It’s hard to say that Spring has sprung in Steamboat Springs, especially since we’re looking at a pretty healthy snow base all the way around. Flowers won’t be peeking through for a few more months, so our definition of “spring” is probably a bit different than yours. But spring skiing has officially begun. The onset of sunny days and warmer temperatures plus the crazy costumes of the recent Winter Carnival celebrations, make it safe to say that we are officially knee deep in Steamboat’s most festive part of the ski season.
So grab your Hawaiian shirts, your craziest helmet bling and your best fluorescent 1980’s throw backs and get ready for a (not so) serious spring fling in the ‘Boat!
Here are a few of our best tips for optimum Steamboat spring skiing!
1) Wear Sunscreen
The quickest way to out yourself as a visitor is to have the tell-all startlingly winter white goggle and sunglasses markings perfectly outlined on a ski patrol-red visage. I have an old friend from the East coast who is still known by all of our local friends as “the guy who had the crazy sunburned goggle marks” on his face. Spending all day at over a mile above sea level with the Colorado sunshine reflecting off of the sparkling Steamboat snow is the best sun reflector mother nature could have ever invented. So load up those cheeks with your best SPF and bring a small tube in your pocket for frequent re-application.
2) Time it
If there’s new snow, definitely be sure to go up skiing early. You’ll get great groomers, fresh corduroy and if it’s chilly enough maybe even some nice powder. If there’s no new snow, you might want to sleep in a bit and let the runs soften up. Don’t let them get too soft, though, half day skiers may want to “spring” for a full day ticket so you don’t spend the whole time in the slush. The top stays pretty firm the whole day, the lower mountain and base area definitely get splash worthy by 3pm.
Right now we’ve got the best of both worlds – cold temperatures at night are keeping the snow in perfect winter conditions and warmer temps during the day make it all the more enjoyable. The ski lifts stay open later, so enjoy the great snow conditons up top, don’t head down to the slushier stuff until the very end of the day.
3) Bump it
We love the bump runs in the spring. Locals lovingly call the soft, easy to navigate bumps “hero bumps”. What was once a bit more challenging to hop around on in January, becomes like bump “buttah” by early April.
4) Stay hyrdrated
Don’t forget to drink lots of water. And, although beer has quite a lot of water in it and seems to be the perfect spring beverage, it doesn’t count as a high altitude liquid that will keep you sufficiently hydrated. Wear a Camelbak or make frequent stops at the on mountain restaurants for water breaks.
5) Pack a Picnic
Either pack up a picnic from the Paramount or enjoy one of the awesome outdoor BBQ’s at an on-mountain restaurant (4 Points is our top choice for outdoor grilling). Either way, spend the lunch hour under the bluebird skies of Steamboat. If you’re bringing your own fare – a perfect viewing/lunching spot is the Broadway Bench area off of Broadway run. Yes, it’s a green run, but the view is pretty spectacular.
Ok this is our bonus Steamboat spring skiing tip. Because who can forget apres-skiing in the springtime? Spring time is the whole reason apres-ski time was invented. Nothing beats sitting in a sling back chair facing the slopes at the end of a ski day with your ski boots still on and a cold one in hand. There’s frequent live outdoor music at “the beach” at Slopeside. Bud Light’s outdoor concert series cranks the tunes at the base by the Bear River Bar and Grill on Saturdays all season long and the “speak easy” T-Bar is a locals’ hangout that you might just accidentally ski right by. Saddle up at the infamous ice bar at Slopeside or kick back at the sophisticated outdoor fire pit at the Truffle Pig.
Oh and springtime is a great time to fully take advantage of your hot tub amenities at your Simply Steamboat luxury condominium. The days are longer so you get to really enjoy the mountain view while soaking in the 104 degree water. And the Alpenglow of a Steamboat sunset makes the perfect backdrop for hot tub bubbles!