Winter Carnival celebrates 100 Ski area hits 50
holiday recipes you’ll love
Is there anything Steamboat’s Kerry Lofy hasn’t jumped off?
Getting hitched? Wedding Guide is here to help
Snowmakers: Steamboat Springs’ unsung heroes
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2 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
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4 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
tristan thrasher in the Winter Carnival doggy dash.
10 Quick Hits
The Curious Case of Kerry Lofy Between his recent BASE-jumping exploits and coaching hiccups, it’s been a heck of a year for Kerry Lofy. An inside look at Steamboat’s biggest and most dreadlocked adrenaline junkie.
Unsung Heroes The fact that you even went skiing or riding as often as you did last year owes itself to a tribe of unsung heroes on the mountain: Steamboat’s frost-covered snowmakers.
Holiday Dessert Bake-off Wonder who makes the best cookies, cakes and pies in town? Steamboat cooks face off in our annual holiday baking competition.
Schizo ski seasons, the Bordens pass the fireworks torch (but not without a big bang), birthday milestones in the Boat, Warm Springs Rapid rearranged and more.
18 NEW! Essay From the Boat
How local author Greg Hamilton stays on task in Steamboat with just the right amount of distraction.
19 Artist Profile
Capturing Kidspiration with Susanmarie Oddo.
Cooking With: Jason Salisbury Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill’s self-taught chef.
Tom Ross Remembers Howelsen Hill deeply rooted in Steamboat skiing history.
Real Estate: Home-Baked Sustainability Autumn’s Green Building Tour offers lessons in making your home more efficient.
50 Q&A: Billy Kidd
Steamboat skiing icon and soon-to-be septuagenarian sets aside his skis to sit down and chat with Steamboat Living.
On the cover: Michelle Avery skis the upper section of Morningside at Steamboat Ski Area. (Photo by Larry Pierce)
Special section: Wedding Guide 29
Getting hitched? We’re here to help Locations to tie the knot in Steamboat, wedding spotlights, the Yampa Valley Bridal Show, wedding directory and more.
Inside: Best of the Boat supplement This year’s Best of the Boat reader survey yielded a record number of votes — ranking categories from dining and real estate to services and shopping — proving that our populace is plenty opinionated about this place we call home. Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
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From the editor
suzanne schlicht Chief operating officer scott stanford General manager brent boyer Editor in chief mike Polucci Magazines manager eugene buchanan Magazines editor nicole miller Assistant editor laura tamucci Creative services manager Gee, Haw, whoa: running dogs with Grizzle-t Dog sledding in the flat tops.
Mushing into a New Season The ritual is always the same. Move everything from its summer berth in the garage — the kayaks, rafts, bikes, pogo sticks, tents, backpacks, fishing gear, coolers and more — back into its crawl space nook to make room for two cars and ski gear. Then dig through that same crawl space to find the trash bags full of children’s and grownups’ winter apparel and shuttle it up to the mudroom to replace flip-flops, rain jackets, umbrellas and other fair-weather fare. The change in seasons means an annual gear shuffle, the price of admission for living in a ski town. The rite of passage comes without fanfare; it’s just something you have to do, a formality signaling the end of fall, year in and year out. The inaugural car frost kicks you into gear. A couple of early-morning, barehanded scrapes in your slippers are enough to prompt you into making the transition. If you ignore this harbinger, the first snowfall snaps you into action. There are plenty of other chores. You have to move hula hoops, dog dishes, dolls, scooters and soccer balls from the yard before they’re buried until April. You have to call the sprinkler-blowout guy to clear your lines before they break in two. You have to detach hoses from their faucets, schedule a time to get the tires changed, move the table and chairs from the porch’s avalanche zone to the south side of the house, and figure out a way to prevent the raft frame stored outside from
being ensconced in a frozen tomb come spring. You have to pull the snowblower out and hope it starts — which it should since you finally, after 17 years, learned how to drain it properly. (Hint: Fire it up and let it run itself dry.) You have to restow ice scrapers and snow brushes beneath car seats, find and move snow shovels into their respective corners, and take the trampoline down — including pads, mats and skin-pinching springs — before a freeze glues the pad knots solid. You have to visit the rental store and ski swap to get the kids outfitted, finding out later that their gloves and snow boots are too small, forcing you to pay full retail; swap out snorkels for goggles in mudroom cubbies; and move bike socks out of your sock drawer for longer ones. Add a wood-burning stove to the mix and the laundry list grows even longer. And none of this considers waxing and tuning snowboards and skis, sewing that ducttaped hole in your ski pants or fixing that broken pole basket. So life up here isn’t all powder days and pub crawls. Come winter, a variety of tasks come with the transition into Ski Town USA. But it’s all part of surviving the change of seasons here in Steamboat. And if you’re like me and don’t remember a few things, don’t worry — it’s nothing a powder day won’t help you forget. — Eugene Buchanan
steve balgenorth Circulation manager staff photographers Scott Franz, John F. Russell and Matt Stensland staff writers Scott Franz, Luke Graham, Nicole Inglis and Tom Ross Copy editors Vicky Ho, Laura Mazade and Holly Thomas advertising design and production Stephanie Corder, Seve DeMarco, Rachel Girard and Todd Wilson advertising sales Christy Woodland
Steamboat Living is published three times a year, in March, July and November by the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Steamboat Living magazines are free. For advertising information, call Mike Polucci at 970-871-4215. To get a copy mailed to your home, call Steve Balgenorth at 970-871-4232. Email letters to the editor to ebuchanan@SteamboatToday.com or call 970-870-1376. Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
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visit us at:
TREAD oF PIoNEERS MuSEuM
Pining for Pin Ears I was just going through my great-grandmother’s photos, and I have a few of riders on General Pershing. As far as the ride of Pin Ears by Kid Vaughn, my great-grandmother was there. She said the only reason that Pin Ears was rode to a stand still is he bucked clear up into the stands. I have many photos of old bronc riders here in Routt County that I’ve shared with the Hayden museum. — Michelle Hale, Hayden
to try out a pair on the Yampa. Incidentally, I was the sports editor at the Summit Daily News for several years and love Steamboat. — Jason Starr, Colchester, Vt.
Giddy-up Grandpops Just wanted to let you know that the picture you ran in Steamboat Living (Summer 2012) in Tom Ross’ column is of my greatgrandfather Ivan Decker riding Pershing in Yampa in front of the Royal Hotel. From what my grandmother Verna told us, he was the first person to ride Pershing (it was even posted in The Western Horseman). We still have his bucking saddle. Thanks for the article. — Jay Whaley, Yampa
letters To THE EDIToR
Ski Yak Town USA Nice Letter From the Editor photo of Ski Yakking on the Yampa River in Steamboat Living (Summer 2012). I recently stumbled upon another photo circa 1890. Maybe they’re catching on. — Larry Pierce, Steamboat
Ski Yaks 2.0 A friend just sent me your photo on your two-ski adventure on the Yampa this summer. It made me laugh because I’ve been there. Kudos for doing it. Glad to hear you were cheered not mocked. Of special interest to you in Ski Town USA, I’m building the nextgeneration of whitewater skis ... Starr Surf Skis (www.starrsurfskis.com/white-water). The original goal was to ski waves, and we’ve done that. Now I’m focusing on cross-country-style water skiing on flat water (whitewater is like skiing bumps). Maybe you’ll have
My husband and I are from Vancouver, British Columbia, and spent a wonderful 14 days in Steamboat this summer. We’re avid mountain bikers, and we took a six-month leave of absence from work for an extended road trip. We biked all over the Southwest and Mexico, and Steamboat is our favorite place overall. The cross-country mountain biking is outstanding both for variety and for access right from town. The road riding looks outstanding, too. Everything else, from the people we met (friendly and very helpful) to the restaurants’ laid-back atmosphere and beautiful Yampa River, was great. The only bad part is we had to leave. (We’ll be back and will stay longer.) If you live here, count yourself lucky — you live in an amazing place. And keep up all the great work on your trails. We spent more than $3,000 here including our accommodations, and we wouldn’t have come if it weren’t for your mountain bike trails. And there are lots of people like us, so don’t underestimate the payback you’ll get from your cycling infrastructure. — Gail Sawers, Vancouver, B.C.
Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
Happy Birthday to Me TREAD oF PIoNEERS MuSEuM
Ski area turns 50; Winter Carnival celebrates 100
100 Years of altitude: Howelsen Hill during an early winter carnival.
Two of the town’s strongest ties to snowsports are celebrating special anniversaries this season, with Steamboat Ski Area turning 50 and Winter Carnival celebrating a whopping 100. Blowing out five decades of candles with more than $30 million in recent on-mountain enhancements, Steamboat has grown substantially from its grass-roots beginnings in 1963, when founder John Fetcher drove to California to pick up the bullwheels for the original Bear Claw double chair. Today, its 18 lifts serve 2,965 acres blanketed with 347 inches of annual average snowfall in the past decade. As part of the festivities, the resort is planning a golden 50th anniversary celebration Jan. 11 to 21, including a special birthday celebration concert and fireworks Jan. 12. It also is planning a series of Bud Light Rocks the Boat concerts March 9, 16, 23, 30, and April 6 and 14. Combine this with a special celebration for Billy Kidd’s 70th birthday April 13 and you have a season to remember. “There’s definitely a lot going on this year to help us celebrate,” Steamboat spokesman Mike Lane says. “We’ve come a long way in 50 years.”
