We heard that skiing conditions in the West were not good this year. Who cares? Friends gave us a really wonderful gift – a week at their slope-side condos in Steamboat Springs. So, if the skiing isn’t terrific, we’ll find other things to do and be quite happy! OK – some of you are thinking a week at a ski resort with too little snow is a recipe for a boring week. Let me tell you…
The week was not what we expected. On our drive up to Steamboat from Denver, we observed too little snow on the mountains. It was lovely nonetheless, and we were glad to be out of the city and with our family. The next day it started to snow, and it snowed and snowed till we had 48”. A record for Steamboat!
We put our little California grandchildren in their brand new snowsuits and raced outside to play in the snow – deep, fluffy, powdery, light snow. A wonderful and fast “sledding chute” was fashioned on the very steep hillside next to the condo. With no sleds to use, we all sat on the packed snow at the top and pushed off, quickly gaining speed, and hurtling down to land at the bottom of the hill. Thrilling! The hike back to the top was truly an aerobic workout.
The lure of a longer and faster run led us to Yee Haw Hill at Saddleback Ranch. This is snow tubing at its best with a tow lift system. No more climbing up a steep hill.
The powder snow made perfect snow angels. We dug a little castle, climbed through the snow, and threw powdery flakes at each other.
Of course, we skied too. Our experts, Josh and Tanya, skied up the mountain with “skins” on their skis. Then, telemark skied down. Luke (5 yr) and Nick (2 yr) put on skis for the first time and surprised all of us as they easily skied down the trail.
Jigsaw puzzles demanded much of our time to put together all those odd shaped pieces, and a dedicated group of us played “Settlers of Catan” almost every night. Every day we trekked a short way down to the heated outdoor pool and hot tub.
We browsed in art galleries in the old town and stopped in Johnny B Good’s Diner for a mid-afternoon snack.
Even without much snow, our vacation would have been a very good one, but we have to admit – with that deep snow – it turned out to be a really wonderful week.