Steamboat mountain bikers are mostly a patient bunch. We have to be. This Spring we have a very healthy snowpack and both April and May have been living up to their reputations of being unpredictable when it comes to sunshine or the lack of… So what is any self-respecting mountain biker gonna do as he/she waits for our alpine trails to dry out from all this snow and rain and grapple? Head west. Ski Haus employee, Ben Brodsky, has been making plenty of trips south to Fruita. West to Moab. And south and west to destinations known and unknown. Ready to ride your fat tired mountain bike? Head west young man. Head west young lady. And don’t forget the cooler!
Quote of the Week: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston Churchill
May. May be not. May be so. The month of May gives you chances to be out but you need to go prepared for anything and everything. This past weekend is a good example of what to expect in the mountains around Steamboat. Sunshine late Friday into Saturday morning but that window closed down pretty quick with this storm that rolled into the valley. Thunder. High lightning. And… snow Monday morning. May be so…. May be not.
Quote of the Week: “We all have possibilities we don’t know about. We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.” Dale Carnegie
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
12.21.15Our first winter event in the Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour occurred yesterday, December 20, 2015. This was a Fat Bike / Nordic Ski Relay. You could enter either on your own or as a team but one way or another a bike lap and a ski lap where going down! The day was perfect with mostly cloudy skies with touches of sun. Everyone was very excited at the chance to bring Fat Bike Riders and Skiers together on the same course. At the end of the course everyone had two tosses at the cornhole boards to earn time bonuses. A few actually made their shots and had 30 seconds deducted from their times. Once the race/ride was over everyone was treated to donuts and coffee and the camaraderie of a good morning effort of fun. The next event in the series is January 17th. A Classic Ski Only Race and Tour. For more pics of the relay click here.
Quote of the Week: “Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun.” Nina Dobrev
The 2015 Steamboat Springs Nordic Camp was held this past weekend at the Lake Catamount Touring Center and the Steamboat Springs Touring Center. This two day camp is filled with world class instruction in both skate and classic skiing, great demo skis and boots from Salomon, Fischer, Rossignol, and Swix, fantastic camaraderie amongst skiers, coaches, and industry reps… All in all this has proven to be a great weekend and one of the best camps in the country for the past 13 years. If you have ever wanted to learn how to cross country ski well, improve your existing technique, or step up your game on race day – this is the camp for you. Ski Haus has been an enthusiastic sponsor of the Steamboat Springs Nordic Camp from day one. See you at the camp next year everyone!
Quote of the Week: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin
Winter possibilities are endless. Here’s something new to add to your list if you haven’t already tried it or bought your bike yet. James from Ski Haus, Eric and Matt from Moots, took full advantage of one of our spectacular days last week and rode a nice snowmobile loop on Rabbit Ears Pass. The trail was in perfect condition. The weather ideal. The bikes – a full on blast! The guys paused just long enough to take in the view across North Park including Whitley Peak, the Medicine Bows, and Never Summer Mountains on the horizon. Big views, big fun, and there’s not a thing wrong with that! P.S. Don’t forget the new Race Ride Tour Series coming to Steamboat December 20th.
Photo: James Koch
Quote of the Week: “I get up in the morning looking for an adventure.” George Foreman
Very late November. Very early December. The snowpack is still on the light side around here. Winter is still prepping us and the mountains for its official arrival on the 21st with little storms here and there. We’re constantly looking and watching for the next big snowstorm. In the meantime we take advantage of the opportunities that are given to us to get outside and enjoy the brisk winter air. The neighbor’s ranch still needs inspecting here and there so the opportunity to hike the old roads on snowshoes is a perfect thing to do. Keep an eye on the trail and an eye on the mares’ tail clouds whisping overhead hinting at a winterstorm on the way…
Quote of the Week: “Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.” Bill Watterson
It’s the week of Thanksgiving. Holiday Lights are beginning to appear here and there. Families are gathering. Gratitude is expressed even through the smallest of gestures and received and felt twofold. It’s the time of year when smiles and welcoming hellos come easy. When going out of the way to help feels like the most natural thing and the most right thing in the world to do… When the small voice in our minds begins to ask why isn’t it like this all year long? It is easy to slow down while driving and yield to the other guy, take an inconvenient parking spot, give a hand where it’s needed, hold open the door, wait patiently in line, smile, listen… be there. Happy Thanksgiving because it is always the right time to give thanks.