Coming even further along is Steamboat’s annual Winter Carnival. The 2013 event will be the 100th carnival (Feb. 6 to 10), which has been operated by the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club every year since 1914, making it the oldest continuous winter carnival west of the Mississippi. The annual celebration includes a variety of events that embrace Steamboat’s Western and winter sport heritage, including ski jumping competitions, a diamond-hitch parade, fireworks, skijoring street events, the Lighted Man and the world’s only high school marching band on skis. It’s been rated one of the top 10 winter carnivals in the world by National Geographic and has appeared on Good Morning America. The carnival’s host — Winter Sports Club, which has ties to more than 88 Olympians — also celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013, further cementing Steamboat’s snow sports heritage. “It’s a big year for anything related to snow sports in Steamboat,” Winter Sports Club Executive Director Rick DeVos says. “It should be a great year to visit Ski Town USA.” — Eugene Buchanan
If cats have nine lives, Steamboat Powdercats, founded in 1983 by Jupiter and Barbara Jones, is doing pretty well, celebrating its 30th birthday this year. “After heli skiing in Canada, some of our friends on the trip convinced us to purchase a snowcat and give it a try in Steamboat,” says Jupiter, who sold the operation to the current ownership team in 1999. “So we did, and it’s been running strong ever since.” Since those early days, tens of thousands of guests have utilized its snowcats and guides to access some of the best powder in the country, including such celebrities as Martina Navratilova, Cindy Nelson, Dr. Richard Steadman, Klaus Obermeyer and Seth Morrison. Warren Miller and other film
companies also have laid tracks with Powdercats. The company guides as many as 36 guests a day and 2,000 per year into the Buffalo Pass backcountry, home of Colorado’s deepest snowpack. In May 2011, Buffalo Pass registered the deepest snowpack ever recorded in Colorado history at more than 200 inches. The company is planning a 30th anniversary season celebration party Dec. 19 to kick off the season and commemorate its three-decade mark. “It’s a big milestone for us, and we’re expecting another banner year,” Steamboat Powdercats manager Kent Vertrees says. “It’s truly a gem right in our own backyard.” — Eugene Buchanan
10 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Steamboat Powdercats turns 30
Buff Guides: the steamboat Powdercats crew celebrating 30 years of face shots.
The Big Bang
the shell Game: scott and tim Borden, from left, are handing off firework-lighting duties in steamboat springs to Karl fredell and Billy Petersen. scott franz
Tim Borden was a wideeyed second-grader in Montreal, Quebec, when he laid eyes on his first love. Bins and bins of fireworks lined the walls, and 7-year-old Tim instantly was enamored with all things explosive. “They had a buffet of fireworks,” he says. “They’d sell them by weight, and you’d scoop up as many as you could.” Not a lot has changed for him, and he passed on the love of all things fireworks to his son, Scott. But now, 17 years after first putting on the Fourth of July fireworks show in Steamboat in 1995, the Bordens are passing the torch to locals Billy Petersen and Karl Fredell. Still, their passion for fireworks hasn’t dwindled. If anything, it’s grown. Tim recently completed the arduous process of getting his license to manufacture fireworks and has already made two 24-inch and two 36-inch-diameter fireworks. Since fireworks that size can’t be transported, they thought, “Why not build them?” They shot a 24-inch shell off last year in Lake Havasu, Ariz., and plan to shoot one off in February at the 100th Winter Carnival. They hope to shoot a 36-inch shell off at the Fourth of July fireworks show. The largest shell shot off at the July Fourth 2010 show was 16 inches in diameter. “It’ll be different than any other thing people have seen here,” Tim Borden says. “We’re making the 100th anniversary special.” If the display is unique, so is building the shells. They use a machine designed and patented by Connecticut pyrotechnician Jim Widmann, who came to their workshop this fall to show them how to make shell casings. Widmann has sold more than 300 machines to 27 countries, including the Russian Federation, and now there’s one in Steamboat. The contraption features two Inkjet-like engines that rotate an exercise ball that gets wrapped with gum paper to make the casing. A computer ensures the paper is fed in correct layering
Bordens plan super-sized fireworks for Winter Carnival
“steamboat should have the claim of firing the largest shell in america this winter.” — connecticut pyrotechnician Jim widmann
patterns, and it takes 10,000 feet of gum paper to make the casing. After the casing is done and dried, the circular shell is cut in half, and the Bordens spend a week making all the inner stars. When all is said and done, the shell will weigh at least 150 pounds and require 15 pounds of granulated black powder to shoot off and reach an altitude
of 2,500 feet. Fireworks this big are very uncommon, says Widmann, who’s been making fireworks for 50 years. “The last one I know of was two or three years ago,” he says. “Steamboat should have the claim of firing the largest shell in America this winter.” — Luke Graham
Passing the torch Billy Petersen and Karl Fredell have helped Tim and Scott Borden put on the Fourth of July fireworks show for years. So when the Bordens wanted to move to the background and have someone else run the show, the two instantly applied. “There are a lot of volunteers behind the scenes, but we’re really lucky,” Petersen says. “We get to legally and responsibly play with fireworks.” Although the Bordens still will supply the fireworks, Petersen and Fredell will run the show. “It’s a great opportunity to get into a unique niche,” adds Fredell, who recently got his Display Fireworks Operators License, which involved studying rules, regulations and safety, and passing a 75-question test. And Tim Borden is pleased with the new fuse-lighters. “They take pride in the show,” he says. “The crowd won’t see any difference.” To volunteer to help with the show, email skipetersen@gmail. com or kfredell@steamboatsprings. net or call 970-846-5374.
Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
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Boat notes: steamboat local anna roder now is studying at the Jacobs school of Music.
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The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club might create virtuosos on the snow, but another nonprofit in town is doing the same on a different playing field. Focusing on woodwinds instead of cardio and soaring melodies instead of soaring off jumps, the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra quietly is cultivating star youth performers. For proof, look no further than its 20th anniversary performance this year. Former student Patrick Williams, who now studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, opened the show, and it concluded with a performance by Anna Roder, who studied under Concertmaster Teresa Steffen Greenlee and is studying at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. “Both of their talent was nurtured by local SSO music teachers,” orchestra Marketing Director Joyce Hartless says. “We’ve cultivated quite a following here.” That’s not to say that Steamboat’s young musicians don’t partake in more conventional Ski Town USA pastimes. Several orchestra students also participate in the Winter Sports Club, including Lark Skov, Melissa Requist and Maude Gerber. Local Willy Gunn also is a former Winter Sports Club protege. (The orchestra pays tribute to the Winter Sports Club at a Feb. 10 concert.)
“It is amazing to see the breadth and depth of the talent here,” orchestra Executive Director Lou Mathews says. “Whether training for the Olympics or performing in a famous concert hall, it takes a high degree of dedication and coaching tutelage. Most often, there’s an organization behind the scenes putting the two together.” Adds orchestra board President Jeff Wolf: “Steamboat’s Winter Sports Club trains winter athletes to compete at the highest level, and the same can be said for Steamboat’s symphony.” While skiing and symphonies might seem octaves apart, the dedication and discipline required to succeed at each is the same. “My violin teacher, Teresa (Steffen Greenlee) once told me that, ‘Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice does,’” local youth violinist Skov says. “I think about that when I’m practicing Nordic skiing. No matter the skill, it takes consistent effort.” And no one is happier about this than local parents. “Melissa has been in (Winter Sports Club) for nine years and has played the flute for five,” Carolyn Requist says about her 15-year-old daughter. “She’s a real product of this town. The genes sure didn’t come from her parents.” Info: www.steamboatorchestra.org. — Eugene Buchanan
Get started Steamboat Symphony Orchestra offers music performance education classes and provides scholarships for students younger than 18 with financial need.
Behind the Scenes of CMC’s New Academic Center After more than three years in the making, Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs has taken a great leap forward with its new $18 million, 60,000-square-foot academic and student center overlooking downtown. The facility houses administrative offices, classrooms, a dining center, a 290-person auditorium, a campus store, boot-fitting and ski-tuning labs, a student activity center and more. Here’s a sneak peak at some numbers behind the scenes:
70,000 approximate number of bricks used in the building 1 gas fire pit
3,700 cubic yards of concrete
56 geowells used for the geoexchange heating system 500 depth in feet of each well
32 outside doors
15 miles of pipe used for geoexchange system
1,000 feet of pipe used per well
527 panes of glass for outside windows
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ron feeley stands on the debris from the recent rockfall that rearranged warm springs rapid.
