We are enjoying some great early winter snow conditions up on Rabbit Ears Pass. Cold snow, cold temperatures, a brisk breeze on the face, icicles in the trees, and cross country skis! How perfect! Being human, all we want is more snow, and more skiing, more often. A cross country ski day up on the pass is one of the best ways to spend a winter day. Rabbit Ears Pass is a xc paradise with its open parks, thick spruce forests, forest service marked trails and plenty of terrain to go explore. Know what time it is? It’s time to ski!
Quote of the Week: “The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?” J. B. Priestley
Give us some weather, some color in the sky and on the ground and trees and we are absolutely loving life. As the seasons play tug-of-war with each other we are treated with mild Indian Summer days and blasts of winter to remind us – ready or not – one season will out over another. Last mountain bike ride and first ski day of season can be any day during the weeks to come. Be ready for what comes!
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
There is only one thing you can say about a perfect Fall day, a trail run, and lots of fun loving people who came out to participate. We’ll call it ideal. The Pleasant Valley Fall Trail Run sponsored by Ski Haus and Lake Catamount went off without a hitch this past Sunday. Lots of folks came out to run and help raise money for the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund. Thanks to all who came out to run and have fun. Tell your friends about this event for next year! Runners: Oliver Browning (#64) and Sal Malone (#50) coming down the trail hard and fast!
Quote of the Week: Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory. Mahatma Gandhi
When you can’t decide which is the better photo it is best to load two. Hiking in the Flat Tops Wilderness yesterday was stand-still glorious. We’d be hiking along and just stop and try to take in the sights, the sounds, the aroma of Autumn in the high country. Gold aspen leaves thick in the sky. Gold aspen leaves thick on the trail. Gold aspen leaves flying thick in the air around us… The cool breeze sent the quakies whispering in our ears to stand longer, breath deeper, relax, forget the destination, listen, and be still. Which is your favorite season? How is it possible to choose? Let’s go with Autumn since that is the season we are in…
Quote of the Week: “I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” Henry David Thoreau
The big view from Sunshine Trail on Mount Werner with Autumn colors hitting the aspen groves. You can’t help but enjoy these days. There is no choice. However, there is one thing in the back of our minds that we don’t necessarily want to acknowledge but there is no avoiding it… How many days like this can we count on? How many mountain bike rides are left to ride dirt trail and hike to the high peaks, and camp with summer weight sleeping bags? Fall is all too short and it doesn’t seem fair that it should ever end. All we can do is take advantage of the days and time we’re given to get out and play and take it all in as best we can. Enjoy!
Photo: Chad Leusink
Quote of the Week: “…I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.” Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Ski Haus family keeps growing. Ski Haus staff members, Ben Brodsky and Andrew Stoller, hiking with their wives and young children. Here they come – the next generation of hikers, mountain bikers, climbers, backpackers, environmentalists, activists, inventors, scientists, artists, writers, composers or anything else that might strike their fancy. The trails of discovery are many and these young’uns are getting a great start!
Quote of the Week: “Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than a science.” Bruno Bettelheim
8.13.18A day of sunshine, a view, and a flat warm rock to enjoy the moment. More and more our thoughts turn to being in the moment and not rushing off to the next big thing. Here. Now. This moment and not any other… The texture of stone, the color of lichen, the sound of wind, a laugh, friends. Here. Now. Perfection. – Flat Tops Wilderness. Star Lake.
Photo: C. Atha.
Quote of the Day: “Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.” Tennessee Williams
It’s hard to say “Perfect Day” but that just might be exactly what Micheale and James Koch (Ski Haus bike repair shop manager) had last week while mountain biking on the 401 trail in Crested Butte. Blue sky (a rarity this summer), cool temperatures (always seek higher ground), great trail conditions (nothing like a little rain to tamp down the dust), and great company (about the only thing you can control to make a perfect day). Make your perfect day today!
