Outdoors: Weekend Ski Buzz

January 2013

As of a week ago, we were still scraping rocks on our runs. Not cool. The good news: Snow is headed our way this weekend. We double-checked local meteorologist-slash-powder-junky Joel Gratz’s latest Colorado Daily Snow report on Open Snow, and it looks like the high country could wake up to as much as six to eight inches on Saturday morning. Maybe not the epic blizzard we’d like, but we’ll take it!

We got the weekend scoop from the folks at Colorado Ski Country USA, and here’s where you should be heading come Friday:

Steamboat

Steamboat is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, having opened exactly 50 years ago this Saturday—with a whopping grand total of $13.75 in cash receipts at the end of its first day. The home of Colorado’s infamous champagne powder has come a long way since then, and the 10-day celebration kicks off this weekend. Be there for opening ceremonies on Saturday: Swing by Gondola Square for a slice of the giant birthday cake, face-painting for the kids, and the opening of a Steamboat time capsule that was buried at the top of the gondola in 1988. Groove out to the Yampa Valley Boys in the morning, and catch a free concert with The Congress and Robert Randolph & the Family Band later in the afternoon.

Remember to stick around after the sun goes down for the lighting of the anniversary cauldron, which will mark the start of the torchlight parade and a fireworks show set to music. The cauldron will stay lit throughout the 10 days of festivities. Then, get the real party started with one of the resort’s specially crafted anniversary drinks: the Golden Antlers cocktail (Barenjager Honey bourbon, peach Schnapps, orange juice, and a splash of ginger ale) or the winter-only Steamboat Golden Ale from Anheuser-Busch. And, pssssst: This is the last weekend of the “50 Days of Prizes Extravaganza.” 

Loveland

Not up for the haul to Steamboat? Loveland might be more manageable—and guess what? Lovelanders are celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend. Loveland, which opened in 1937 with a single rope tow, is the second-oldest Colorado ski resort next to Howelsen Hill in Steamboat. It was also the first major Colorado mountain to acquire snow-making technology 45 years ago. To commemorate its 75 years of ski legacy and a fierce local devotion, Loveland is hosting an anniversary party on Saturday.

Not a pass holder? No worries. Lift tickets are just $37 all weekend (that’s almost half off). Start your day with free hot chocolate and coffee outside the ticket window, catch the live ice sculpture carving on Basin Patio between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and hit up the free Red Bull Photo Booth for a way to remember the day. Grab a slice of birthday cake in the Basin Cafeteria, and get down to some live music at the après party at Rathskeller Bar. Try the anniversary beer, specially brewed for the occasion by Tommyknocker Brewery: Pine Bough Ale was crafted with pine needles plucked from Loveland’s own slopes. Don’t forget to sign up for the ski raffle: The local ski-making wizards at Icelantic designed a custom ski to give away on Saturday.

Whether you’re heading over Rabbit Ears Pass or stopping short of the tunnel, may you find your powder (and some beer specials and free giveaways) this weekend.

 Image courtesy of Shutterstock