Warm Springs Warning Marquee rapid on Yampa rearranged from rockfall River runners who run Warm Springs Rapid in Yampa Canyon next year might want to give the rapid a second look while scouting. In early August, rockfall altered the landmark drop significantly. “It was a pretty dynamic event,” says local Hugh Newton, who hiked into the rapid in September to see the debris. “It should be pretty interesting to see next spring.” Rated Class III-IV, Warm Springs typically is the crux rapid on the 72-mile trip from Deer Lodge Park to Split Mountain through the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. Two features stand out at various water flows: a wave called Godzilla about halfway down and a massive hydraulic called
Maytag at the rapid’s bottom. At most flows, paddlers can pull right to miss them. Most who have seen it since the rockfall agree floaters will be forced to run the rapid down the center. “The new fall of sandstone inhibits the usual path to quite a degree,” says Erik Feeley, a Yampa veteran who also hiked in to see it this fall. “Some rubble could get washed down this spring, but there are a couple of big, sharp rocks right in the middle that will likely remain for years to come.” The change was first noticed by Chris Dachs and Peter Williams, of Dinosaur National Monument, on Aug. 3 during a low-water inflatable kayak trip down the canyon. When they arrived at Warm Springs, they
14 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
“discovered substantial changes in the rapid’s geography.” From the devastation — including randomly strewn new boulders, three distinct impact craters, shattered box elders with branches angled uphill and tree trunks coated with dried mud 12 feet high on the sides facing the river — they surmised that the change occurred from rockfall on river left, just downstream form the “coke bottle” scar responsible for the rapid’s formation in 1965. Feeley’s theory is that the rock slab fell in two stages. The first — a triangular section from the lower part of the new cliff scar — dammed the river, creating a 15-foot-diameter crater and massive pool that filled
with mud. A second rockfall then fell into this, resulting in the mud-caked trees, existing rocks and other debris. However it came down, it likely will affect passage. The majority of the rubble is piled on river-right, just downstream of where rowers typically make their move to cut through the rapid’s top lateral waves. “It looks like it will confine your entry, especially at lower flows, eliminating the sneak line on the right,” Feeley says. “Even if next spring’s high water rearranges these boulders, they’ll likely provide a new hazard to making this crucial move. A new era through Warm Springs now exists. Impassible? We shall see.” — Eugene Buchanan
JoHN F. RuSSELL
JoHN F. RuSSELL
What a Difference a Year Makes Hero to zero snow years make 2013 hard to predict If ever there were two schizophrenic snow seasons in Steamboat, it was the back-toback winters of 2010-11 and 2011-12. While both entered the record books, they did so for markedly different reasons — the former for its bounty and the latter for its bleakness. The 2010-11 season was unprecedented — including a 433-inch ski season, a 90inch record November and a May snow stake on Buff Pass registering 732 percent of average, the deepest snowpack in Colorado history. Someone
even put a snorkel on the Buddy Werner statue atop Mount Werner. Fast forward a year, and it was the exact opposite. Despite a 24-hour midmountain record 27 inches on Presidents Day, the same snow stake on Buff Pass clocked in at just 7 percent of average in May, and the resort tallied just 228 inches. “The past two years couldn’t have been more different,” says Art Judson, a former avalanche forecaster and climatological observer for the National Weather Service.
So what does all of this spell for this year? Who knows. While old-timers might watch this year’s skunk cabbage, woolly bear caterpillar’s stripes, hay crop harvest, blackbird migration and beaver dam height, here’s our prediction: It won’t be any worse than last year or any better than the year before. “The good news is we’ve never had two record low years in a row,” Judson says. Our advice? Stock up on P-tex and powder snorkels. — Eugene Buchanan
Monthly snowfall Measurements in inches Month 2010-11 2011-12 October 21 8 November 90 38.5 December 73 24.5 January 68 39 February 84 93 March 79 21 April 18 4 Total 433 228
Biggest months Month October November December January February March April
Inches 27 90 165.5 216.5 110.5 83 60
Year 2006 2010 1983 1996 1993 1991 1993
Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
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where troubles melt like lemon drops.
Rainbow Town USA?
all that’s missing? a unicorn.
Dorothy would have been right at home singing in Steamboat Springs this summer. “I’ve lived here a long time, and I don’t ever recall seeing so many spectacular rainbows,” says Art Judson, a climatological observer for the National Weather Service. While Steamboat is well-positioned for rainbows — there are no western mountains blocking late-afternoon sunlight — Judson says it’s odd that there were so many this year given how dry the summer was. “We were just lucky,” he says. “It was just happenstance that the timing was just right.” Other meteorologists agree. “I’m not sure why there were so many of them,” says Jim Pringle, of the National Weather Service’s Grand Junction office. “But they can happen anytime when rain is falling — it doesn’t even have to reach the ground.” That phenomenon — when rain evaporates before it reaches the ground — is called “virga,” and it could be responsible the kaleidoscope of colors arcing over the Yampa Valley this season. “There were fewer showers than normal this year,” Pringle says. “It’s probably just a result of being in the right place at the right time.” Or, adds longtime local Moose Barrows, “Maybe it’s just the Earth telling us we need to appreciate water more.” Scientifically verified or not, Steamboat was prettier than usual whenever they arced overhead. “I don’t know of anyone actually counting them, but it would be interesting to compare year to year,” Judson says. — Eugene Buchanan
Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
essay From the boat
Just the Right Amount of Distraction How a local author/filmmaker tries to stay on task in Steamboat hat damn window. If I lean back, I can see the top of the gondola from my desk. Staring out on a day like this, it’s anyone’s guess what my mind is gathering. Inspiration? Or excuses why this latest project can wait while I pursue a little “outdoor research”? Often, it’s both. Sometimes, good excuses lead to the best inspiration. My past several years have been loaded with big projects: a book, a film and steamboat resident now the book about Greg Hamilton my film. The first is an author two took a couple of and filmmaker. years each. This latest book hopefully will be quicker — if I can keep my outdoor research in check. As a writing tutor in college, we called such techniques prewriting. Skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, tubing, finding a pint of liquid inspiration at happy hour: It’s all research. But I really do get good work done up here. I’ve been skiing Steamboat half my life, but I officially have lived here since only 2010. That was when I put my bigproject productivity to the test. I holed up for three months to finish my book. At the time, my humble little office was seconds from the Yampa River Core Trail, so lunch breaks included biking or skating past people fly-fishing, kayaking and tubing. If I hit my writing goals during the day, evenings brought the reward of a soak in Old Town Hot Springs followed by a burger and beer. Perks like that helped me chip away at the project. With big projects, morale and willpower are critical. An article in Wired magazine argues that willpower is “a measurable form of mental energy that runs out as you use it, much like the gas in your car.” Lest you doubt this claim, it was proven with a plate of fresh-baked cookies. Study participants who were allowed to munch at will later were able to work longer on tough problems while those forced to steer clear of those chocolate-chip temptresses had less willpower reserves remaining when problem-solving time came. Whether starting an entrepreneurial
room with a View: the work-hindering vista from Greg Hamilton’s window.
venture, pouring your heart and soul into your day job, or raising a family like it was your life’s mission, I suspect other locals can relate. Up here, there is a need to strike that balance between grinding out your day’s mission and grinding out a few laps on the local trails. For me, the perks (or distractions) of living in a playground like Steamboat Springs are as important as anything else I bring to my job. There are days where I swear to myself I’ll strap into my desk and put in a solid six-plus hours of writing. Then I hear ski boots clomp on the stairs, I look out that damn window, and sure enough, the storm has cleared for another bluebird powder day on the mountain. I may be fatigued when I finally sit down at my desk after skiing or snowboarding, but there’s a new energy that often helps me finish six hours’ worth of writing in just a few. “Work smarter, not harder,” I was coached in my former desk job. Perhaps it helps that the topic of my latest book is right at the heart of what I believe Steamboat is all about. Like my film, the book is called “The Movement.” It tells the stories of several people with disabilities who found freedom in the mountains. Local adaptive sports group STARS
was a big part of its impetus. The idea for the book started up here in January 2010, when I participated in a STARS all-mountain camp for people with disabilities. At that camp, I witnessed people who’d been dealt some tough cards and were looking for a way to reclaim their lives. While riding chairlifts with them and chatting over beers and community-provided meals, I heard their tales. It seemed that their breakthroughs on the mountain were translating into the morale and willpower to tackle life’s other challenges. So perhaps we have two fuel tanks — when one (let’s call it the indoor tank) runs short, we’d better run awhile on the outdoor tank. Or, as Warren Miller says: “People are round, buildings are square. Get outside.” Now if I can just find the balance between running on my outdoor fuel tank and putting some 50,000 words down on paper, I’ll be in business. But out my window, I see the sun is warming those trails nicely. Hmm ... — Greg Hamilton’s film writing/directing debut, “The Movement: One Man Joins an Uprising,” was selected for Sundance and 20 other film festivals, winning five awards and earning eligibility for an Oscar in 2013. Info: www.themovementbook.org. ■
Share your story Have an essay about living in Steamboat? Keep it to 800 words, send it to ebuchanan@SteamboatToday.com, and we’ll run the best one in Steamboat Living. 18 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Capturing Kidspiration WiTH SuSAnMARiE OddO
artist susanmarie oddo in her steamboat ii home.
