Kyle and I went skiing at Steamboat on the Sunday of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. His brother, Cary, was in town because he is a Young Life leader and they brought a group out to Colorado to ski. Kyle and I got discounted tickets through the Employee Center, so we drove up and joined the crowds. And, by crowds, I mean crowds.
We should have known better, being that it was MLK weekend, but it's not often that one of our siblings is planning to ski so close to where we live, we both have the day off, we have discounted lift tickets, and the weather is nice enough to drive that distance. It was hard to pass up the opportunity.
We stood in line for the first lift for at least 30 minutes. My feet were hurting before we had even skied! Once we got on the mountain it was really nice, though. After several missed attempts to meet up with Cary, we decided it would be easiest to find him at lunch time.
Kyle and I had fun exploring various runs to and from many different lifts. Some of the lifts were ancient two-seaters, but it was fun to experience such a variety. The resort is quite big, with multiple mountains. Because we had waited so long in the first line at the base of the front mountain, we avoided the front side of that mountain at all costs! We spent most of our time on the middle mountain, which had a nice range of blue runs to explore. Steamboat had received a lot of fresh snow, so not very much had been groomed. The snow quality was nice, but with so many people skiing on the same day, the runs got pretty torn up by mid-day. It was hard to avoid the bumps and at certain select points where trails merged and traffic increased, much of the new snow had been scraped away, exposing the treacherous ice below.
We went a little higher on the mountain because we had to ski down to the spot we were supposed to meet for lunch. When we got to the top of the lift, it turned out there were only black (expert) runs down from there. I was a little nervous because I've only ever been on blue (intermediate) or blue-black runs before. But we went for it. It was steep but I took my time and made lots of turns. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and I made it down without falling. It felt great! Plus, the nice thing about being up there was that there were very few people. We ended up doing that run several more times because it was so fun.
Kyle and I got to the meeting spot and warmed up with a bowl full of chili. Cary found us, we caught up on life for a bit, ate a little more, and then the three of us ventured out onto the slopes. It was great doing something together that we all enjoyed so much. After completing one run, several more of the leaders from Cary's group joined us and we took off. At first, I was consistently the last one to reach whatever lift we were meeting up at, but after a little while I wasn't last! Another minor accomplishment...
Several of the guys we were with were snowboarders. They liked the bumpy snow even less than we did. We sought out a groomed run on another part of the mountain. The wide open groomer was phenomenal! It was so fun to cruise and get our speed up, rather than work hard to avoid bumps and people. Also, there was more sunlight on that part of the mountain, so we weren't working against all the flat light, either. I have to say, just for the enjoyment factor, that was my favorite run of the day. Others gave me more satisfaction from accomplishing them, but that run was pure fun!
All in all, it was a fun, full day of skiing. By the time the resort was closing, we were ready to be done, too. Kyle and I took our gear to the car and enjoyed a well deserved espresso drink at Starbucks with Cary.
We had a little more time with Cary before he had to meet his group back at the motel, so we wandered around the cute tourist town of Steamboat Springs for a while. We parted ways and Kyle and I started our drive back to Summit County. I was sore the next day, in that satisfying way you feel after playing hard.