Quote of the Week: “Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” Henry Van Dyke
A wonderful cross country tour up on Rabbit Ears Pass. A simple pleasure, to be sure, but one that can’t easily be beat. When you combine a massive dose of excellent November snow with heaps of fun loving best friends you wind up with a huge slice of paradise pie. Rabbit Ears Pass is a cross country skiers paradise. The XC ski trails at the West Summit, Bruce’s Trail, Fox Curve, Walton Peak, and thousands of snowy acres to explore in between… the possibilities are endless. It’s our Paradise Pie to share. Personally, I can’t wait for my next slice!
Quote of the Week: “Paradise is exactly like where you are right now… only much, much better.” Laurie Anderson
Late Fall or early Winter snowfall makes the world feel right and as it should be. With snow on the ground the hint is to be ready for it or good luck catching up. The skiing on the pass is going strong. The local Nordic Team is on snow up at Bruce’s Trail. Backcountry skiers and snowshoers are making their first forays into the forest to test the snow and their legs and lungs. Our days are cold and crisp. Snow is on the ground and on our minds. Chores around the hacienda need to “get done.” Roll up the hoses, stowaway the patio furniture, tune up the plow truck, find the shovels, put on the chains, wax the skis, and bust out the cold weather layers ’cause there’s no stopping Winter now. Have fun out there!
Quote of the Week: “You have to be prepared to take a spill.” Shaun White
11.2.15I’m not sure if a camera and lens or even words exist that can capture the essence of being in the desert in the Fall. Low angle light on massive red rock walls. Slickrock shadowed by moonlight. Deep canyons and slots filled with the sound of running water and the touch of rare humidity. Slow motion rain drops falling singularly from clouds that can be reached simply by reaching up on tippy-toes. Painted walls ricocheting the echoes of soft padded feet from centuries long past. Quiet. We will still take our photos and write our words and try to describe to the best of our abilities the wonder and gratitude that runs so deep. The effort is exceptional. Each attempt, worthy.
Quote of the Week: “We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope.” Edward Abbey,
Cold brisk mornings. Warm ponies grazing. October quiet. Quiet with dry crispy aspen leaves shifting amongst hooves. The sound of trim cured grasses chewed in focused concentration. Horse breath rising as steam from nostrils close to the ground. Quiet. Crows call and lift already at play. But this is all quiet. Nature’s quiet. Easy to loose yourself in and so hard to pull away from when obligation forces you to move towards something else… Man’s sound. 70 mph sound. The hum of town and commerce. Busyness and distraction. It’s not all so terrible as long as you can remember the start of the day with it’s quiet. Nature’s October quiet.
Quote of the Week: “Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content, The quiet mind is richer than a crown…” Robert Greene
The inaugural event of the Pleasant Valley Race – Ride – Tour was this past Sunday October 4. Sixty-one runners signed up to run either the 3.5 mile or 7 mile loop. The day was perfect with fantastic Fall colors in the aspen and oak trees and mild temperatures. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a picture of a runner smiling at the finish line is worth millions. Suzy Magill and her mom Christina ran together and had lots of fun. This is everything Ski Haus and Lake Catamount could have asked for… participants running and sharing the experience with no expectations other than having a good time. Goal accomplished. Thanks to everyone who came out. We’re looking forward to the Pleasant Valley Race – Ride – Tour Winter Series to continue December 20th. See you there!