n 7-year-old Hazen Kreis is a blossoming sense of curiosity; a world of energy beaming out through his wide, bespectacled eyes. Susanmarie Oddo, a local artist and Steamboat Springs School District art teacher of 10 years, saw Hazen as a brightly colored dragonfly, his wings a flutter, and to his — and his mother’s — delight, she painted him that way. At an art opening in October for Oddo’s Kidspiration paintings, Hazen’s mother, Erin Kreis, said her son proudly was posing next to his likeness when newcomers walked through the door. “Dragonflies flitter around and never sit down, and that’s exactly how he is,” Strawberry Park Elementary School art teacher Erin Kreis says. “It suits him perfect.” Hazen is one of about 100 children Oddo has reinterpreted as bugeyed animals and fantastical insects on canvas for her Kidspiration art series. The works are based on careful observations she makes of her students and her friends’ children, like Hazen. “What I see is who they are inside,” Oddo says. “It’s a relationship; I’m painting their essence.” Capturing that essence has resulted in some surprising coincidences: Oddo once painted a little girl as a lovable little bird, and the mother later told her that the color scheme Oddo chose was the same pattern as the girl’s bed sheets. Oddo completed another painting of a young boy as a wide-eyed koala before she learned his father came from Down Under. “There’s an intuitive piece to it,” Oddo says. “It’s things like curiosity, silliness, posture, the patterns they wear in their clothes — the list goes on. It’s harder than my formal paintings, but I don’t realize it because I’m having so much fun.” Oddo had an innate interest in the arts and education even as a young girl. “At 12 years old, I was addicted,” she says. “I told my folks I was going to be a photographer, and I set up a makeshift school in my backyard.” There, she taught photography and art classes to the neighborhood children, enlightening them on the darkroom process and selling portraits for 25 cents. But it wasn’t until her 20s that she circled back to teaching after studying fashion photography and working as a photojournalist. One of her professors once told her, “You don’t teach art; you teach students,” and it’s an adage in which her own philosophy has its roots. “It means to inspire the kids, to inspire creativity,” she says. “What I didn’t predict is watching these kids grow a sense of self-esteem. I don’t teach art; I teach the students to discover it for themselves.” The first show of Kidspiration pieces was hung in 2007 at Comb Goddess. Oddo says her students helped her come up with the idea. “I was hesitant to show this work because it was so different than anything I’d ever done,” she says. “And it was so hard. The simpler images are, the harder they get. Even I feel insecure sometimes.” That first show sold out, and since, she’s held four more art openings. Her work also has found its way into homes as far away as Italy and Mexico. Even when painting a child she hasn’t met, she requests several pictures and does extensive interviews with her clients to help her visualize an encapsulating picture. Here at home, Oddo’s paintings capture in one whimsical and innocent moment a piece of a young person’s life that forever will live on through art and their inner child. “It’s watching them and their families grow,” Oddo says. “Steamboat is my extended family.” ■ story by nicole inglis ❘ Photos by John F. Russell Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
JoHn f. russell
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Kerry Lofy I
t was a bad place to slip. Standing at the edge of the Eiger’s 4,000-foot vertical face in Switzerland in late August, Steamboat Springs local Kerry Lofy readied his gear for his first wing-suit BASE jump and launched off the lip. But he stumbled at takeoff, sending him into a tumbling, free falling front flip. “I kind of messed up,” says Lofy, safely back in Steamboat and gnawing on a Dolomite sandwich at Backcountry Provisions. “But I stayed calm and knew where I was in the air. Then I opened up the suit and flew away.” That his first wing-suit BASE jump came off the Eiger should say something about Steamboat’s most adrenaline-addled local. So what if a typically minutelong flight was shortened to 45 seconds by his blunder or that wing-suit BASE jumping is one of the most dangerous sports on the planet. Lofy’s in it for the long haul — or until they haul him away on a stretcher. “It’s a totally different ball game over in Europe,” he says. “It’s very humbling. I learned a lot over there.” It’s humbling because it’s dangerous. On Lofy’s first day there, a fellow wing-suit jumper died. Unofficial reports tally the number of BASE jumping deaths throughout the past 30 years at 194, 48 of those involving wing-suits — including his friend Shane McConkey, who died during a wing-suit ski BASE jump. Lofy dismisses the danger, saying it’s all part of the game and what you’re comfortable with. “You can go die in a car accident or get cancer,” he says. “With this, at least you’re in control of your own fate.” With his mentor “JVH” at his side in the BASE-jumping mecca of Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnen Valley, where you can tram up to fly down, Lofy completed 20 successful wing-suit flights in his two-week stint across the Atlantic. Not that he can tell you about all of them. “The first couple, I can’t remember too well,” he says. “I was a little shaken.” The ones he can remember are what make life worth living. “It’s the coolest feeling in the world,” he says. “You forget about everything else and just live in the moment. It’s like skiing when you don’t think about anything and just float. When you come back and all you can do is think about doing it again.” He’s been thinking about wing-suiting for a long time. That’s why he’s completed more than 300 skydives during the past four years —
Bad Hair Day, Good air Day: lofy in full dreads and Base jumping in canyonlands.
all so he could BASE jump, a stepping stone to wing-suiting. He started BASE jumping after 50 skydives and wing-suiting after 100 skydives. His first BASE jump came in 2010 off Idaho’s Perrine Bridge, romping grounds of renowned BASE jumper Miles Daisher, and he now has 175 cheek-puffing plunges under his belt. He made his first wing-suit jump out of a plane last summer, soaring from 12,000 to 3,000 feet in 1.5 minutes before pulling his chute. Switzerland was the next natural progression to wing-suit BASE jumping. He’s not done, either. All this is simply prepping him for ski BASE jumping. Last year, he had six planned, all scrapped because of weather. He has to travel to popular sites — including Squaw Valley, Calif., Salt Lake City and Jackson Hole, Wyo. — but he’s also scouting locally. “The Flat Tops have potential,” he says, “and so do a couple of other places around here.” Lofy’s zest for life is written on his sleeve — in this case, the sleeve of a blue hoodie — and in every other characteristic about him. His blue eyes belie friendliness and mischievousness, the latter augmented by a mop of blond dreadlocks, a few beaded at the end, that haven’t been brushed in years. They match a beard and mustache that you can imagine get pressed firmly to his face on his flights. Goofy-looking, white, prescription Oakley Jupiter sunglasses match a white city
of Steamboat visor. You can tell that for him, appearances don’t seem to matter much. He looks extremely comfortable in his own skin — comfortable enough to jump out of airplanes dressed-up like a super hero, go on dates in a tuxedo Tshirt, take a date (and a candle) to a candlelight dinner at McDonald’s and pull marshmallows out of his coat to roast in the fireplace at Hazie’s atop the gondola. His antics are contagious, as evidenced by his more than 2,000 Facebook friends and popularity around town. He knows just about everyone who comes into Backcountry Provisions, all of them asking him what’s up. As usual, he has plenty to tell them.
ut it hasn’t all been smooth sailing in Steamboat. Recently, it’s been as turbulent as his leap off the Eiger. Lofy, 25, moved to Steamboat in 2005 from Wisconsin to ski race for Colorado Mountain College. After two years, he began competing on the big mountain circuit, notching the Sickbird award in Snowbird, Utah, and finishing in the top five at an event in Taos, N.M. The results helped him earn sponsorship from the likes of Nordica Skis, Point 6 and Honey Stinger, which continue today. In 2008, he began coaching racing part time for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and established its big mountain program in
story by eugene buchanan Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
An inside look at Steamboat’s biggest adrenaline junkie
22 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
2009, teaching kids the ins and outs of big mountain skiing while taking them to regional competitions. He brought his big mountain program to Winter Park, as well. Perhaps one of the best freeride skiers on the mountain, he hucked off 100-foot Hell’s Wall in Fish Creek in 2009. “I’d been wanting to do it for years,” he says. “It snowed about 7 feet that week, and the conditions were perfect.” While he now admits that such a stunt was stupid (“I’m not as stupid as I look or act sometimes,” he says), the crater-creating huck helped cement his stripes as a big mountain coach as well as his penchant for flight. The kids loved him, often clambering to his classes for his wacky wardrobe, energy and fun-loving antics. “His enthusiasm for skiing is pretty hard to match around here,” admits local Aryeh Copa, one of the only people in town who might have more. “His energy and drive sometimes, you don’t even need a parachute. lofy airing it out on Buff Pass. are pretty limitless.” He’ll throw a shoulder roll midrun, play folwhat I’m used to. I always had calm, low-encareer. “He’s always been great at every sport low the leader, and stick a pole-flip or two all ergy coaches before. Kerry pumps you up and he’s tried,” his mom, Colleen, says, “and he’s in the name of keeping skiing fun. One day, makes you push your limits.” always loved helping people out.” he showed up to coach with half of his beard Parents also seem supportive. “Our son The second oldest of nine kids ages 1 shaved off because his girlfriend didn’t like it. loves him and what he represents as a coach to 27, Lofy grew up in Lake Geneva, Wis., “I told her to stand on the clean-shaven side,” and a person,” says Cheryl Trosky, of Santa learning to ski at Big Michigan’s Powderhorn he says. Barbara, Calif. Trosky’s son Josh, a 16-year-old Mountain, where his parents still work on ski When he gets bored, you might find student at The Lowell Whiteman School, is in patrol. When he was 1 year old, his mom says, him on a monoski, skating on ski blades or his second year under Lofy. “He’s a great inhe insisted — almost to the point of having a dressing up in ski garb no one else would structor with great competitive experience and tantrum — on hiking up the slope on his own be caught dead in, from eye-burning neon to a great role model for young teenagers.” to ski down. one-piece suits from the ’70s. “I don’t do it for As an example, she points to Lofy’s “crystal “He’s a natural athlete,” she says. “Whatever the attention,” he says. “It’s more for my own clean” lifestyle (if not hairstyle), which includes he did he excelled at. Even though we’re all entertainment.” no drinking or drugs and even shunning Red athletic, he’s probably The One in the family.” But all this came crashing down, just as Bull, which sponsors many big mountain A lot of that owes itself to his father, Keith, he nearly did in Switzerland, when someone events. Josh, a former aficionado of the energy