It’s green season in the valley. But for three more luscious days, it’s still ski season on the mountain. Rise up from the deceptively neon Yampa Valley and enjoy your last sweet turns of the year.

Good grooming. Great skiing.

As you ride to Thunderhead, the experience is kind of like an intertidal zone between winter and summer. And it may seem eerie to rise into skiing when it feels like summer downtown Steamboat. But the slopes are white as can be up top and they’re groomed to perfection. With blue skies and temps in the 60s, it’s destined to be soft skiing all weekend long.

Why we stay on piste: Burgess Creek is rushing under Storm Peak Express.

For anyone who ever questioned why the snow makers were piling it so high on Heavenly Daze in the early season: Enjoy your top to bottom skiing in April 2017! Yes, we are still riding rock-free from top to bottom, folks! And once again, Steamboat is going out with a bang. What’s more fun than the Cardboard Classic followed by the Wailers for a closing day party on Sunday?

Top-to-bottom skiing for the 2016/17 grand finale.

As we enjoy the spring sun, the final thigh-burning turns and the music, here are five of my favorite local things to look forward to reveling in before ski season starts again:

  1. Steamboat’s free summer concerts…the 2017 lineup is rockin’!
  2. Literary Sojourn…the hottest ticket in town and the single best gathering of book geeks in the Rockies.
  3. Seminars at Steamboat…free public policy talks by big thinkers on the world stage…keeping Steamboat smart year after year.
  4. Wilderness.  Never forget the blessing that we’re surrounded by public lands….the majesty of the USFS, Colorado State Parks, BLM. But especially, love thy Wilderness Areas… Sarvis, Zirkel and Flat Tops.
  5. The Yampa River…the destination for all that winter snow and the route to so much summer fun.
Fun in the sun.

And, there’s lots to look forward to for next ski season too! Our gondola is getting new guts this summer. The ski area has a new owner coming on board as Steamboat becomes part of a big new family of ski areas — and as a So Cal gal who grew up skiing Big Bear and Mammoth, it’s nice to be reunited, old friends. Also, we’ll finally get to ride the mountain coaster…putting an end to the mystery of the concrete pillars. Let me say this here…those pillars are BEGGING for some great art.

Thanks for another fine season, Steamboat. Thanks for keeping it fun…and keeping it real.

Signing out on No. 25…and signing up for No. 26. See you in November!

Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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