Photo: James Koch
Quote of the day: “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” Vince Lombardi
Just when you think you’ve had it with summer… It’s too hot during the day. It’s too smokey all the time. The sky is only blue in the winter otherwise it is a hazy grey from June to September. The trails are filled with a fine powder of dirt and it makes you feel like you’re walking on the moon with puffs of rising terra not so firma filling your nostrils… Well, even with all the human nature complaints there comes a summer day that is cool. The sky is suddenly blue again. The paintbrush and fireweed are blooming with bright splashes of color and while it can feel like everything is wrong all of a sudden everything seems right. Personally, I owe this summer respite to a few days off back to back and time well spent on a mountain trail. Ahh, the mountains in summer!
Quote of the Week: “Happiness consists not in having much, but in being content with little.” Marguerite Gardiner
Working hard either around the ranch or working hard along a trail in the high country… a gorgeous sunset signals your effort is done, at least for a day. Sunsets give you the chance to stop and look around and listen as some critters call it a day and some critters are beginning to start their night. For us humans, the chance to pause is always a blessing. Quiet. The sound of soft padded feet scurrying to and fro… Nighthawks on the wing. Big hoofed critters foraging on dried grasses. A new moon setting early… Ahhh, the peace of sunsets.
Quote of the Week: “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” Buddha
What are 4 legged and two legged dogs to do when the heat is excessive and tongues are wagging and brain cells are frying? Head for the hills! Gain some elevation. Put your head in the jetstream (or at least try), find some shade, and listen to the wind blow. We humans love to complain (Steamboat Springs was in the 90’s yesterday) to anyone who will listen and dogs are great listeners. When the heat of the day has you crying siesta but a low elevation nap will only make you feel worse…. find your nap time above 11, 000 feet and enjoy.
Quote of the Week: “When the going gets tough, the tough take a nap.” Tom Hodgkinson
Any day you can spend in a mountain wilderness is a day well spent. Let us say any wilderness – from an ocean wilderness to a desert wilderness to grasslands to the high mountain peaks. Each wild place, whether it is “scenic” or not so dramatic to the eye of the beholder, should never be taken for granted. That open space, the space of peace, quiet, and discovery can’t be found just anywhere. Compared to number of roads and shopping malls and cities and bright lights it can only be found in diminishing places. Continue to speak your mind for preservation.
Photo: MS – Flat Tops Wilderness, Colorado
Quote of the Week: “Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.”John Muir
UPDATE: Stage 1 Fire Restrictions went into effect for the Routt National Forest and Routt County, Friday June29, 2018.
The Routt National Forest including the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, the Flat Tops Wilderness, and Sarvis Creek Wilderness are not currently under any fire restrictions but that is never an excuse for being dumb. A quick google of percentage of wildfire that is human caused shows an incredible number. Close to 80 percent of wild fires are human caused. From burning trash to not extinguishing camp fires to fireworks to you name it… the vast majority of wildfires are preventable. Plan ahead, be smart, think of others… Only you can prevent wildfire.
Quote of the Week: “Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb about.” Solomon Short
The soothing power of rain is a blessing, especially when you are experiencing a long dry spell. While Northern Colorado has been better off than Southern Colorado, considering winter snowpack and spring storms, we ourselves are only a few hot days away from drought, and heaven forbid, wildfire. So when a soothing rain happens to come by with its low blanket of clouds, and the storm comes in quiet without the bright flash and loud pomp, and steady rain on the metal roof becomes a lullaby of gratitude, we smile.
Quote of the Week: “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
6.11.18Marsh Marigolds are in full display up in the Flat Tops Wilderness, south of Steamboat Springs. The hiking is always lovely up there. Be aware that there still can be significant snowdrifts deep in the forest and up at the higher elevations. Most snowdrifts you can punch right over and continue on your way but there are steep and deep drifts that may make you come up with a Plan B. The beauty up in the high country cannot be denied and no matter where a trail leads you – or what snowdrift may lead you elsewhere – keep your eyes open to all the beauty around you both big and small.
