The ebb and flow of winter includes lots of cycles. Snow and blue sky. Freezes and thaws. Growing snowpack. Settling snowpack. Deep powder. Crust. Days of darkness. Days of longer light… This icicle captures much of what has been happening these past few weeks in and around Steamboat Springs. We’ve experienced a bit of mild spell here. Not much snow lately. Warm temperatures have been teasing the brain into thinking Spring. Ahh, but caution is advised. Don’t be looking for sprouting bulbs just yet. Icicles grow not only with warmth but cold. Fingers are crossed for a healthy return to winter, falling snow, cold, wind, and low-hanging, intimate clouds. Winter may have taken a hiatus but you can bet on its return.
Quote of the Week: “Now all you can do is wait. It must be hard for you, but there is a right time for everything. Like the ebb and flow of tides. No one can do anything to change them. When it is time to wait, you must wait.” Haruki Murakami
And now for something completely different. Rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park, California. Ski Haus employee, Kevin McGarity, took an extended road trip this past fall. He took some climbing courses to continue his guiding certifications, did some exploring on his own, and made plenty of new friends along the way. With at least two more solid months of winter we thought a little warm weather day dream was in order. Here’s to a 15 second break from shoveling, snowblowing, plowing, skiing, snowboarding, fat biking, snowshoeing, and bundling up! Climb on!
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean
A late Sunday afternoon cross country ski tour on Rabbit Ears Pass is a perfect way to wrap up a weekend. The bright, almost harsh, midday light softens as the shadows stretch across the snowpack reaching for the East. As the temperature drops, icicles on the tall, snow-smothered spruce trees lengthen as the last bit of water freezes into place. Beauty surrounds us in this winter wonderland. A few snow flurries fall and rise and sail on the faintest of breezes bracing our faces with a deepening chill. Rosy cheeks, smiles, warm skiers gliding along a track. Chickadees. The sounds of happiness.
Quote of the Week: “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” Gary Snyder
The 2017 Ski Haus Classic Nordic Ski Race was held yesterday at the Lake Catamount Ski Touring Center. This event is part of the Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour Series sponsored by Ski Haus and Lake Catamount. We had a record number of skiers turn out and everyone had a great time. We had skiers from Summit County and from the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park make the trek over to Steamboat. The NSCD athletes did awesome and we were psyched to see them come and race! We posted a few of our favorite photos on the Ski Haus Facebook Page. Keep up the great skiing everyone!
Quote of the Week: “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” Tecumseh
Winter comes in many forms. Soft powdery snow, really cold temperatures, long dark nights, and… ice. Ice climbing Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs is a rush. The hike to the falls gets your adrenaline pumping as you meander around powder puff coated rocks in the creek up to the vertical ice. The sound of flowing water is compressed and muffled. The scale of the falls and the canyon walls becomes real the deeper you work your way back. And then there is the sound of ice screws clanking, and ice tools thumping into ice and suddenly your winter perspective has changed. Winter becomes more in tune with your psyche. Winter is not something to be battled – only enjoyed.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” Wilhelm von Humboldt
Christmas Day, cross country skiing over hill and dale, through the woods, along frozen creeks, up high ridges, and long glides down through open glades and through blustery meadows. Ahh… the Holidays and the time to enjoy them with your loved ones. Simple gifts are the very best and among them is the gift of time spent with those you love. It is the season of gratitude and love.
Quote of the Week: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Charles Dickens
There is nothing like a cross country ski tour up on Rabbit Ears Pass to settle the Holiday rush and busy mind. All the hub-bub and stress that can sometimes make the season feel too rushed, too fast, and all too much melts away the deeper you ski into the forest. The winter wind carries the hectic feelings away. Your cross country touring pace slows to the rhythm of the snow covered spruce trees swaying in the breeze. The big country views of the valley far below let you day dream and important thoughts like the sound you hear of your skis running through cold snow, where you want to point your skis next, and how much daylight might remain fill your head… Ah, the Holidays are wonderful just like a cross country tour up on the pass…
Quote of the Week: “The smell of pine needles, spruce and the smell of a Christmas tree – those to me, are the scents of the holidays.” Blake Lively
The 2016 Steamboat Nordic Camp was this past weekend and in a word – it was Marvelous! The camp is hosted by the The Nordic Link, Ski Haus, The Steamboat Touring Center, and Lake Catamount Touring Center. Saturday about 88 skiers joined in the fun and Sunday had over 50 skiers learning the ins and outs and the ups and downs of Classic and Skate Skiing. Everyone had a blast. Everyone was very tired at the end of day two. And everyone came away with the skills to enjoy this wonderful lifetime activity. Come on ya’ll… Up! Up! UP!