a K-8 physical education teacher who played posted a photo on Facebook of him BASE drink, “threw his away” when he found out semipro football and got called to tryouts for jumping in what appeared to be his birthday Lofy didn’t like it. Trosky adds that when pro baseball. “My dad definitely pushed sports suit. Someone else (who he wishes to remain Josh — a seven-year member of Mammoth pretty hard,” Lofy says. “We’re a pretty athletic anonymous, pending potential legal action) Mountain’s Alpine team — was nervous at the family.” wrote a letter about the photo to the Winter top of a competition course, Lofy talked him While he did well in all sports, including Sports Club, and the club through it. track, gymnastics, swimming and hockey, he fired him. While club That’s not to say he’s took to soccer and skiing the most, playing “kids love him, officials declined to comnot a bit unorthodox. forward on the high school soccer team and ment on the matter, citing largely because he’s Twelve-year local Katie captaining his ski and track teams. the potential litigation, White has put three But while his parents supported his cona big kid himself.” of her four kids under Lofy says he was told his ventional athletic pursuits, they didn’t necesantics set a bad example Lofy’s tutelage, includsarily condone his less mainstream ones. “My for the kids. ing J4 racing and his big mountain camp. “I’ve parents were never really supportive of my Lofy feels he got shafted and that the small seen all sides of him,” she says. “His biggest extreme lifestyle,” he says. After switching town rumor mill blew things out of proporattribute is that kids love him, largely because gears from racing to freestyle, he paid his own tion. “I wasn’t even naked,” he says. “It was he’s a big kid himself. He knows how to make way to compete in slope-style and big air in one of those mankinis, like in ‘Borat.’ I could kids have fun.” the U.S. Open from 2004 to 2006 and the X have taken the post off, but I never even As for his occasional sophomoric transgresGames in 2005. thought about it.” sions, White chalks them up to flamboyancy. He says his adolescence was all about fun, He doesn’t harbor bad feelings toward the “He’s a smart guy who comes off a lot crazier a mantra he follows today. “I was the crazy, club. “I like the sports club and realize how than he is,” she says. “But he loves that imADD kid,” he says. “I never really got into important they are to the community,” he says. age. He likes getting attention.” Case in point: trouble, did all sports, did well in school and “The suit is directed at the person who wrote When the USA Pro Cycling Challenge came got along with everybody. I guess you could the letter. What she did isn’t right, and I don’t to town in 2011, he showed up at the top of say I was the athlete, funny guy — enjoying want it happening to someone else. I don’t Rabbit Ears Pass in his ski boots and skis and life, I guess.” care about the money. It’s just that it had falsejump-turned down a dirt hill in a purple oneThat attitude got him elected homecoming hoods. People who know me know none of piece. Another time, on the way back from king, and he always looked out for others — a it is true.” coaching an event in Taos, he stopped to let trait that remains evident. “He always supportMany people in town, including parents his kids ski Great Sand Dunes National Park. ed the underdog,” his mom says. She rememand students, remain supportive. “He’s a great bers one time on the basketball team when he coach,” says 17-year-old Jake Sivinski, who f his coaching demeanor seems a tad flighty purposefully fed the ball to a teammate with a moved here from Seattle and now is in his cognitive disability to shoot the game-winning — like his BASE jumping exploits — he’s second year in Lofy’s big mountain camp. “He shot, and he was the first to hoist him on his firmly grounded in what he’s doing. In fact, he has a lot of energy, which is way different than couldn’t have stumbled upon a more natural shoulders after the ball went in.
JoHn f. russell
Another time, a lone member of his school’s gay population asked him to prom, and he went just to support the cause, to the point of dressing in drag. The move got him kicked out of prom and the upcoming track finals, “but it personifies who he is,” she says. “He did it just to support someone.” Don’t ask about the time he brought an inflatable doll to a school dance. Colleen, who works as a guidance counselor and teacher, admits she “hasn’t done much guidance with Kerry.” Instead, she let him find his own way, which landed him in Steamboat and on top of the Eiger with a wing-suit. “He was always adventure prone,” she says. “We always knew he’d end up doing something in the outdoors. It was pretty predictable. Was it what we wanted? Well, no. But that’s his path, and it’s right for him.” As he does when BASE jumping, Lofy is doing whatever he can to stay afloat after getting let go from the Winter Sports Club. He’s juggling three jobs — including trail work for the city and positions at Old Town Hot Springs and in the Mac lab at CMC — to help make ends meet and pay off his mobile home in town. But the call of coaching is too strong to ignore. Two years ago, he started his own big mountain team called Colorado Freeriders, complete with kids from other resorts. This year, he’s starting a Rocky Mountain All Star team and has four Steep and Deep camps already lined up with as many as 15 kids each in Jackson, Squaw and Alta, Utah. He plans to have pro skier friends join in as guest speakers and coaches. With four knee surgeries slowing down his own competitive aspirations (though he does plan to compete again in Taos this year), he’s having even more fun giving back to a sport that has given so much to him. “I don’t see much of a career hucking myself any more,” he says. “I’m getting older and wiser. I don’t bounce back as quick as I used to. But I love sharing what I know with other kids and helping them achieve their goals and dreams.” This spring, he’ll achieve his goal of joining the first four-year graduating class from CMC’s Steamboat campus with four associate degrees. After that, the world is as wide open as his wing-suit. While he loves Steamboat for its community and outdoor amenities, for his latest passion, he admits there might be better spots to hang his dreadlocks-covering hat. But still, something keeps bringing him back to the Yampa Valley. “I moved away twice in the past seven years, but I always come back,” he says. “I have a home here, and it’s a great community, so we’ll just have to wait and see.” No matter where he lands, one thing’s for sure: Wherever the winds take him, chances are his skis, wing-suit and BASE jump kit as well as his desire to help and teach others won’t be far behind. Neither will his lust for life and living it on his own terms. “All of those are my tickets to freedom,” he says. “For me, without them, regular life can get kind of boring.” ■
Kerrying on: lofy getting into character at the alpine Meadows ranch clubhouse. Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
snowmaking technician Pierce delhaute
Making snow an old hat for Steamboat’s snowmakers
t was a tough year, the fourth lowest snowfall in 33 years,” sighs Doug Allen, vice president of mountain operations at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., when describing last year’s ski season. “And the only reason we had the conditions we did is because of our grooming and snowmaking staff.” While jaded locals might have lifted their noses at Mother Nature and the mountain’s conditions last year, all things considered, we still had it pretty good. Runs with snowmaking were well-covered, and most visitors — especially those from more drought-stricken regions — thought conditions were fine, even if they weren’t up to Steamboat’s Champagne standards. And everyone owes it all to Steamboat’s snowmakers, a crew of 43 tough-as-nails Ski Corp. employees who were put to their biggest test in years.
Man-made flakes Snowmaking, now a standard practice at resorts worldwide, started quite by accident. In the 1940s in a low-temperature laboratory in Canada, scientists began studying the dangerous effects of rime icing on the intake of jet engines. Led by Dr. Ray Ringer, the researchers sprayed water into the air just before the engine intake in a wind tunnel in an effort to reproduce natural conditions. Voila! Instead of rime ice, they created snow, by definition “crystallized ice particles having the physical integrity and the strength to maintain their shape.” Not thinking about its implications for ski resorts, they published their results in various scientific journals and moved on. In the 1950s, Art Hunt, Dave Richey and Wayne Pierce went a step further and patented the snow cannon. Wanting to offer their guests every type of sport, New York’s Grossinger’s Catskill
Resort Hotel was the first to use artificial snow on its slopes. Steamboat hopped on the bandwagon by installing snowmaking equipment in 1982 after the record worst season of 1980-81, when the mountain received just 133 inches of snow. It’s slowly but steadily upgraded ever since, a move that paid off in spades last season when the ski area fell well short of its 317-inch snowfall average at just 228 — spelling go time for its snowmaking crew, which worked even on Christmas Eve.
The snowmaking cycle Ski seasons like last year’s raise a few questions, from whether there’s a limit of water the ski area is permitted to use to how long into the season snowmakers can work. It’s a finite period, Allen says, that begins and ends early. “We only make snow October to January because February is too warm already,” he says.
story by edith lynn beer ❘ Photos by John F. Russell 24 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Last year, the resort used 109 million gallons of water in its snowmaking operations, which translates to 2,500 acre-feet of snow (1 foot of snow over an acre). “We’re not limited on how much water we take from the river, only the rate at which we can take it, which is 4,200 gallons per minute,” Allen says. Of the water they use for snowmaking, 22 percent is considered sublimation or evaporation and 78 percent returns to the watershed. To lower the evaporation rate, the nozzles often are placed higher, which requires less compressed air and reduces the rate to 18 percent. As for the duration crews can make snow, Mother Nature calls the shots. To make snow, the temperature has to be 26 degrees or below. Once started, the guns can continue to make snow up to 30 degrees. The biggest enemy is wind, which can blow it away from the needed area. “If we’re lacking snow in
February and temperatures are favorable, we’d make it,” Allen says. “But last February, we had made as much snow on our snowmaking trails as necessary, and it actually snowed, as well.” They’ve made snow in March before with disappointing results, Allen says. Melted natural snow mixed with fine-particle man-made snow forms large, frozen granular particles, known as corn, which inhibit consistent sliding. In layman’s terms, it puts the brakes on your skis or board as soon as you hit the man-made snow. “It’s not a great surface to ski on,” Allen says. Allen’s crew moves across the mountain as many as 200 guns, about 100 of which might be blowing at the same time. As many as 20 might work on an area in need of a patch job. The guns weigh 70 to 2,000 pounds. The mountain has more than 600 air-pipe equipped hydrants. The air pushes the water through a nozzle to create snow. As long as the temperature cooperates, they’ll make it 24/7. Of the area’s 2,965 skiable acres, the resort can make snow on 300 acres of select runs, mostly in such high-use areas as Buddy’s Run, Heavenly Daze and Vagabond.
