Steamboat to have it’s best opening in a decade

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 18, 2010 12:42 pm

Steamboat, the home of champagne powder snow will be serving up a plate full of pre-holiday powder when it opens for the 2010/11 season on Wednesday, November 24th with 5 lifts, approximately 926 acres and 66 trails, including much of its legendary tree terrain. In addition, a specially-priced $30 lift ticket and a $20 lower mountain lift ticket option will be offered on opening day, also known as Scholarship Day.

A series of storms have blanketed the mountain with nearly 4.5 feet of powder this month and 6 feet of snow since October 23rd at Thunderhead, the resort’s mid-mountain location at 9,080 feet. Steamboat is currently reporting a remarkable 38-inch base at mid-mountain and 52-inch base at the summit, the largest base amounts ever seen for an opening day.

The resort kicks off every season with Scholarship Day, the traditional opening day benefit for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s Scholarship Fund. This season skiers and riders will enjoy a $30 lift ticket or a new $20 lower mountain lift ticket, which provides access on the Christie Peak Express only. Season passes, Pure passes and other passes are not valid on Scholarship Day.

Due to loyal support from skiers and riders, Scholarship Day has raised nearly $600,000 since 1991/92. This fund provides financial support for deserving local children participating in Club programs. The Winter Sports Club is one of the oldest and most recognized ski clubs in the United States and has been named an unprecedented three times as the United States Ski & Snowboard Association’s Club of the Year (2007, 2004 & 1999).

“You have to go back more than a decade, all the way to the 1996/97 winter, to see as phenomenal a start to the season as we’re experiencing this year,” said Chris Diamond, president and chief operating officer of the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “With arguably the best snow conditions in Colorado, powderhounds at Steamboat will truly have something very special to celebrate over the Thanksgiving weekend and the 2010/11 opening will be one for the record books.”

The resort anticipates opening 5 lifts-Christie Peak Express, Gondola, Storm Peak Express, Burgess Creek and 4 Points. Approximately 66 trails covering 926 acres, or nearly 32% of resort’s terrain, will be open from the top of Storm Peak to the base for top-to-bottom skiing and riding. This includes much of the resort’s legendary tree skiing areas including the upper portions of Shadows and Closets, Flying Z, Twilight, Triangle 3 and more. Remember trails and lifts are subject to change without notice as conditions change.

“With nearly 3-½ feet of snow in the past week, mountain crews have done a tremendous job taking advantage of the current weather pattern and will provide an exceptional experience, great vertical and nearly 1,000 acres for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend,” said Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations. “We’ve already received 74 inches of snow since Oct. 23rd, well on our way to another 400 inch Champagne Powder snow season.”

“Meteorologists are calling for a La Niña weather cycle this winter, which as we’ve seen already, bodes very well for Steamboat,” continued Allen. “The last La Niña took place during the winter of 2007/08, when the Steamboat Ski Area recorded a record 489 inches of snow at mid-mountain before it was all said and done. In addition, the resort is currently tracking very similarly to the start of the “Big Snow” year in 1996/97 where we saw 52.75 inches of snow through the first 18 days of November compared to 52 inches this season.”

Photo Captions: Steamboat/Larry Pierce

Billy.Kidd    Director of skiing and Olympic & World Champion, Billy Kidd, enjoyed an early taste of Steamboat’s signature Champagne Powder® snow in anticipation of the resort’s upcoming Opening Day on Wednesday, Nov. 24th.