Quote of the Week: “I wasn’t disappointed. My expectations had been met.” John Green,
The best laid plans sometimes just don’t work out. Last night was the Harvest Moon, Blood Moon, Super Moon, and Total Lunar Eclipse… for lots of people… all except those living in South Routt County. All week the skies over Colorado had been wonderfully clear as we anticipated this moon rising over the mountains of the Park Range. It wasn’t to be. As night slowly spread its shadow across our valley clouds rolled over, too. We thought the clouds would float East with moon climbing from behind them. Ahh, fingers were crossed but hopes were dashed nonetheless. The eclipse was eclipsed. Late at night it became crazy bright with clear skies and a magnificent Harvest Moon shining brilliantly and the morning’s moon-set made up for our disappointment. Fall colors on the horizon. A full moon setting. A new day with new hopes begins…
Quote of the Week: “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
We don’t know all the details on this photo other than it is of several Steamboaters hiking and climbing in Spain. The photo was taken near the border of France and the note accompanying the photo says clouds roll in around noon everyday. The rest of the story we can make up with a pretty secure knowledge that we won’t be wrong. The Pyrenees are spectacular. This day of trekking looks incredible. And we wish we were there. Happy Trails!
Quote of the Week: “Greatness is a road leading towards the unknown.” Charles de Gaulle
The Milky Way splits Cassiopeia to the North, Sagittarius and Scorpius to the South. Nights like this provide such a wonderful excuse to stay up late with nothing to do but admire the stars. Fall nights like these are a wonder. As your eyes adjust over time more and more stars appear – starlight and the shadows that result let you wander without missing a step. Elk bugle from across the valley. Coyotes yip and howl into the sky. Deer softly walk nearby completely unaware of human presence. Critters scurry through the tall cured grasses and the night is filled with starlight and sound. Incredible beauty for all the senses. Take our advice. Don’t miss these nights by sleeping too much!
Quote of the Week: “How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss
This Labor Day Weekend was the 7th Annual Steamboat Stage Race. Ski Haus has helped each year by providing neutral support for the Stage 2 Road Race. All the racers come away with a healthy respect for the climbs and descents this course offers. The race this year was pretty calm with the usual breakaway attempts, riders dropping away from the peloton, some riders hammering, some riders suffering, and relief with the race over. This is a great event and Ski Haus is always happy to help!
Quote of the Week: “I can think. I can sleep. I can move. I can ride my bike. I can dream.” Bill Walton
There are good days and then there are great days. One of the greatest ways to spend a great day is up in the Zirkel Wilderness. Elisha Colson and Ski Haus manager, Doug Steadman, hiked the Zirkel Circle last week and chalked up another great day on the summer calendar. Ready to make your day great? We recommend anywhere in the Zirkel Wilderness, The Flat Tops Wilderness, Sarvis Creek Wilderness…
Photo: Doug Steadman
Quote of the Week: “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” John Muir
The Diamond on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park has been on Kevin McGarity’s list of rock climbs to summit. Kevin succeeded and topped it out. He earned it the old fashioned way. He honed his climbing skills by climbing with respected mentors. He tested and pushed his own limits within the boundaries of good judgement only to climb better and stronger over the seasons. His climb up The Diamond, as with all adventures that push us beyond our comfort level, was a learning experience to be stored in the file of experience. Experience. Confidence. Courage… all great attributes to be drawn from not only during big-time outdoor adventures but as we help each other in our daily lives, too. To read more from Kevin and his personal account of the climb, click here.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” Paulo Coelho
8.17.15Often when you go out looking for one thing you find something entirely different. I went out in search of Perseid and found Thor instead. Hardly a disappointment. And isn’t that the beauty of any search? Being open to the experience and not being disappointed with whatever is the end result? To be honest, I was tired and not motivated to be up late at night and awake very early in the morning but I managed to do both. Night never disappoints. Nighttime is when the wild things come out and play. Darkness is a time when your all your senses dominate and the experience becomes hypersensitive. Faraway sounds are close. The slightest bend of air is felt. Shades of darkness and shadows appear. Normally dry mountain air has the hint of late night humidity, however brief. If you haven’t been outside at night this summer make the time. It’s special and always worth the effort.
