For locals in Steamboat, Opening Day is the just about the closest an adult can get to feeling like a child on Christmas morning all over again.  It’s a day of fun surprises, endless happiness and sheer excitement.  Happy Opening Day!

A beautiful morning in Steamboat to celebrate the start of ski season.

For me personally, being able to blog on Opening Day is a special treat as we’re usually traveling for Thanksgiving.  Not having been a part of Opening Day in years, I was blown away with all of the fun surprises Steamboat provided to all of its eager skiers and riders.

Complimentary Korbel mimosas in Gondola Square this morning to celebrate Opening Day.

To start Opening Day on the right note, complimentary Korbel mimosas and powdered donuts were provided in Gondola Square.  Yum!  With Opening Day falling the day before Thanksgiving, and in the true spirit of giving, Steamboat presented an impressive $50,000 donation to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.  Wow!  Next up, a Northern Ute Indian Tribe took the stage to perform a special snow dance and prayer for the upcoming ski season.  Beautiful!

A Northern Ute Indian Tribe’s snow dance for Steamboat.
Check out the beautifully elaborate clothing being worn to perform the snow dance.

With a giddy countdown and the official bell ring from Billy Kidd, Steamboat opened at exactly 8:30 AM for the 2018-2019 ski season.  And if that’s not enough, the first 100 skiers and riders received an awesome Ohana t-shirt, designed specifically for Steamboat with a tribute to its fantastic tree skiing.

Steamboat is officially open for the 2018-2019 ski season, complete with a bell ringing from Billy Kidd.

The excitement continued with my first step onto the gondola with my skis, something I haven’t done in over seven months.  As I rode up the gondola, my excitement to take those highly anticipated first turns of the season continued to grow and grow.  At the top of the gondola, the energy was incredible, the excitement was everywhere and all of the “yee-haws, woop woops and oh yeahs” were icing on the cake.

A skier enjoying those very first turns of the season on Heavenly Daze.

My first turns today felt amazing.  The packed powder/machine made snow was slightly firm but had a great gripping quality to it.  My edges held nicely, my skis glided smoothly and I grinned from ear to ear as I skied down Heavenly Daze.

A snowboarder cruising down a grippy and fast Heavenly Daze.

For Opening Day, the Gondola and Christie Peak Express are your two lifts to choose from, allowing you to access 11 open trails.  It’s the most terrain open since Opening Day 2014 when the mountain had five lifts operating and 52 trails open.  The Lil’ Rodeo Park at the base area is even open and in great shape as well.

Lil’ Rodeo Terrain Park near the base area is open for the season.

And even more exciting is the news that Storm Peak Express, Burgess Creek and Four Points lifts are planning to open this Friday, allowing skiers and riders to enjoy the mountain from top to bottom.

Upper mountain views, soon to be open this Friday.

A beautiful bluebird morning prevailed for Opening Day, but even better, a snowy forecast is in store for Thanksgiving through the weekend.  There is certainly a lot to be thankful for, but maybe, just maybe, could we be thankful for a powder morning in the days ahead?  After watching the Northern Ute Indian Tribe’s snow dance this morning, I personally think there is a good chance.

A beautiful bluebird morning was a great way to celebrate Opening Day in Steamboat.

The sheer excitement was highly contagious and smiles were endless in Steamboat this morning; it truly felt like being a kid on Christmas morning all over again.

Happy Opening Day to all, and to all a fantastic ski season ahead!

Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier

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