With Opening Day exactly 13 days away, Steamboat’s recent snowfall and colder temperatures have created a lot of excitement in and around town.  As I walked our dogs yesterday morning, chilly temps, fresh snow and a frosty view of the mountain made it feel as if ski season was already upon us.

Beautiful and snowy walk with my dogs on Wednesday morning.

When I started thinking about my first blog in almost seven months (since the end of last ski season), I immediately was drawn to the theme of anticipation.  To me, fall in Steamboat is a season chock-full of anticipation.  As a mountain biker, I’m always anticipating how many more rides I’ll be able to sneak in before my bike season comes to a close.  Some years I recall riding in mid-November; other years, I remember putting my bike away in early October (in Steamboat at least).  This year, October 29th was the day for my last ride in Steamboat before the snow fell and seems to have settled in for ski season.

My last mountain bike ride on Emerald was October 29th this year.

As a skier and snowboarder, I’m always anticipating the first real snowfall; the one that makes ski season shift in my mind from a far-fetched daydream to an impending reality.  With a heavy blanket of snow covering the mountain (and valley below), my craving for that light, fluffy champagne powder® is becoming more and more intense.

As a Mom of two very energetic boys, I’m usually being asked about winter and snow and when it’s  coming and when we can build our first snowman and when we can make snow-cream and when we can go sledding and when we can go skiing and then of course when we can make hot chocolate, and so on and so forth.  Just as Christmas brings much anticipation for children, so too does that fluffy white stuff.

Kaeden’s first snowman last year (we still need to get out and build that first snowman this year).

However, with the recent snow that fell on Steamboat from Saturday into Wednesday, I started to think less about anticipation and more about transition.  It’s time to clean my mountain bike, put it away and temporarily replace it with skis, a snowboard, a splitboard, cross-country skis, skate skis and snowshoes (yes, winter in Steamboat means a lot of amazing outdoor fun).  It’s time to swap out my closet and replace my shorts with snow pants, my flip flops with snow boots.  It’s time to get my kids all ready for a winter full of fun (my older son’s very favorite time of the year), making sure they have all the gear they need for the season ahead.  It’s time to celebrate the snow we already have and hope for more, putting our cherished fall memories behind us.  It’s time to transition.

Skylar still wants to ride his Strider during this time of seasonal transition, so why not ride in your snow gear?

This time last year, the ground was still brown in Steamboat and we were still anticipating that first real snowfall that would stick.  This year, the snow arrived November 3rd and seems to be here for good.  Instead of anticipating, we are now transitioning.  With a forecast of consistently chilly temperatures, the mountain has a lot of potentially good snow-making days ahead, and we have a chance for some more snow here and there.  Soon, my feeling of transition will turn into nothing more than sheer excitement for another amazing ski season in Steamboat.

Snow-making Wednesday morning in Steamboat with the backdrop of a mountain that looks very much ready for ski season!

Until then, think snow, think cold temperatures and think happy thoughts about skiing and riding in the ‘boat.  Happy Thursday!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier & Snowboarder

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