Quote of the Week: “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” Vincent Van Gogh
If you take a look at the last photo of the week and compare it to this week’s photo… oh boy. Sometimes you have to pay to play. Last week we were in the big outside playing in the beauty of the Zirkel Wilderness. This week we paid in the urban wilderness in Salt Lake City at the Outdoor Retailer Show. The two photos cannot be more opposite. At the Outdoor Retailer you get stuffed into a huge convention hall packed with thousands of outdoor vendors hoping to sell their goods to thousands of outdoor retailers from across the US and the world. Eight hours under the florescent lights is nothing to look forward to and it is a ton of work to decipher truth from fiction when you’re looking at all the goods for sale. Nonetheless, for a gear junkie, OR can be a distorted paradise checking out all the new equipment, clothing, and footwear for next summer. Yes, if you’re gonna play you will pay. In this case it is not too huge of a price. New gear is on the way!
Quote of the Week: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Theodore Roosevelt
8.3.15If we were to take a poll and ask the residents of the Yampa Valley and Steamboat Springs what is their favorite way to spend a summer day – odds are a day (or a few days) spent in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness would be at the top of the list. The Zirkel is a favorite playground. It’s not huge country but it has a way of eating people up… The trailhead parking lot might be packed and that alone might dissuade a person from continuing… You would be missing a huge opportunity if you let that stop you. Once on the trail, the Zirkel has a way of moving people around and dispersing them so you feel you are the only one there. Where did everyone go? Thankfully, your day’s mission is not to find out. The day’s mission is to enjoy wilderness. Not hard to do when you have the Zikel as your backyard.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.” Dr. Seuss
It’s not all mountain biking and camping around here. Frequently the call of more liquid pursuits take precedent. Ski Haus bike mechanic, Doc McCann, manages the heat of the day by wake boarding out on Stagecoach Reservoir. No rope, no hands, plenty of wake from a weighted power boat and the result is a day well spent on the water. Who says those who live in the mountains envy those who live near the ocean? The best of both worlds is right here in Colorado!
Quote of the week: “Surfing makes me happy, so that’s just what I’m going to keep doing.” Alana Blanchard
A day in the life. A perfect day, on the perfect trail, riding the perfect bike, with your, well – yes – perfect riding buddies. Have you picked up on the idea that we feel we live in a pretty perfect spot? Above: Ski Haus Repair Shop Manager, James Koch, caught in a moment of perfect disbelief realizing perfection on the trail can be achieved pretty much any day when you’re on your bike. Rabbit Ears Pass. Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Photo: Doug Steadman
Quote of the Week: “Fix your eyes on perfection and you make almost everything speed towards it.” William Ellery Channing
7.13.15Wilderness is such a wonderful concept. Steamboat Springs is blessed to have three Wilderness Areas practically surrounding our town. Zirkel Wilderness to the North. Sarvis Creek Wilderness to our East. And the Flat Tops Wilderness to the South. The wonderful thing about Wilderness is how it presents an oasis from our self inflicted hectic lifestyles. Leave the phone behind. Unplug and engage nature in reality – not virtually. Here are some thoughts on wilderness and solitude from last week’s hike.
Quote of the Week: “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” Edward Abbey
A mountain bike. A rider. A trail. Physical exertion. Adrenalin. Stamina. Balance and skill. Yeah, there isn’t much we don’t love about mountain biking. Above: Tom Scilacci, Ski Haus employee and customer service technician extraordinaire, rides Creekside Trail. Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Quote of the Week: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Dr. Seuss
Wildflower season is here. Many believe this year’s wildflowers will be an incredible display of color and abundance. I’ve already seen Columbine and Paintbrush growing in numbers and in places I haven’t seen for at least sixteen years. I can’t remember ever seeing entire hillsides filled with Columbine’s blue and white blossoms, where there are too many to count, but it is happening this year. Any photo I’ve tried to take does not do any justice to these wonderful displays of light and color. So perhaps, this week’s photo will provide a little nudge to go for a slow hike instead of a fast bike ride. Take the time to see what you might normally miss. Enjoy a pace of wildflower petals slowly opening to sunshine.