Quote of the Week: “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius
5.28.18Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. May 23, 2018. Some folks know this secret and lots of folks don’t… In many of our western National Parks that have main roads close due to deep snow in the winter you can access these roads on your bike or by foot before they officially open to summer traffic. This year we road our bikes up Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park two days before RMNP opened the flood gates to all the cars, trucks, and campers for the summer season. The ride is always spectacular and always worth doing. Take the chance, make the leap, commit to making this ride happen for yourself next year!
Quote of the Week: “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” Mary Tyler Moore
5.22.18It is early. Early for hiking in the high country anyway. The new green of aspen tree leaves are still chasing the snowline up to the high peaks of the Flat Tops Wilderness. The good news is there are fun opportunities to find a few south facing trails and go have a look-see. The soggy sock theory applies here. The further up you go – the deeper you travel into the forest – the more and more deep snow drifts you’ll encounter. And on a warm day these drifts are punchy and as you gingerly try to stay on top it is only a gravitational moment of discovery whether you sink to your knees or hips! Ah, nonetheless, a brilliant day hiking in the mountains, no matter the conditions, is still a brilliant day!
Quote of the Day: “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.” Charles Richards
5.14.18Everyone has been patiently waiting for the mountain bike trails to dry out to get the bike season rolling! And it has happened. Mix some dry trails with a bluebird sunny day and life is pretty darn good. Our own James Koch, (Ski Haus Repair Shop Manager) found some ride time this past Sunday on Emerald Mountain. Emerald is Steamboat’s gem of a playground located right in our town’s backyard with world class mountain bike trails in the Summer and both alpine and Nordic trails in the Winter… Ohh, la, la… Not that we want to rush Spring but come on Summer!
Photo: Micheale Koch
Quote of the Week: “Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play. Heraclitus
5.7.18Not every adventure needs to be an over the top expedition. Time is so limited that little microadventures not far from home makes perfect sense. Anything that gets you away and enjoying the big outside for ever how long is more than worth it. Your breathing is easy. Your mind relaxes. There is a rhythm to wind whispering through pine and spruce needles and leafless early Spring aspen. The sound of mountain water chugging over rocks as it rushes away to the Pacific. Sunshine on your back. A companion’s smile. Yes, micro adventures are well worth their weight because of the treasures you find along the way.
Quote of the Week: “The earth has music for those who listen.” William Shakespeare
The full Pink Moon setting behind Green Ridge and a few wispy morning clouds just a day or two back. I suspect at least once a month the Moon says to itself, “It’s just a phase. I’ll be back to my new self in a couple weeks.” As goes the moon so goes the weather, the seasons, our outdoor activities, and our own chances to begin each day full of anticipation and excitement.
Quote of the Week: “The moon rested right above the mountains, a place I call home.” Daniel Wallock
Bentley, the Golden Retriever in front, is one of the Ski Haus dogs you’ll see in the store on occasion. Bentley recently had to have some surgery but he is doing great. When your best buddy is hurting it is so good to have him back and feeling so much better! Bentley says thanks for all the best wishes and he wants you to know he’ll be up for his regular intake of treats soon!
Quote of the Week: “Nothing is so healing as the human touch.” Bobby Fischer
Sunrise and the Full Moon? I guess it makes sense considering all the internal issues Mother Nature is refereeing these days. Winter one day. Spring the next. Winter snow squalls hammering the forests while robins and chickadees hunker down in the protection of spruce and pine. The brittle sound of breaking ice and the softness of free flowing creeks. Ten degree mornings and fifty degree afternoons. Each day brings its conflict to resolution as ever evolving and constantly changing beauty. Take it all in and enjoy!
Quote of the Week: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir
Springtime up on Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs… Plenty of snow still up there so the cross country skiers are excited for the next month or two. And as the daytime temperatures rise the warm air is filled with the scents of waking-up pine, deep snow, running water (as the creeks slowly open), and old wood… Spring hits you in a variety of ways and the pass becomes an olfactory Springtime Paradise to be sure.
