It is the first day of December and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with frosty trees shimmering in the warm sunshine at the top of Storm Peak. That’s right, I said it, at the top of Storm Peak! On Saturday, Steamboat opened another 224 acres, 17 more trails and two additional chairlifts, including Storm Peak Express and Burgess Creek. Happy December skiers and riders!

Frosty evergreens shimmering in the morning sunshine on way up Storm Peak Express

Sunday morning was an exceptionally beautiful morning in Steamboat, and having access to even more terrain was like frosty icing on the powder cake! Since Tuesday, Steamboat has received 20 inches of new snow, and with all of the machine-made snow that is helping to create the base, coverage across the mountain is starting to look pretty solid.

Snow-making in progress on Rainbow Upper (currently closed)

That being said, it is still the first day of December and early season conditions do still exist. While more terrain is open, there is still a lot that is closed off, so please pay attention to and respect the boundary ropes and closure signs. I watched the ski patrol team, the snow-making team and the snowcat drivers all working extremely hard to open up even more terrain as soon as possible.

Sundown Express (closed) as seen from Highline, accessible from Storm Peak Express

If you’re like me, riding up Storm Peak Express is an absolute must. There is something magical about being at 10,372 feet (top of Storm Peak) and looking out at the valley below and the mountains beyond. For me, it instills a feeling of peace and happiness being at the top, and then of course comes the sheer excitement of being able to ski down.

High Noon on the left, One O’Clock on the right

From the top of Storm Peak Express you can ski or ride Highline over to High Noon, and then choose from One O’Clock, Two O’Clock or High Noon to Rendezvous. Please know that Rendezvous is closed, as is all terrain below that point. You must traverse on Duster to the Rainbow Saddle, and then utilize either Storm Peak Express or Burgess Creek lift from that point.

Beautifully frosted aspens lining Duster, the traverse out from trails accessible off of Storm Peak Express

There is quite a bit of new terrain you can ski or ride off of Burgess Creek, including Rudi’s, Lightning, Ego, Arc, Tower, Norther, BC Lift Line, White Out, Blizzard, Skyline, Park Lane and Rainbow Lower. All of these runs will funnel back to either Burgess Creek lift or Storm Peak Express. From there, you can access lower mountain terrain from the top of Burgess Creek lift, and then choose from Heavenly Daze, Oops or Ted’s Ridge before heading back down to either Thunderhead Express or Christie Peak Express.

From the top of Christie Peak Express, looking up at Heavenly Daze

Trails accessible from the summit (mainly One O’Clock and Two O’Clock) had some really nice fluffy snow, allowing for some softer turns. The forecast is looking quite snowy in the week ahead, so expect more opportunities for soft turns in the coming days. Lower mountain trails were a bit more firm this morning, especially with the colder temperatures.

Heavenly Daze

You will notice that the gondola remains closed, but the good news is that the replacement part has arrived in Steamboat and crews are hard at work installing it at the top terminal of the gondola. Steamboat is getting closer and will continue to update you with a timeline of when the gondola will be back up and running on the Gondola Construction Updates web page.

The Steamboat Gondola is currently closed but crews are installing the replacement part needed for it to be back up and running

Today is a great day to get out and enjoy the December sunshine before more snow returns to Steamboat on Tuesday. Ski and ride with care and have a great day on the mountain!

Happy December!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier & Snowboarder

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