Quote of the Week: “Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” Georgia O’Keeffe
Monday morning and the weekend’s are so hard to let go of. It is heartbreaking to think of our summer gear sitting all lonely and by themselves. Mountain and road bikes hanging in the gear shed, dusty hiking boots all alone in the garage, tents and packs idyll in their storage boxes, maps folded and stacked on a table… All waiting until next time and so are we. Make your next time soon. Start formulating a plan to escape early in the day. Take full advantage of these days beginning with an early sunrise and ending late into the evening. Plenty to do with plenty of daylight to get western. Above: Ski Haus employee, Mike McCoy, on a flowy section of Creekside Trail. Steamboat Ski Area.
Quote of the Day: “Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” Russel Baker
It’s no secret that this past May was a record setter for rain, snow, hail, sleet, and grapple. After the dry months of January, February, and March everyone’s seasonal clock became skewed. When May rolled around it felt like we should have been well into Summer. Our internal clocks had us a couple months ahead of schedule and lots of folks were super antsy to get mountain biking and then the May monsoons hit. Mountain bikers could only watch and wait as their trails turned into running creeks and mud. Attitudes suffered. Tongues were continually being bitten. Ouch. And then the sun came out and the trails have firmed up. Mountain bikers are smiling and climbing and descending and back onto their element… singletrack. Above: Ben Brodsky and Adam Hartsein on Rustler’s Ridge.
Photo: Doug Steadman
Quote of the Week: “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” Mahatma Gandhi
There are places that feel comfortable and familiar. They feel like home. For many of us the mountains are such a place. As night falls and birdsong fades and the stars come out and it is incredibly quiet with the sounds of the wind through the pines, cascading water, cracking and popping wood in the campfire and heartbeats and breathing… If you are lucky you will find yourself disconnected from the concerns of a world left behind and connected to a centuries old rhythm. It doesn’t take long for this cadence to take hold. The cadence of mountains lit by starlight…
Quote of the Week: “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” Vincent Van Gogh
Water. Saturated ground. Trails that look like running creeks. Mud. Rain. And snow and sleet. This describes our May pretty accurately. And for anyone who has lived in the West for very long knows we’re loving our current weather pattern. Most will hate to see it end because in the arid west, when it only takes a few days of heat and wind, to wipe out a month’s worth of moisture… the water is here today… gone tomorrow. Some of our seasonal creeks had dried up early in April and our summer was looking bleak. Our snowpack was just soaking into the ground rather than “running off.” But today those same creeks that had quit running are back and looking good. Sure, there is always some who grumble about the weather and complain there is nothing to do. But if you take advantage of the day you are given rather than sitting on the couch wishing for a day that isn’t… It’s time to lace up the waterproof boots, pack the goretex jacket and pants, make sure your pack has a raincover and go for a hike. Press your luck against a weather sucker-hole and sneak in a road bike ride. Read a good book. Enjoy the mountains in the rain…
Quote of the Week: “There are some days when I think I’m going to die from an overdose of satisfaction.” Salvador Dali
This pretty much sums up the month of May in Steamboat Springs. As the mountain bikers have been waiting on singletrack to firm up and dry out the roadies have been out dodging thunderstorms and snowstorms. The great thing about changing weather and ominous clouds is they are the perfect moto-vator for speed! My philosophy is to ride as fast and as far as I can, look up and see what the clouds say, and that will determine what kind of effort needs to be given to get home. Hup! Hup! The clouds are moving in again!
