Skiing Under an Eggstravagant Moon
For the sleepyheads who missed it, this is how the day started in Steamboat: a big, pink Easter egg on the horizon. This morning’s total lunar eclipse was the third in an extraordinary series of four that are visible from North America. A crisp clear night made for some beautiful viewing of the blood moon over the Yampa Valley.
Your last chance for a lunar eclipse tetrad sighting will be Sept. 26, right about when we will expect the first storms for ski season 2015-16 to start rolling in.
Procrastinate over coffee and a leisurely breakfast to let the mountain soften up this morning. It was cold last night. (I can verify this because I was tromping around in the woods to photograph the moon at 5:45 a.m.) But don’t wait too long to hit the slopes because there’s one especially great reason to be on the mountain this morning. You’re not at the Eggstravaganza!
I kid you not, there are 25,000 treasure-filled plastic eggs hidden at the Steamboat Springs Middle School, plus another 5,000 eggs that will rain down from a a helicopter this morning. It’s pretty safe to say that every single local child is stampeding the grassy playground for mass quantities of sugar and prizes (like new bikes!) right about now. Skiing Peeps, this is Steamboat’s brand of super cool Easter mayhem.
If you seek peace and quiet in Steamboat this Saturday morning, the ski mountain is the place to be. I had the cord to myself on Rudi’s at 10 a.m. So did the guy who came down behind me.
Of course, you could also be up here doing Cody’s Challenge to test your all-terrain mettle. Today’s memorial race in honor of late Steamboat Ski Patroller Cody St. John will have you encountering burly skiers/riders/climbers on an ascending and descending course all around the mountain using skins, AT equipment and a friendly dose of competitive will.
At this point in the spring meltdown, it’s essential to start your day by checking the grooming report. Some runs have closed for the season, but the groomers are benefiting from a boost of 2” of fresh snow that fell on Thursday night. Rudi’s was worth an extra lap. A sugary top coat on the cord makes carving extra nice. Same goes for Buddy’s Run and the ribbon of cord on the side of Storm Peak face. Coverage up top is still outstanding. Steamboat is NOT going to to run out of terrain this spring, so go ahead and enjoy our final week of 60-degree weather.
We’re in the thick of Springalicious, and there’s another fabulous free concert Saturday. Prepare to rock Gondola Square this afternoon with longtime Colorado faves, The Motet. The music kicks in at 3:30 p.m. and the Bud Light pop-up bar is ready to wet your whistle and deliver slopeside NCAA Final Four en plein air while The Motet brings on its eclectic groove of funk, Afrobeat, disco, electronica and soul. Sounds like a dance party to me: a sunny weekend dance/basketball party to ring in the final week of spring skiing in Steamboat!
History buffs, take note. The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and the International Ski History Association are hosting Skiing History Week in Steamboat this week. They chose Steamboat for their annual roving Hall of Fame induction ceremonies because this is Howelsen Hill’s 100th birthday.
Check out the Snow 100 film festival at the Chief Theater that starts Wednesday, with $5 tickets available at the door. Also among the week’s ticketed events is Loris Werner’s legacy talk about his late brother, Buddy Werner, on Thursday at Bud Werner Memorial Library. While you’re there, check out the library’s awesome Buddy Werner history exhibit in the entrance to Library Hall.
And if you can’t swing the $60 ticket for Thursday’s legacy talk, I highly recommend that you read reporter Joel Reichenberger’s outstanding story in last Sunday’s Steamboat Pilot & Today about Buddy Werner’s lasting Steamboat legacy. Such a good read.
The library also has a really fun new exhibit honoring Howelsen Hill at 100. It’s located upstairs near the library’s reference desk. Among the gems in that Howelsen Hill exhibit, you will find one hilarious little pair of vintage skis.
Do take a moment to inspect the tips of these kids’ skis, on which Coors has provided a handy key to navigating the mountain slopes.
When you’re atop Mount Werner this week, make sure you give ol’ Buddy’s statue a loving tap on the head in hope of a closing week flurry. Who wouldn’t mind one last powder day before we bid adieu to this weird and wonderful ski season?
Bring on your magic, Buddy!
Jennie Lay, Telemark skier