All in the family Snowmaking isn’t just a winter job. Snowmaking manager Steve West and his assistant Corey Peterson stay busy all summer readying equipment; working on air compressors, hoses and pumps; and traipsing the mountain to check hydrants and pipes. The more-visible work starts Oct. 20, when a crew of 43 employees arrive — now about 60 percent returnees and the rest newcomers who have to complete a two-day training program. They represent all genders, ages and backgrounds, and when hired, no one knows for sure how much work they’ll have. It can last until February or be over by January. Regardless, it’s a rough few months. “Something about snowmaking attracts unique individuals,” says Peterson, 30, who’s been at it nine years and finds sitters to take care of his almost 2-year-old son, Conner, when he’s needed on the night shifts. “It’s very different from most usual jobs.” Indeed, it’s dangerous and involves rough conditions and
manual labor. When the wind shifts, Peterson says, guns can get buried in 10 minutes, requiring an all-hands-on-deck shoveling party to free them. He likens it to crabbers working offshore in Alaska, invoking the same sense of camaraderie. “The only way we get through it is as a team,” he says. “The nature of the job promotes camaraderie. We’re a pretty tight-knit group.” Although the Steamboat snowmaking team has an excellent safety record, the dangers are omnipresent. They operate snowmobiles on icy, consistently changing terrain and hike on slippery slopes around 480-volt electrical equipment while monitoring high-pressure hydrants and hoses that can blow at any moment. “Typically with snowmaking, there are a lot of injuries,” he says. “You never know what it’s going to be like.” It’s as uncomfortable as it is dangerous. Snowmakers often stand under water in freezing temperatures, wearing ear plugs and muffs to protect them from the guns’ 110-decibel booms. Because of this, not fatiguing — and having a sense of humor — is critical. Working shifts that run from noon to midnight, midnight to noon or 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., employees work three hours at a time and then retire to a nearby hut to recuperate. Ten people work each night, always two together, and they’ll work 36 hours one week and 48 the next. When finished with a shift, they might recharge and tell tales at The Tugboat Grill & Pub, one popular snowmaker hangout or, if it’s 6 a.m., warm up in one of the town’s breakfast joints. But it’s during and after those three-hour stints that they truly bond, often thawing frosted fingers, ears and noses in the building gondola riders take for granted at the bottom of Heavenly Daze. Inside is a locker room, kitchen, bathroom and lounge area where crews bring their own food or cook familystyle meals. And it’s here where they rest up, tell tales from the night and get ready to go out and do it all again so Steamboat’s skiers and riders can get a leg up on Mother Nature. “We’re all pretty much one big family,” Peterson says. “That’s just the way it has to be with this kind of job.” ■
snowmaking technician Delhaute jumps on his snowmobile after checking snowmaking equipment.
early mornings and all-night shifts are nothing new for Delhaute, who has been making snow at steamboat ski area for six years.
snowmaker Ben rausch rolls up snowmaking hoses. Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
Mahogany Ridge Chef Jason Salisbury Brings Self-Taught Skills to a Kitchen Near You J
ason Salisbury remembers the humble and messy start to his cooking career. “I started washing dishes at car diners as a teenager, scrubbing nasty eggs off plates one day a week,” he says in the dining room of Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill, where he has served as head chef for nine years. “That’s kind of where I started.” After following a few ski and snowboard buddies to Steamboat in 1993, Salisbury quickly found his place in the kitchen. He’s come a long way since then and takes pride in admitting he never has attended culinary school. He is entirely self-taught. Like many chefs in Steamboat Springs, Salisbury started early. Washing dishes. Busing tables. From the bottom to the top. Guiding Mahogany’s menu since its inception has been an honor, Salisbury says, adding that he picked up his passion for cooking from his mom while growing up in Salem, N.H. “She was a big
salisbury putting the finishing touches on another Mahogany masterpiece.
influence,” he says. “She would look for new ideas in cooking magazines. She would put her own spin on things.” With Salisbury in the kitchen, Mahogany has developed a largely Latin-inspired menu,
sprinkled with more conventional fan favorites, including the pretzel with cheese, mustard and porter sauce. “I never met a pretzel I didn’t like, but I’m considering packing up my bags and moving to
story by scott franz ❘ Photos by John F. Russell 26 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Steamboat just to be closer to the twisted pretzel at Mahogany,” Houston’s SFA_TravelGirl wrote last year on Trip Adviser. (Salisbury prefers the duck and the spicy tuna ceviche.) It’s a restaurant where dad can get his $30 filet, and kids can get something more suitable for them, Salisbury says. “I have a lot of freedom here to make things the way I want,” he says. “There aren’t restrictions as to what we can do.” Like his mother, he’s always looking for new ideas to give his dishes a creative flare. As part of his culinary inspiration, Salisbury subscribes to Food and Wine magazine and keeps a library of cookbooks at home. He speaks with pride when he explains his Latin-inspired menu is the result of years of self-teaching. “You see a part of a dish you like, and you try it out,” he says. And as an ode to his New Hampshire roots, you occasionally might catch him making a chowda. ■
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More Barn with New Year’s Eve fireworks at Steamboat Ski Area.
David Lamb on B.C. Liftline at Steamboat Ski Area.
Willows in Old Town Steamboat Springs.
Fish Creek Falls near Steamboat Springs.
A fox kit near Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs.
Photo by Scott Franz
Photo by John F. Russell
Photo by Matt Stensland
Photo by Joel Reichenberger
Photo by John F. Russell
The annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo in Steamboat Springs.
Moose enjoy Casey’s Pond in Steamboat Springs.
Aspens on Buffalo Pass near Steamboat Springs.
Summer, fall and winter combine in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Sleeping Giant mountain near Steamboat Springs.
Photo by Matt Stensland
Photo by John F. Russell
Photo by Scott Franz
Photo by John F. Russell
Photo by Scott Franz
28 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Wedding Locations PLUS: Wedding SPOTLighTS BridaL ShOW Wedding gUide Photo by Andy Barnhart
Winter 2012-13 | Steamboat living
Delivering experiences as memorable as the view!
Photo credit: Natural Light Images
Plan yours today at...
recePtions | rehearsal dinners | showers | sPecial events knoebel 970-846-2083 | www.catamountranchclub.com | Winter 2012-13 30 | Steamboat livingnikki
Wedding location guide When it comes to wedding venues, it’s hard to top the options available in the Yampa Valley. The wedding aisle in Steamboat Springs can be a hay-filled meadow, ski slope, flower-lined hillside, aspen-leafed mountain top or even the Yampa River — and locals and visitors alike have used all of them and more for their nuptials. From conventional churches to mountaintop decks, there are more ceremony and reception options here than there are rice kernels thrown at newlyweds. Following is a sampling of local options. Catamount RanCh & Club
“People come in knowing they don’t have to worry about much,” says event planner Nikki Knoebel, touting everything from award-winning cuisine to vistas of the valley. The Lake House, with its outdoors ceremony site positioned between two willows, is the most popular wedding spot, with plenty of back-up indoor facilities also available. As for catering, expect the best with such combos as elk and trout or beef tenderloin and sea bass. The three Lake Catamount locations host about 25 weddings per year, each one leaving bride, groom and guests smitten with Steamboat.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Morehead
You can marry at a multitude of places at Catamount Ranch & Club, from beneath two whispering willows near the lake on a sunset afternoon to the golf course down valley (summer golfing season excluded) to the gurgle of Walton Creek. Those looking for something more rustic can exchange vows at Heritage Cabin on the far side of the lake. Either way, views come with the vows.
More info: 970-871-9300, www.catamountranchclub.com
Interior Design by Finial An Inspired Collection
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Winter 2012-13 | Steamboat living
Yampa RiveR botaniC paRk
Blooms come with the wedding site at Yampa River Botanic Park. Flowering comes to a peak at the five-acre, riverside park in June and July, and so do weddings. The site, which won runner-up wedding location in last year’s Best of the Boat contest, hosts nearly 25 nuptials every year. “If you want to get married outside surrounded by lots of pretty flowers, it’s a great place,” says park supervisor Gahle Lehman.
In Spanish and Italian, Bella Vista means “beautiful sight.” That’s exactly what your guests get at Bella Vista, a wedding retreat seven miles south of town on Rabbit Ears Pass.
Open April through October, the park was built with berms and rocks to provide different sun exposures for 40 flower gardens. Ceremonies are performed on the Green, an amphitheater-style lawn overlooking the main pond.
“People get married here because of the view and because the whole family and wedding party can stay here,” says property manager Jennifer Reed. “Plus, people can choose their own caterers and alcohol provider.”
“It’s the best place I can think of for a wedding,” says Stephanie Vordermeier, who married husband, Kurt, there last year. “The backdrop for our pictures was amazing.”
While the seven-acre property doesn’t host weddings independent of lodging (you have to book lodging during your event), the site hosts as many as 15 weddings per year. More intimate ceremonies take place on a deck overlooking Pleasant Valley, with larger parties setting up tents on the tennis court or lawn.
While you get exclusive use of the Green during your rental time ($400 for three hours; $100 per additional hour), the rest of the park remains open for the public. And there is no limit to the number of guests (the park hosts 600 people at its weekly concerts). Tents and chairs must be brought in, with the tent location requiring supervisor approval and alcoholic beverages requiring a permit. The only downside: while the Green, Trillium House and log-seat amphitheater are available for weddings, you can only use the park for the ceremony. More info: 970-879-4300, www.yampariverbotanicpark.org peRRY-mansfield peRfoRming aRts sChool and Camp If dancing is on your reception agenda, hold your wedding at a dance and performing arts camp. That sums up weddings at the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, the oldest performing arts camp in the country. The 76-acre center is located in Strawberry Park just minutes from downtown, with Soda Creek running through its backyard. The only drawback: no ceremonies Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Owned by David and Alicia Josfan, the site offers expansive views of Lake Catamount and the Flat Tops and can accommodate weddings large and small. Resort staff also can coordinate with all vendors and caterers.