Quote of the Week: “If everything seems under control, you are not going fast enough.” Anonymous
Our own Kevin McGarity sent us this picture from his Utah climbing trip. Kevin wrote, “Me on top of ancient art in the Fischer Towers! Hope everything is going well in Steamboat, having a blast in the desert. See you soon!” We know Kevin will be back but on the other hand having a blast in the desert has lead many folks to disappear into leading a redrock life. We’ll keep you posted with Kevin’s next update.
Quote of the Week: “Wilderness. The word itself is music.” Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
Gratitude fills the soul through many paths and circumstances. For those who live in the rural west – snow and rain are wonderful reasons to be thankful. We feel grateful for every snowflake and raindrop that hits the ground. Recently, northwest Colorado has had some very nice showers roll over the mountains of the Park Range. Thunder rolls from the dark clouds and rumble our valleys with sound. Gray curtains of rain hide the mountain’s contours of slope and the progress of the shower can be seen as it sweeps through the forest like a ghost… Gusts of wind bring a sudden drop in temperature. Big fat drops of rain hit the ground with wet slaps and little pops of dust rise from the dirt until it all becomes a bit overwhelming. The senses can’t take it all in so in its place… gratitude for rainbows dripping color.
Quote of the Week: “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” Brene Brown
When it’s mud season in the mountains there is a very predictable exodus of a mountain town’s population. They are in search of warmer climes, sunshine, and a change of scenery. Our own Kevin McGarity, was able to put together a few nice days down in Eldorado Canyon near Boulder, Colorado to do some climbing. It’s amazing what a few days away from our own Yampa Valley can do for the soul. It is pretty satisfying what even a little road trip, combined with some physical exertion, and south facing rock can do for the psyche. Here’s to renewal, becoming re-energized, and refreshed!
Photo: Dan Kohler
Quote of the Week: “One can make a day of any size, and regulate the rising and setting of his own sun and the brightness of its shining.” John Muir
The tiniest of moon slivers slowly sets into the West. Twilight. Darkness. Night. Such a wonderful time to be looking up.
Quote of the Week: “I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” Vincent Van Gogh
When it comes to the end of the day, when the winds calm and the songbirds slowly fall into quiet, the sky gives way to a brilliance of color. Shadowless color fills the valley as does the sound of a day ending. Small critters burrow away, the owls hoot, nighthawks take to wing, melting runoff from scores of seasonal creeks fill the valley… and all is good with the day.
Quote of the Week: “Keep looking up! I learn from the past, dream about the future and look up. There’s nothing like a beautiful sunset to end a healthy day.” Rachel Boston
Ahh, Spring. What is it about backcountry skiing when the alpine breezes are blowing warm, the sunshine is piercing an incredibly blue sky and the snow… the snow is perfect corn? Days like this aren’t incredibly rare but they are always incredibly memorable. The wonder is how days like these never stop helping us appreciate the place we are lucky enough to call home. Retired Ski Haus Repair Shop Manager, Michael Paul and current Ski Haus staff member Kevin McGarity, found such a day last week on up in North Routt County. You can’t imagine better days like these, or if you can, then living your imagination is a pretty great thing indeed.
Photo: Kevin McGarity
Quote of the Week: “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” Mark Twain
This is what no wind looks like. This photo symbolizes the beautiful days we’ve been having recently. Warm. Blue skies. Little to no wind. Glorious. Unless, of course, you’re looking for beautiful days filled with a little snow squall here and there, a Spring rain shower, and some wild weather with low hanging clouds and wind. Well, no matter which way your windmill points it’s hard to have it all so enjoy the beautiful days you’re given and find adventure in each one of them.