Quote of the Week: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin
Stormy winter weather. Finally! We’ve been waiting for quite some time for Winter to show itself and this past weekend our frosty wishes arrived. Cold north winds. Blowing snow. The sound of shovels and snowblowers and snowplows… Skiers are skiing up on Rabbit Ears Pass. Fast drivers are finding themselves in ditches. Garden hoses are buried. All the things we love about winter and no matter how late it arrives many of us get caught surprised… Ah, good ol’ winter. Welcome home!
Quote of the Week: “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck,
I’ve heard of the Crazy Mountains but had never been. When some time off presented itself we grabbed the chance to go check out some new country. See some new horizons. Breathe some north country air and check out the wilder side of the Rocky Mountains. The Crazies are in Big Sky Country. These mountains are rugged, steep, rocky, and very wild. Big Bear country. Griz. And the occasional roaming wolf pack. It is surprising how elevated your senses become become when you’re knocked down a step on the food chain. We hiked. We camped. We explored what was for us new country and that always feels great. Make the time. Take the time.
Quote of the Week: “Cherish sunsets, wild creatures and wild places. Have a love affair with the wonder and beauty of the earth.” Stewart Udall
We start ’em young at Ski Haus. Lots of families tell stories of getting their little ankle biters on snow long before the kiddos could even talk. In the name of fun and a good night’s sleep there is nothing like a winter day on snow! Ski Haus Season Rentals are the best answer to the age old question of keeping up with gear requirements of growing families. Not everyone can afford new gear every season so the best answer is rent. Ski Haus offers ski and snowboard packages for kids and adults. We also have XC season rentals for kids only. A la carte pricing is available if you just need skis only or boots only or… Take some advice from Iris, sign up for Ski Haus Season Rentals soon and you too can say, “I got this!”
Photo: Justin Johnson
Quote of the Week: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan
No one can say or write about Fall to adequately describe this season with any justice. By my unscientific pole, Fall is everyone’s favorite season with a exaggerated bias from the pollster skewing the results. But seriously – how much can the human senses take in all at once? This past weekend, with the Full Harvest Moon lighting up my narrow little valley, I heard owls hooting beginning their hunt. With the chill of mountain air and the stillness of a night with no breeze, it is easy to hear every little padded or hoofed step. As the light of night slowly changes into the light of day, elk bugle their challenges and gold aspen leaves begin to quake on fragile branches as the temperature slowly inverts. Crisp fallen leaves and brittle cured grass softly crunch underfoot. How quiet can one be? Listen. Feel. Touch Taste. Look. Take it all in because Fall doesn’t last nearly long enough and that is why we crave for it to linger… longer.
Quote of the Week: “Come a little bit closer, Hear what I have to say, Just like children sleepin’, We could dream this night away. But there’s a full moon risin’, Let’s go dancin’ in the light, We know where the music’s playin’, Let’s go out and feel the night…” Neil Young, Harvest Moon
The barn at the Lake Catamount Heritage Cabin. This is right where the Pleasant Valley Fall Trail Run (hosted by Ski Haus and Lake Catamount Ranch and Club) will start. This year’s run will take place Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 10:00 am. We’ll be running the Sheepherders Trail with 1, 2, or 3 laps for a 1.5, 3.0, or 4.5 mile trail run. Everyone is welcome. The trail is gorgeous with spectacular views of the Yampa Valley. This trail is closed to the public except for this event so here is a great opportunity to run a trail you don’t get to experience very often. Come out and have a fun time and enjoy a crisp Autumn morning!
Quote of the Week: “I saw old Autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence.” Thomas Hood
The view from the windshield. Ski Haus drove neutral support for the road races in the 2016 Steamboat Stage Race this Labor Day Weekend. The three days of racing was fantastic and supporting the riders during the road race was crazy! Flat tires, jammed chains, cross winds, blown apart pelotons… you see it all from the support vehicle. All the riders we helped were very appreciative of the support and we look forward to seeing everyone next year!