Quote of the Week: “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” Mark Twain
The Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour XC Sprint Marathon sponsored by Ski Haus and Lake Catamount we held this past Sunday. Race day was perfect with a great groom, a really fun course, great weather, and over 100 skiers. The top photo is one of our favorites… we start ’em young in Steamboat Springs! From the smallest 2k skiers to the most fit 26k skiers everyone had a fun day. Thanks to Lake Catamount and all the volunteers and all the participants who helped put race together!
Quote of the Week: “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” Les Brown
For race Results Click Here
Top: At the start line of the Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour Event #2. Full Moon Fat Bike Race at Lake Catamount. All lit up and everywhere to go!
Middle: At the finish. The full moon did make an appearance and that was nice for both riders and time keepers.
Bottom: The Full Moon sky lit up at Catamount. It was the perfect night for the perfect event!
Quote of the Week: “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Outdoor Retailer and SIA Ski Show was in Denver this past week. The combined show was huge and was a mix of new gear overload and mayhem in the aisles… It is always fun to see next years offerings of new winter gear. Let the dreaming begin!
Quote of the Week: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney
Late last week the Yampa Valley received some very nice snow. Our snowpack had been hovering around 64% of average but after the fresh snow it came up to around 77% of average. On any given winter day, the fun factor exceeds 100% of average. Every winter day presents an opportunity to be out in the snow and crisp mountain air enjoying all that this season offers. Don’t let percentages determine how you approach each day… all-in is a good way to play! Above: Breaking trail on snowshoes in Routt County, Colorado.
Quote of the Day: “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical. Yogi Berra
Rabbit Ears Pass is paradise. A cross country skier’s paradise. We don’t use that word lightly, either. We really mean it. We don’t believe we’ve ever had a bad winter backcountry experience up there. No matter the weather, from snow being blown sideways in a whiteout to a blue-bird spring day skate skiing the crust, Rabbit Ears Pass offers something valuable and rare. Beauty. Solitude. Quiet. And the pace of life drawn down to heartbeats…
Quote of the Week: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau
12.25.17Christmas morning in the Yampa Valley came in snowy and stormy and white. After several weeks of pretty mild weather, beautiful blue sky weather, but not deep snow weather, we were gifted with two really strong storms that left lots and lots of snow. A very Merry Christmas, indeed!
Quote of the Week: “At Christmas, all roads lead home.” Marjorie Holmes
12.18.18The Ski Haus Tucker mascot is decorated and ready for Christmas Eve. Usually, Santa gives his reindeer a rest and borrows a local barn to feed ’em up some extra sugar and syrup, and he takes the Ski Haus Tucker to deliver the packages to all the good girls and boys in town. Now, many of you may not believe this is what Santa does each year but those who do believe… what gifts they receive! Family, friendship, kindness, love, generosity… Do you believe?
Quote of the Week: “Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” Edna Ferber
It’s no secret that the dominate weather feature has been a huge dome of high pressure over Colorado. This clockwise rotation has been sending most of our December moisture north leaving us with plenty of sunshine. Glorious days to be sure… for not snowing a ton. The forecast is for some snow towards the end of this week. In the meantime we are left to make do with wonderful, fantastic, beautiful days the best we can. Bentley, the snow dog, knows a good roll in the snow and a fun ski up on the Pass will cure what ails you…
Quote of the Week: “The snow is sparkling like a million little suns.” Lama Willa
Cross country skiing up on Rabbit Ears Pass is beyond wonderful. There are few words that can describe the experience up there. And the pass never disappoints. Even on an early season day in November, after a few dry, melt-freeze cycles, when the snow has become challenging, a day of xc skiing up there is super fun. Fresh air. No other skiers in sight. Big views. Spruce forests. Unlimited terrain to explore. And of course, great companionship.
Quote of the Week: “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.” Cicely Tyson