A decadent eau de stuffed turkey filled my little log cabin late yesterday afternoon as I watched wisps of clouds roll into a bluebird sky. All I could think was YAY for an après Thanksgiving powder day. We can all send a little extra dose of gratitude to Mother Nature as we enjoy four new inches of freshies.

I hope you too had a delicious pumpkin pie breakfast this morning, with a hefty dollop of homemade whipped cream in your coffee. Before the sugar buzz wears off, get out and get your top-to-bottom ski on. In a smart little rebellion to the craziness of Black Friday shopping, Colorado has declared today Fresh Air Friday.  Cultivate your inner “fresh air rebel” and get out and ski or ride today.

Four inches isn’t bottomless. But it’s soft and untracked this morning. That cloud over the Yampa River is burning off fast, and it’s nonexistent up on the ski area.

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Steamboat has already received over four feet of snow during November. That means there’s plenty of terrain to taunt your wobbly legs and get you in shape for all the delicious ski days to come. It’s early season and your legs are going to burn. But after that extra fried turkey leg you consumed yesterday, they need the burn, right? Take some long cruises down Buddy’s Run, Upper Rainbow or Heavenly Daze to remind you of the sweetness of a smooth snow-gliding carve.

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Cold temperatures this month have allowed Steamboat’s snowmaking crews to double-down on the amount of snow they usually make this time of year. Those temps also mean the snow has held extra nice, and last night’s fresh layer made things just right . I’d suggest lots of laps on Storm Peak Express and Four Points to take advantage of it.

While you’re out and about on the ski area early this season, stop for hot chocolate atop the gondola and peruse what’s new. Tread of Pioneers Museum (Steamboat’s awesome local history museum, which is currently displaying a totally cool testimonial to the Snurfer in the downtown museum) has installed a new exhibit on the second floor of Thunderhead. It honors Steamboat’s skiing pioneers with interesting stories and artifacts, plus a multimedia run-down on every single one of Steamboat’s 88  homegrown Olympians.

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As you enjoy our great early season start and dreams of the “Godzilla El Niño” storms to come,  I leave you with a tidbit of local après ski advice to help brighten the holiday season during the coming week. Go see the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra’s  concert on Wednesday or Thursday at the Strings Music Pavilion.  A full orchestra of brilliant regional musicians plays a concert that ranges from Vivaldi’s Winter to holiday classics sung by  Broadway star Tiffany Haas,  best known for playing  Glinda in Wicked.

Enjoy your Fresh Air Friday on the slopes, Steamboat!


Jennie Lay, Telemark skier

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