation that they will have a pleasant trip.
Ski and ride safely. Use your head and wear a helmet.