Quote of the Week: “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Mixed blessings. The lightning caused Silver Creek Fire in the Sarvis Creek Wilderness near Stagecoach Colorado started early last week. We know fire is a natural occurrence that keeps a forest healthy. But at the same time you hate to see a forest burn. This fire has so far has stayed small (cool temperatures and some rain) but you also wish it could clean up some of the beetle killed pines up there. We met some of the fire crews keeping an eye on the fire and they are the nicest people you would ever wish to meet. Hello Longmont Fire Crew! They have signed up to do a job and you hope for their safety and well being no matter what incident they get assigned to. As a homeowner in the area the smart thing is to be as fire wise as possible and help mitigate the fire potential on your property. The real goal here is to help protect the lives and safety of the firefighters. Thanks to all the fire crews who came out to help on this fire. We appreciate all you do. Stay safe.
Quote of the Week: “The most tangible of all visible mysteries – fire.” Leigh Hunt
The new normal seems to be crazy. Historic flooding in the south and drought in the west. Big heat in the east. It’s crazy out there. So when the weather presents something that appears to be close to what what we believe to be normal – it generates some deep feelings of gratitude. We’ve been dry in Northwest Colorado so when we received some rain last week it felt wonderful. Sky high rainbows, gentle rain, cool evening temperatures, and breezes rustling aspen leaves as the sun sets… Gratitude takes many forms and a rainbow in the sky, at least around here, was all to took.
Quote of the Week: “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
A couple of our friends were able to go explore the Never Summer Range on the other side of the North Park. The Nokhu Crags and Mount Richthofen and Thunder Pass are just a few of the features over there. The hiking day was spectacular. Shine and Karla got an early start and completed their hike before the afternoon showers cut loose. The hike was really exciting for both of them since it was new terrain for them both. And isn’t that a big part of summer? Explore new country, see new sights, and go big!
Quote of the Week: “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Andre Gide
Ski Haus is always happy to help sponsor the Tour de Steamboat. We host the first aid station up on Rabbit Ears Pass. This year’s ride was held Saturday July 23, 2016 and the day was perfect. Kyle, Todd, and Greg set up the aid station kept all the riders topped off nicely after the first big climb of the day. After Rabbit Ears Pass the next big test is Gore Pass, followed by the long haul through the towns of Toponas, Yampa, Phippsburg, and Oak Creek. Riders can choose between 116 miles, 66 miles, 46 miles, and 25 miles. All proceeds benefit local charities. Check it out and come ride the Tour de Steamboat next year!
Quote of the Week: “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” Les Brown
James and the gang were kickin’ up some dirt riding the Steamboat Ski Area’s bike trails last Thursday night. Above, Ski Haus Bike Repair Shop Manager, James Koch, takes it to the Rawhide Trail. Big days in big mountains makes for big fun. Go big!
Photo: Mike McCoy
Quote of the Week: “Great things are done when men and mountains meet.” William Blake
Big day and big wind in the Flat Tops Wilderness, yesterday. Gusts of wind were blasting over the high country at what felt like 50 to 60 mph gusts. The good news was the bugs couldn’t fly or bite. I guess if I had to choose between high winds or pesky bugs I’ll take the wind! Sunday was a gorgeous day. Big blue skies. Colorful flowers filling up the tundra. Wonderful company and a day that ended way too soon.
Photo: C. Johntry
Quote of the Week: “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” Albert Einstein
Here is another perspective of The Needle in Hole in the Wall Canyon. Kevin McGarity went back this past week to guide the climb for some clients of Rocky Mountain Ventures and a friend of his, Dan Kohler, was on a nearby route. They shouted hellos to each other and Dan took a great picture of Kevin on the sharp end… Big adventure in big mountains!
Photo: Dan Kohler
Quote of the Week: “I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” Brian Tracy
6.27.16Ski Haus employees, Kevin McGarity and Max Parsons, spent their Solstice climbing The Needle in Hole in the Wall Canyon near the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. A bit of a late start from Steamboat really didn’t matter much with daylight lingering well past 9 pm. The longest day was capped off with a really fun rock climb, good motivation, and never succumbing to the temptation of lame excuses… Get ‘er done!
Photo: Max Parsons
Quote of the Week: “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” George Washington
6.20.16One of the best ways to end the work day is a Ski Haus group ride down at Emerald Mountain. That is just what the boys did last week as the sun was dropping and the temperatures were abating. Let the hammerfest begin! From left to right: AJ, Josh, Mack, Charlie, Ben, Tom, Andrew, Jake, James, Pete, and Scott.