Quote of the Week: “Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Panza.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
Well, it’s never a bad day but the first road bike ride of the season always arrives with a little melancholy feel to it. The fact the local Nordic Touring Centers are closing for the season has forced me to top off the tires, find the bike shorts and helmet, and throw a leg over the Cervelo and go for a spin. This winter I really tried to ski every chance I had. I didn’t want to give up skiing. And as our mild winter transitioned into an early Spring I’d see roadies out logging the miles as I’d head out for another skate ski. When Howelsen Hill closed last week that was my tipping point. Mighty Howelsen Hill is my choice for a hour long lunch break ski and with it closed… Reluctantly, and mostly happily, I went for a ride. I had a slow leak in my back tire from last Fall and after sitting all winter, the tire was flat. The irony! Here I was having to fix a flat before I had even taken my first ride. As I replaced the tube it gave me a chance to think about the past winter, skiing, and how much I miss it during the summer…. Ah! Enough! Forward! Racing your shadow is back! Ride hard. Take your pulls. Ride long. Ride often!
Last week the Lake Catamount Ski Touring Center held their second Fat Cat Full Moon Snow Bike Race of this winter. The top photo is of James Koch, Ski Haus Bike Shop Manager, racing along the top of the Mesa before descending to the Elk Crossing trail. The Full Moon rose over Rabbit Ears Pass in spectacular fashion. No one could have hoped for a better night. Trail conditions were ideal. Temperatures were frosty! And all the riders had a blast during the ride and post race burger-n-beer. Thanks Catamount for the fun event. See ya’ll next year!
Quote of the Week: “We ran as if to meet the moon.” Robert Frost
There are too many great things to list about living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado to say one thing is the best thing over anything else… If that makes sense. But, one of the best things about living in Steamboat Springs is when the skiing isn’t very good then the ice climbing is great. The satisfying sound of thunk thunk – ice tools swinging solidly into waterfall ice is reassuring. The nervous energy of stepping up and onto small talons attached to your boots is addicting. Reaching the top, no matter how long or short a climb is very satisfying. Climber: Kevin McGarity of Ski Haus.
Photo: A kind hiker passing by.
Quote of the Week: “I think it’s my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.” Leonard Nimoy
Everyone knows what January and most February has been like around Steamboat Springs. It was the driest January we’ve ever had. Thankfully, things have changed the past few days. The atmospheric battle between Sun and Snow has returned and snow has been winning the past few days. Over the weekend Steamboat received around 19 inches of fresh snow. Lets just say the “people rejoiced!” Skiing in bounds at the Steamboat Ski Area had skiers realizing their powder legs need a little conditioning. Backcountry skiers and snowshoers remembered that cold and snow do go together and it’s a great combination. Skate and classic skiers at the track are thinking life is pretty darn good and so are the groomed tracks… Thank goodness for snow in the mountains. Thank goodness for the return of winter!
Quote of the Week: “In seed-time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” William Blake
Ski Haus hosted our 8th Annual Classic Nordic Race this past weekend at the Lake Catamount Touring Center. We believe this image sums up the Nordic community pretty nicely. During the race local Nordic instructor Emily Lovett (L), Ski Haus employee Jessica Collier (center), and Judi Hulme from Wyoming (R) skied awesome and gave every bit of energy they had into their skiing and racing. The effort was great to witness and inspiring. Even better is the camaraderie shown post race. Congratulations all around. High fives and smiles. Yeah, this photo sums it up pretty nicely.
Quote of the Week: “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” Michael Jordan
The only thing better than seeing new 2015/2016 XC skis, boots, and poles for next year is skiing all the new 15/16 XC skis, boots, and poles for next year. A few of the Ski Haus crew made the dicey drive over to Copper Mountain yesterday to test next year’s line up of skis, boots, and poles from Fischer, Rossignol, Salomon, Atomic, Swix, Start, One Way, Alpina, and Madshus. Holy cow… so many skis, so many hot laps around the track, so many equipment changes, and only so much time. Needless to say, the Ski Haus crew skied great and went home whupped. Check this day in the win column.
Quote of the Week: “Don’t give up your day dream.” Anonymous