The site offers a main lodge and two cabins that can sleep as many as 26, as well as pool, hot tub, tennis and horse shoe courts, and other amenities. It hosts weddings in the spring, summer and fall, and occasionally smaller ones in the winter, with rates varying with the season. More info: 970-879-4449, www.steamboat1.com haYmakeR golf CouRse Bride and groom can birdie at golf when exchanging vows at city-owned Haymaker Golf Course. “A lot of parties tie in golf to their ceremonies,” says executive chef Olivia Murray, who runs the facility’s Haymaker Patio Grill restaurant. “Some people play the day before, some even the day of. It’s a beautiful place to have wedding.” For parties of more than 30, site rental is $200. Up to 70 people can be ac-
The center hosts about 12 weddings per year, with ceremonies usually held outside in aspen-lined meadows and receptions taking place in the glass-sided Steinberg Pavilion, which accommodates as many as 150 people. “Most people who get married here have some sort of connection to Steamboat,” says event organizer Sophie Aikman, adding that it’s drawn couples from as far away as Australia and Scotland. While you have to rent chairs, tables and catering elsewhere, you can book cabin lodging for as many as 35 guests on-site, meaning those attending can truly dance until the cows come home. More info: 970-879-7125, http://perry-mansfield.org
Walking down the aisle means riding up the gondola when marrying at the Steamboat Ski Area’s Thunderhead Lodge. The lodge hosts as many as 50 weddings per year, with ceremonies usually held on the lawn or vista-filled overlook, where the only thing taking guests’ eyes off the bride are the commanding views. Receptions, which can last until midnight, are held in the Champagne Powder Room, which can handle as many as 250 people, or the more intimate setting of Hazie’s, which can accommodate parties of 60. “It’s a great spot for a wedding,” says event planner Lindsey Yochem, touting a recently added built-in dance floor. “Everyone loves the full experience, from riding the gondola to the sunsets.” The wedding venue also works in winter, with bride and groom — and sometimes the entire wedding party — schussing away on skis or snowboards. More info: 970-871-5162, www.steamboat.com 32 | Steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Photo courtesy of Andrea & Michael Pulskamp
More info: 970-870-1846, www.haymakergolf.com the steamboat gRand Big or small, The Steamboat Grand can make your wedding a grand ol’ time. The hotel hosts more than 53 wedding parties per year, from rehearsal dinners to ceremonies and receptions. “Some people use us for all three,” says Director of Conference Services Shannon Ford. “We have a lot of flexibility in what we can offer.” Most of this stems from the hotel’s size. Aside from 328 guest rooms, including condos and penthouses, it offers 17,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, 5,500 square feet of ballroom space (accommodating up to 350 table settings) and 2,200 square feet of outdoor event space. Most ceremonies take place outside in the Pavilion area, with Coloradoinspired decorations, from wildflowers to aspen leaves, adding ambiance. “Everybody wants to be a part of Steamboat in some way,” Ford says. The resort also offers audio and visual services, from speakers and stage lights to plasma screens, as well as a menu tailored for different budgets. “We can put a package together that fits anyone’s needs,” Ford adds.
sheRaton steamboat ResoRt While the Sheraton Steamboat Resort blocks rooms for nearly 50 wedding parties per year, it also hosts about 12 weddings per year. “It’s our location,” says Events Director Lisa Sanchez. “People like to be at the base of the mountain.” The hotel offers a great cocktail bar area for welcome receptions, brunches, rehearsals and other add-on events, with receptions often taking place in the newly renovated Grand Ballroom, complete with built-in bar and reception foyer, or the large event tent outside (June to October). Ceremonies often occur on the Saddles Deck or on the driving range of the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club, which offers 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. “A lot of parties work golf into their event,” Sanchez says. “Plus, it’s a beautiful spot to get married.” More info: 970-871-6531, www.sheratonsteamboatresort.com
Photo courtesy of Paula Jo Jaconetta
commodated inside, with the deck offering room for another 20 outside. Many parties set up tents outside overlooking the green, allowing the facility to handle as many as 200 guests. “There’s no shortage of room,” Murray says. Murray creates specific menus based on budgets. Rates range from $15 per person on up to $50 (a Murray favorite: blue cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped filet mignon with wild lingonberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus). “It’s truly a beautiful spot for a wedding,” Murray says.
More info: 877-306-2628, www.steamboatgrand.com
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Ranch weddings If you want to go more rustic with your ceremony and reception, consider a guest ranch, where horse-drawn sleighs can deliver the bride.
event organizer Ashleigh Pirayesh. “It’s a beautiful spot.”
With cattle drives and horseback and wagon rides, it might be hard getting everyone to sit down for a wedding or reception dinner at Saddleback Ranch, located 20 minutes from Steamboat. But try your best. Settled in 1928, the fourth-generation lodge offers views of aspens, rolling meadows and mountains, making it perfect for weddings of all sizes. Try a wagon ride to the ceremony site for guests, a carriage ride for the bride and groom afterward, and a roping-cocktail hour before the reception. For food, choose from such mainstays as New York strip, garlic salmon, grilled pork tenderloin or BBQ brisket.
Located 33 miles north of Steamboat Springs, 105-acre Midnight Ranch offers the perfect blend of rustic charm and modern amenities. The site can accommodate as many as 32 overnight guests, with lodging nearby for more, and offers an outdoor ceremony and reception site that, with tents, can accommodate 200. “It’s not a cookie-cutter wedding venue like the Hilton,” says Steve Coolidge, who’s been running the operation with Tonja Coates for more than 20 years. “But people love it.” Parties provide their own catering and booze, and guests can fish a 10-acre private trout lake after the nuptials.
More info: 970-879-3711, www.saddlebackranch.net
More info: 970-879-1780, www.homeranch.com
More info: 970-870-3456, www.midnightranch.com elk RiveR guest RanCh
home RanCh You won’t suffer for lack of luxuries at the Home Ranch, the only Relais & Chateaux dude ranch in Colorado. Known for its beautiful setting, hospitality, gourmet food by executive chef Clyde Nelson and guided wilderness adventures, from horseback riding to fly-fishing, the ranch can accommodate as many as 50 guests, with wedding services available anytime between October and May. For lodging, stay in one of eight one- to three-bedroom cabins adorned with such names as Roo, Kanga and Birdhouse, or six rooms in the main lodge. “Word’s definitely getting out about holding weddings here,” says
No need to worry how you’re going to work off the reception calories at Elk River Guest Ranch, located a half hour drive north of Steamboat Springs along the Elk River in Routt National Forest. You can horseback ride, hike, fly-fish, raft, rock climb, mountain bike and more before and after the ceremony, all right out your back door. It’s also ripe with conventional amenities for your vows, as well, from lodging to banquet-style meals that can be tailored to fit almost any budget. More info: 800-750-6220, www.elkriverguestranch.com
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34 | Steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
vista veRde Located 45 minutes north of Steamboat off Seedhouse Road, Vista Verde hosts weddings before and after its summer guest ranch season. The allinclusive ranch — which recently completed a major lodge addition and added a new indoor riding arena and swimming pool — can accommodate ceremonies and receptions of as many as 100 people, with overnight accommodations for 40. Guests stay in lodge rooms or one of nine cabins named after local mountains, complete with handcrafted log furniture and artwork. “A lot of parties take over the entire facility, including lodging and meals from the rehearsal through the reception,” says event coordinator Stephanie Wilson, adding that sleigh-ride entrances add a special touch, as do meals prepared by executive chef Matt Campbell. More info: 800-526-7433, www.vistaverde.com
Couples have been tying the knot at Glen Eden Resort 18 miles north of Steamboat Springs for more than 30 years — for good reason. The quaint resort can handle weddings of anywhere from 25 to 200 people, with three resort-owned tents providing a perfect pavilion along the banks of the Elk River. For lodging, it can accommodate as many as140 people in a variety of cabins, with partner restaurant Murph’s Tavern having the first option for catering. “A lot of people get married here,” says the resort’s Toni Klohr, adding that it usually hosts nearly 10 weddings per year from Memorial Day through the end of September. “It’s a beautiful spot for ceremonies and receptions.” Guests also can enjoy a heated swimming pool, two outdoor hot tubs, tennis and volleyball courts, a campfire circle and barbecue area.
Photo courtesy of Adair Danos
glen eden ResoRt
More info: 800-882-0854, www.glenedenresort.com
Between the Engagement and the “I Do” there is a lot to do. We have all your
wedding stationery invitations • programs • thank you cards address labels • wedding favors • and more
Winter 2012-13 | Steamboat living
Outside options fish CReek falls
With a bridal veil-like waterfall in the background, you can’t get a more scenic location for a wedding than the overlook at 283-foot Fish Creek Falls, voted Best of the Boat’s Best Local Attraction. The only hitch is getting everyone there. Located in Routt National Forest, the falls overlook can accommodate wedding parties of as many as 50, but the only way there is to hike a quarter-mile from the parking lot. While the permit is free on a firstcome, first-served basis, there’s a $5 per vehicle parking fee and the area only can be reserved September through May. There’s also no guarantee you’ll have it to yourself; the public is still allowed on the trail. Small tents are allowed, but they must be taken down (and all trash removed) immediately afterward.