Photo: Doug Steadman
Quote of the Week: “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so worthwhile as simply messing about on bicycles.” -Tom Kunich
When you just can’t get enough skiing and at the same time you’re hankerin’ to do some biking – the best thing is to combine the two. Ski Haus Staffers, AJ Schrenk and Charlie Banta biked their way up Seedhouse Road and Lost Dog Road outside the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area as far as they could. From there they skied their way into the wilderness area with the summit of Little Agnes in mind. Once on top the corn snow conditions were ideal. The fun factor pegged. And a day well spent logged into the books. Big day. Big adventures!
Photo: AJ Schrenk
Quote of the Week: “Keep trying. Stay humble, Trust your instincts. Most importantly, act. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra
Kevin, AJ, Brian, and Liam scored a perfect day on Cameron Pass in the Never Summer Mountains east of Steamboat Springs. The trip was pretty quick… three hours round trip from the truck and back – but the experience and memories of the spring skiing will last a lifetime. Two more photos below show their line from the top and the bottom. Big sky. Big mountians. Big fun!
Photos: Kevin McGarity (top). AJ Schrenk (below).
Quote of the Week: “There is no wrong time to do the right thing.” Charles M. Blow
After a few weeks of low, dark, thick clouds mixed with cold, rain, snow, grapple, sleet, thunder, wind, and lightning – we’re ready for a buffet of Milt’s Shakes, Fries, and Hamburgers in Moab. We’ll kick in a few Utah hikes and bike rides to work up an appetite and then we’ll tuck in a few paper napkins under the collars of our t-shirts and won’t say a word for however long it takes for our bellies to become full. With Milt’s, those burgers are so good we may have a few and a few more after that. Remember, it’s not polite to talk with your mouth full!
Quote of the Week: “A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal. Pat Conroy
Ahh, Springtime in the Rocky Mountains. One day it is warm and beautiful… The next day it is cold and snowing and still beautiful. Ski Haus employee, Doug Steadman, recently was at the top of the Steamboat Ski Area – Mount Werner. His bundled up face and the wintery background says it all. Brrrr! Make some turns and warm up! That was great – let’s make another lap! Who needs sunshine and warmth when the skiing is so fantastic! Well, we’ll see what tomorrow brings – it’s Spring afterall.
Photo: Doug Steadman
Quote of the Week: “To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” George Santayana
April through May, Utah, becomes a home away from home for hundreds Colorado mountain dwellers. Here is a photo from James Koch, Ski Haus Bike Shop Manager, and a couple friends of the store’s, Scott Leoppert and Scott Godsil, on a ride to Porcupine Rim. This is classic Moab. Sunshine and shorts with low clouds and maybe some snow in the La Sals. Red dirt and snow capped mountains. Sage and sandstone. Big rides and bigger vistas. Perfect.
Photo: James Koch
Quote of the Week: “A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.” Edward Abbey,
It’s the little things in life that give the most pleasure. Simple signs of Spring are such a thing. Catkins coming on strong in aspen trees while snow is still several feet deep gives the heart and mind a lift. First sightings of Blue Birds, Robins, Red Tail and Thompson Hawks, Sandhill Cranes make you look twice… how is it they can arrive so early and still find enough to eat? The Yampa River has been open for a few weeks now but the creeks running from higher elevations are now beginning to open. The first signs of the runoff taking hold. Overnight temperatures may or may not dip below freezing. This mild morning air lets you fill your lungs full with air saturated with humidity mixed with the aroma of mud. How is it that all this lifts the heart? The changing of the seasons from Winter to Spring is a simple overwhelming pleasure.
Quote of the Week: “Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.” Ellis Peters
Blue sky and deep snow. The quiet sounds of the backcountry. Skiers sliding forward and climbing up higher and higher in search of turns in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area north of Steamboat Springs. Are there better days? Maybe. But no day will be better than today. Make it good.
Photo: John Wise
Quote of the Week: “There’s only one day at a time here, then it’s tonight and then tomorrow will be today again.” Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Vol. 1
It is the crazy time of year. One second it is Spring. The next it is winter. One morning it is light. The next it is dark (daylight savings). One day we might have powder day. The next day we’re skiing crust. What’s the best way to cope? Get out in it, of course. Embrace each day as it comes. Enjoy the blue sky. Revel in the dark hanging clouds. Watch. Listen. Enjoy. And be ready to do it all over again.
Quote of the Week: “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Albert Einstein
This image sums up the Steamboat experience pretty succinctly. Most all the townsfolk do multiple sports all winter long. We alpine ski at the resort. Backcountry ski all over the place. Snowshoe. Nordic ski. Ride Fat Bikes. Ice climb… whew. And then there is tomorrow to think about too. This shot shows a Nordic skier and a Fat Biker at the top of the Quarry on Emerald Mountain. A beautiful day with endless possibilities. Time to get after it!
