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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Continuing Adventures in Steamboat

Our third day in Steamboat, the weather gods smiled.

As Kim and I boarded the shuttle bus that morning, the radio began playing John Denver's "Sunshine on My Shoulder."  I couldn't have picked a more appropriate song - here we were in Colorado, and the sun was shining!  A good omen indeed.


Clear skies!

After skiing two cloudy, foggy days of limited visibility, we were finally getting a clear day on the mountain.  But these blue skies came with a price.  It was frigidly cold outside - temps hovered in the single digits (yes, Fahrenheit!)


Ready for day three!

Kim and I bundled up with all our layers, and Kim turned her boot heaters on high.  Then we rode the gondola once again to mid-mountain.  It was wonderful to finally have some views on our trip up, and we marveled as the valley below spread out before us.  Our seatmates included a wealthy man from Texas, who showed off his battery-powered heated gloves.  (Although we generally don't need such things in the mild PNW, I was coveting those gloves that day.)


Kim admires the view

Kim and I decided to try the Storm Peak Express Lift once again.  The mountain had received a couple inches of new snow overnight, and the low temps meant it would stay fluffy.  Plus many of the runs over there had been nicely groomed.


The fantastic scenery we'd been missing

It was a good choice.  The snow was amazing - soft and powdery.  And oh, were the views incredible from the top!  Plus all the trees had been coated in a thick white frost.


Skiing amongst the frosty trees

Oh yeah - fresh snow and beautiful scenery!  Ski days didn't get much better.


Flocked by Mother Nature

However, it only took a couple of runs before my feet began to freeze.  Not having heaters in my boots like lucky Kim, I needed a quick warm-up in the nearest lodge.  While inside, I purchased some cheap chemical "toe warmers" from the tiny store.  I stuffed them in my boots, and - voila!  My feet were toasty and happy the rest of the day.


Our favorite lodge

Back to the slopes!  The snow was soft and fun.  The sun was shining.  What wasn't to like?


Magical white trees

Because it happened to be a weekday, crowds were small.  Lift lines were non-existent.  Kim and I made multiple trips up and down, scoping out a particular run from the chair and then trying to find it.


Chairlift to the sky

Towards the mountaintop, all the trees were coated in a thick snowy blanket.  They looked like a group of people, hunkered down against the wind.


Sun peeking through the trees

I happened to catch the sun trying to peep through a frosty grove of trees.


White ghost forest

Yeah, it was a magical day!  Kim and I were having so much fun, we didn't want to stop.  But our bodies started complaining.


Steamboat City below

The trails at Steamboat are long - much longer than we're used to on Mt. Hood.  The lack of rest in lift line, combined with the long runs (and it was our third day of skiing) meant by noon, our legs were thrashed.


Kim makin' turns

But we had a plane to catch that evening, so shortly past noon, we decided it was time to head down the hill.


Trail to the base area

We made a slow descent down the slopes under Steamboat's gondola, stopping often to take in the fabulous views.


Steamboat base area

Back at the base area, the day's unlimited solar energy seemed to have warmed things up quite a bit.  It was a lot warmer down here!


Shoveling snow off the rooftops

After lunch in a nearby restaurant, Kim and I waited at the shuttle stop for our ride.  We passed the time watching a large work crew shoveling snow off the roof of a nearby hotel.  All the workers were harnessed and tethered to the railing above.  Looked like precarious work!


Giant icicles

It had been a fantastic three days in this winter wonderland.  I'd enjoyed the wonderful dry snow of the Rocky Mountains and exploring a different ski area.  As our plane lifted off, the sun slipped below the horizon, bathing the landscape and sky in incredible colors.  A fitting farewell to Colorado.  I'll be back again!



24 comments:

  1. The scenrery is spectacular and it looks like great fun

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  2. How stunningly beautiful. Your captures are wonderful. Glad you had such a great time!

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  3. What a brilliant three days.Something to keep you going for the next few months.

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  4. Mais umas belas fotografias desta magnifica aventura na neve.
    Um abraço e bom fim de semana.

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  5. Sensational scenery! I love the "white ghost forest"! This looks like paradise!

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  6. Hello, I am so glad you had a great end to your ski trip! The sunshine, the views and the beautiful snow covered trees make lovely photos. Gorgeous post. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

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  7. Wow. Those photos are fantastic. Just gorgeous.

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  8. Beautiful - I love skiing in Colorado. I want to go this weekend but they're talking about wind chills below zero tomorrow, so I'll have to see about Sunday.

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  9. Your blog brings so much joy to my day. What an absolutely brilliant final day. Awesome skiing, views and nature!

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  10. Very nice series - you can have the single digits

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  11. In all the years I lived in Colorado, I spent most of it cross country skiing rather than downhill. Your "ghost tree" picture is stunning and reminded me of all those years of powder snow that I loved so much! I'm so glad you had a great time. Your posts have been inspiring. :-)

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  12. Looks like a perfect day on the slopes! Love that white ghost forest.

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  13. Your frosty photos are beautiful! What fun for you to ski someplace different! :)

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  14. Wow! You captured such glorious scenes! I'll bet they play John Denver a lot in Colorado.

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  15. Looks a great trip but I can't believe heated gloves and boots. I'm still in shock over that as I train for winter here with a snowball in each bare hand outdoors to toughen myself up :o)

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  16. Lovely white trees and the icicles are impressive!

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  17. Your photos were magical Linda, what jaw-dropping views. It truly is beyond spectacular. Thanks for taking us along :)

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  18. You took some great shots of the slopes at Steamboat. I love the one of Kim skiing down through the trees. I don't think I could ski without boot heaters - they save the day for me, though Bob doesn't use them. I use chemical heat packs in my gloves, too - old age demands some extra warmth!

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  19. What a fabulous skiing trip Linda in a stunning Winter wonderland. Those snow & ice-laden trees look like something out of "The Chronicles of Narnia"! Great shot of the frozen icicles. Wishing you a warmer (and perhaps less strenuous) week, giving your leg muscles a chance to warm up and your toes an opportunity to thaw out!! :-)

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  20. These are wonderful scenes--I love the icicles! I wish they had the boot warmers back when I was a kid in the Chicago area walking to school!

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  21. Gorgeous views from Steamboat! I was there in autumn and really enjoyed the town and hot springs in Strawberry Park. Now I want to go back in winter one season and experience the slopes!

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  22. the scenery is even more gorgeous under clear view skies.

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  23. Gorgeous wintery scenes, and rather scary to be on that roof for the workers, tethered or not...

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