Living in a ski town, I’m privileged to have the local knowledge of how to get around, where to ski, where to après ski, what to eat and more. It’s something I don’t take lightly because I know how confusing my first day can be when I visit a new resort. But luckily when it comes to Steamboat, things are generally pretty easy and there seem to be a lot of helpful folks around to help us on our way.

For me, my day begins when I first hit the pavers of Gondola Square. Whether I’m coming in from the transit center or biking up from below One Steamboat Place (I love the idea of biking to a ski resort) I try not to take for granted how beautiful our mountain is. Especially in the morning, the way the light crests the peak of Mt. Werner is something very special. If I know that I’ll be up there for a few hours or more, I try to think ahead about the fuel I put in my body to keep my legs going.

That said, my day really can’t start without a morning pick-me-up by way of coffee and breakfast. My go-to spot at the resort base is Gondola Joe’s. Depending on the day, I tend to waffle between the breakfast burrito and the Cali Breeze bagel. Breakfast sandwiches from “Go Joes” are wrapped to take with you so I often devour my morning meal while riding up the gondola.

By afternoon, when my body is tired and all I can think about is kicking back with a cold beverage, the new Timber & Torch restaurant is a great option. The resort has recently completed a total renovation and the place is large but inviting. The food is great and the selection of beers on tap is more than enough to hold my interest. I envision many an afternoon on warmer days being spent in the sunshine on their expansive outdoor deck. Other solid options for après ski in the resort village include Slopeside Grill and the T-Bar. If you’re visiting for a few days I encourage you to explore them all.

Looking ahead at more resort improvements to come, I’m excited to see the new gondola that’s slated for next year. You’ll notice the prototype sitting in plain sight as you make your way to the slopes this season. I encourage you to take a minute and give it a look.

So here’s to your ritual, whatever that means to you and your winter skiing & riding. I’d sure love to hear what gets you pumped to hit the mountain. Post a comment below and please share how you like to spend your day in Steamboat.

Dave Wittlinger, Alpine skier

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