Photo: Connie McCormick
Quote of the Week: “Try to keep your mind open to possibilities and your mouth closed on matters that you don’t know about. Limit your ‘always’ and your ‘nevers.’ Amy Poehler
Patrick and Kevin from Rocky Mountain Ventures invited a few Ski Haus staff members to ice climb frozen Fish Creek Falls the other day. The frozen vertical walls are in perfect shape and the day was ideal. Fish Creek is tucked tightly away from any glaring sunshine so it holds its ice quite nicely. With our mild temperatures recently the day on the ice couldn’t have been better. There is so much to do in and around Steamboat Springs – downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, splitboarding, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, alpine touring… and ice climbing! Click the link above to check out the guide services of Patrick and the Rocky Mountain Ventures crew.
Photo: Pete Normand
Quote of the Week: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C. S. Lewis
The Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour Series – Lake Catamount Touring Center Marathon occurred a week or two back. We finally received some pics from the race. The racing was a blast. The 2k, 5k, 10k and 20k skiers all made the finish line on a fast track that skied really really nice. The skiers who signed up for the 40k enjoyed that first great lap but got worked over a bit on the second lap by Her Highness (Mother Nature) with fresh snow on the track (the result was slow skis) and low visibility (tough to see). But by golly, those 40k skiers shared resolve, endurance, and strong sense of accomplishment when it was all said and done. Thanks to all who participated and volunteered! See you next year!
Photo: John Foster
Quote of the Week: “The sky is not my limit…I am.” T.F. Hodge
The Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour Series continued last week with our Full Moon Fat Bike Race held at the Lake Catamount Nordic Center. Some 30 riders showed up to ride their bikes over a 14k course that included lots of hills, corners, and wind drifts! We had a pretty good winter storm roll over Steamboat the morning before the ride… that in itself wasn’t too bad but the wind that followed the exiting storm turned a pretty predictable fat bike course into an adventure! No way did that stop the riders enthusiasm for the night or the ride. Afterwards everyone enjoyed a burger and a beer or a glass of wine or water… everyone like the idea of replenishing those lost carbs! Like to give this Full Moon race/ride a try? You have another chance coming February 17, 2016 at 6pm. Sign up at Ski Haus, Lake Catamount, or www.webscorer.com. See you there!
Quote of the Week: “Instead of trying to make your life perfect, give yourself the freedom to make it an adventure, and go ever upward.” Drew Houston
The 2016 Ski Haus Classic Race went off with great success yesterday (1.17.16). Over 100 skiers showed up to race, tour, and enjoy the company of fellow Classic skiers. The video shows the mass start under snowy skies. Under normal conditions, skiers chose between 2k, 5k, 8k, and 15k distances. Saturday night in snowed huge in Steamboat Springs and the 15k was smothered in deep deep snow – so much snow that the Lake Catamount Nordic Center was unable to groom the long course. Everyone was completely understanding and skied the other three shorter distances without complaint. Overall the day was fantastic and everyone enjoyed the post race feed of doughnuts, coffee, and hot chocolate. Keep on striding skiers! (Don’t just skate ski). Up! Up! Up! and see you next year!
Video: Noah Heckel
Quote of the Week: “If you’re going to be tough… you had better be tough!” Anonymous
There is all kinds of skiing. Name your passion. Downhill skiing at the ski area. Telemark or Alpine Touring skiing in the backcountry. Skate and classic skiing at the Nordic Center. Backcountry skiing. And of course, there’s Ranch Skiing, too. Ranch skiing is a favorite. Those who get to ski the Back 40 say it is their most favorite kind of skiing. Those who only get to do it occasionally with their ranching buddies concur with it’s uniqueness . Big valley views. Solitude. Quiet. Harmony. Peace. If you get the chance don’t pass it up thinking it’s too tame or not enough excitement. Life’s simple pleasures are harder and harder to experience as life’s pace increases. There is much to be said for life in the slow lane or, in this case, a sauntering cross country pace at the ranch.
Quote of the Week: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein
We call this Steamboat Happy. It started snowing around December 12 and it feel like it has been snowing ever since… One winter storm after another has left the Holiday Gift of deep snow for all the skiers and riders in the Yampa Valley. The Ski Haus Tucker (our mascot) shows the cumulative effect. Keep it coming please… Keep it coming!
Quote of the Week: “When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I’ll know I’m growing old.” Lady Bird Johnson