Steamboat

Words Paul Bourdon. Photos: Andrew Burns

The Mountain

Steamboat is Colorado’s northernmost resort. Its location, combined with respectable vertical relief put it in prime position to benefit from storms flowing into Colorado from the Northwest. Steamboat is known for its trademarked (I shit you not, they trademarked their snow) ‘champagne powder.’ As storms roll in from the northwest, the associated moisture gets super cooled by the cold air trapped in the Yampa Valley. As these air masses collide with the resort, the air is forced upwards often producing some of the largest storm totals in the state. A good pow day at Steamboat is as good as it is anywhere in the country and zones like the hike-to terrain off of Storm Peak provide plenty of cliffs, pillows, and chutes for which to channel your inner Craig Kelly.

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While Steamboat has a reputation for being a bit on the flatter side, there are a ton of long, sustained gladed runs like ‘the shadows,’ and ‘closets’ to keep you coming back for more. If you really need to get your fix of heavy terrain, don your beacon, backpack, probe and shovel and take a partner out into the PNW style terrain that exists in Fish Creek Canyon. Much of Andrew Burns’ recent release ‘Indulge’ was shot in this easy to access side country spot. After a few laps through the canyon, you’ll probably be pretty thirsty so be sure to stop by the T-Bar located near the base of the mountain. It’s where the locals hang out, drink a lot, and play hammerschlagen, or as it’s known in some circles: Nails.

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Parks

Steamboat has plenty to keep you happy when its not snowing as well. There are a handful of progression parks, the largest of which, Mavericks features a superpipe and man-sized features to allow you to dial in your freestyle riding so you can bring your flippy-spinny shit to the abundant natural terrain the next time it snows. The only downside of Steamboats parks is that with the exception of the little park and mini pipe near the base, lapping through Lower Mavericks involves a longer ride back to the base and a ride back up the popular (sometimes crowded) Christie Peak Express Chair.

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Apres

The town of Steamboat itself is pretty fun at night with plenty of bars and spots to eat.  The BBQ at the Steamboat Smokehouse is pretty solid, and if you’re looking for a classy spot to take your lady before you soak in Strawberry Hot Springs check out, Aurum Food & Wine. If you don’t get laid, you’ve got bigger problems my friend.

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