Usually only used for ceremonies, Steamboat Lake State Park 25 miles north of town on Routt County Road 129 is as pristine as it gets for nuptials. The park hosts about four weddings per year, most on Rainbow Ridge off Routt County Road 62 by Fetcher Ranch, offering views of the lake and island (requires a special use permit from Colorado State Parks). Bonus: Rent houseboats at the marina for a sunset wedding cruise after the ceremony. “It’s getting more and more popular because it’s such a beautiful setting,” says the park’s Ariel Rollett. More info: 970-879-3922, www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/SteamboatLake fetCheR RanCh
More info: 970-879-1870 Columbine Cabins The hills are alive with the sound of... matrimony at Columbine Cabins, 29 miles north of Steamboat on Routt County Road 129. Listed on the National Historic Register, the location can sleep as many as 63 people in 14 cabins and two apartments and comes with a commercial kitchen complete with an outdoor grill, as well as an upstairs rec room with pool table and lounge area. The site can accommodate place settings for 100 on an adjacent tent pad, and a wood-fueled sauna helps guests sweat out the Champagne. “We’re not fancy,” says manager Terri Reeves. “People who get married here know what they’re getting and love it.”
For a true barn dance, get hitched at Fetcher Ranch, 30 miles north of town. In the Fetcher family since 1949, the working cattle ranch includes a quintessential 1930s barn on the Routt County Registry of Historical Places that lends itself perfectly to weddings, complete with white Christmas lights that glow as radiantly as the bride. Couples also can tie the knot in a meadow next to a seasonal creek, under a pine altar with a lucky horseshoe, or on a peninsula jutting into Steamboat Lake, offering 360-degree views. You’ll even get to take home the horseshoe from the altar as a keepsake. More info: 970-846-6252, www.fetcherranch.com
More info: 970-879-5522, www.columbinecabinresort.com
Master Jeweler & Watch Specialists 117 9th Street, Steamboat Springs, CO 970.871.1413 www.thejewelersmine.com Fax: 970.879.8358
36 | Steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Photo courtesy of Paula Jo Jaconetta
The Jeweler’s Mine
Bride Jennifer recalls mountaintop wedding
Bride: Jennifer (Spurlock) Sherman Groom: Lucas Sherman Wedding date: Saturday, July 14, 2012 Wedding location: Thunderhead Lodge Reception location: Thunderhead Lodge honeYmoon loCation: We decided to do something a little untraditional as we are both teachers and were able to spend three weeks traveling through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. While these countries are a little more on the adventurous side, we still got to relax once we found the beaches in Thailand and Vietnam. We also enjoyed every meal as we ate our way through countries famous for our favorite cuisines.
best pieCe of adviCe: Check with your photographers to see if theyâ€™re willing to take pictures at a later date if there is inclement weather. Andy and Emily Barnhart were great. They got the best indoor pictures possible but also put me at ease by saying they could retake pictures later when the weather was more favorable. lasting memoRies: Coming through the back of the kitchen in the Thunderhead Lodge food court and seeing all of our closest friends and family ready to pack around us as we walked down a make-shift aisle. This was NOT how I expected to tie the knot, but I was overwhelmed with knowing what everyone had to do to get up there. (The gondola had shut down prior to the wedding and nearly 200 people had to be shuttled up in passenger vans.)
Photo courtesy of Andy Barnhart
the pRoposal: We were living apart at the time and had a ski trip planned to the Lake Tahoe area. The first day after arriving at Heavenly Ski Resort, Lucas found a secluded, rocky area to climb on before popping the question. We had paid for ski passes, so I got upset with him for taking his skis off on the rocks and then asking me to do the same. He must have decided to stick with his plan because he then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
best deCisions: Going with a venue that offered a Plan C. It was one of the worst and longest rain storms of the summer so while the original plan was to have the ceremony and cocktail hour outside, EVERYTHING had to be inside. We were very thankful that we had a dry place to go and a manager (Lindsey Yochem) who had a well-organized staff that was ready for changes at a momentâ€™s notice.
Winter 2012-13 | Steamboat living
Bride Jill remembers Steamboat Ski Area wedding we were a bit early, so we stopped by a Champagne bar for a quick drink. Before I knew it, I was in a room surrounded by my friends with Dash on his knee popping the question.
Bride: Jill Hines Groom: Dash Harrison Date: Saturday, July 28, 2012 Wedding location: Steamboat Ski Area (outside ceremony) Reception location: Thunderhead Lodge (with music by the Six Million Dollar Band) Colors: orange and yellow
best deCisions: The night we got engaged, an ’80s band — the Six Million Dollar Band — was playing at a bar we stopped by, and we loved them! They ended up playing at our wedding, and it was the best dance party I’ve ever seen.
honeYmoon loCation: Our honeymoon was in Aruba, and it was amazing!
best pieCe of adviCe: Enjoy every single second. It goes by so fast!
The weather was perfect, and it has beautiful beaches and clear water. We snorkeled, took Jeep tours, went on a sunset cruise and ate a lot of great food.
lasting memoRies: The sunset at the top of the mountain was amazing! I’ll also remember dancing the night away with friends. It was a beautiful wedding, and the photos were taken both in front of the More Barn and on top of the mountain, so they captured what it’s like to get married in Steamboat.
the pRoposal: It was my 29th birthday. We had dinner reservations downtown, and
Photo courtesy of Lisa Siciliano/Dog Daze Photos
"Enjoy every single second"
38 | Steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Yampa Valley Bridal Show Jan. 26 “Here comes the bride, all dressed in white” has added meaning at the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association’s annual Yampa Valley Bridal Show, to be held January 26, 2013, at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. That is because many attendees come to the event covered in snow straight from the ski hill.
ding planning, the event is scheduled to offer plenty of time to prepare for the spring and summer nuptial season. “A lot of people get engaged over the holiday season so it provides a great opportunity for them to see what having a wedding here is like,” adds the Chamber’s Michelle Krasilinec. “It has a great flow so brides-to-be don't miss a thing.”
“It’s all local vendors, from caterers and wedding planners to shuttle services and flower shops,” says organizer Maren McCutchen, adding that it’s designed for anyone who is planning a wedding in Steamboat, locals and visitors alike. “A lot of people who are planning to have their wedding here come from out of town that weekend to help plan and organize it. It’s a great excuse for them to visit Steamboat.” Last year, she adds, people came into the exhibition hall straight off the mountain in their ski boots.
Held in the Sheraton’s ballroom, the show offers more than 50 booths representing every vendor people need to plan a wedding in Steamboat. Future shows might even include ancillary events like trunk shows and site tours. This year’s show also will offer great raffle prizes including gift baskets, spa retreats and engagement photo sessions, as well as a grand prize honeymoon package from Steamboat Travel Center. Info: 970-879-0880, www.steamboatchamber.com
Designed to give brides and grooms to be a helping hand in their local wed-
Photos courtesy of Eleanor Williamson Photography
Elkhead Bead Company
Call today to schedule your custom bridal/ wedding party jewelry consultation!
40100 RCR 80, Hayden, Colorado| 970-227-4995 Winter 2012-13 | Steamboat living
Wedding directory Cakes
Life Is Sweet 970-219-3560, www.lifeissweetco.com
Safeway Food & Drug 970-879-3766, www.safeway.com
Coldstone Central Park Plaza, 970-879-0202 Curve Plaza, 970-879-6786 www.coldstonecreamery.com
Steamboat Floral & Gifts 970-879-1424, www.steamboatfloral.com
CateRing A Catered Affair 970-736-2454, email@example.com Azteca Taqueria 970-870-9980, www.aztecataqueria.com C’s Catering 970-276-3374/3363 Catamount Ranch & Club 970-871-9300, catamountranchclub.com Cottonwood Grill 970-879-2229, www.cottonwoodgrill.com Drunken Onion 970-879-8423, www.drunkenonion.com Fireside Catering 970-879-9922, www.firesidecatering.com Harwigs/L’Apogee 970-879-1919, www.lapogee.com La Montaña 970-879-5800, www.lamontanasteamboat.com Marno’s Custom Catering 970-879-4214, www.marnoscustomcatering.com Moving Mountains Catering Co. 970-870-9359/877-624-2538, www.mmcateringco.com Rex’s Catering 970-871-1107, www.rexscatering.com Ski Town Gourmet 970-870-0291, www.skitowngourmet.com Stay At Home Chef 970-871-9757, www.stayathomechef.com Steamboat Meat & Seafood Co. 970-879-3504, www.steamboatseafood.com Steamboat Smokehouse 970-879-7427, www.steamboatsmokehouse.com Three Peaks Grill 970-879-3399, www.threepeaksgrill.com Winona’s Restaurant and Bakery 970-879-2483 floRists Alpine Floral & Atrium Pine Grove Centre, 970-879-2682 www.steamboatspringsflowers.com
Tall Tulips Flower Shop 970-879-0555, www.talltulipsflowershop.com haiRstYlists/makeup/nails Acqua Salon 970-761-2048,www.acquasteamboat.com Shear Passion 970-879-1141, www.shearpassion.com Wildhorse Salon 970-879-1222, www.steamboatsalon.com Exclusive Nails & Tanning 970-870-7870 JeWeleRs Elkhead Bead Company 970-276-3386, www.elkheadbead.com The Jeweler's Mine 970-871-1413, www.TheJewelersMine.com Julia Alisa Designs 970-846-2021 musiC
Corey Kopischke Photography 970-846-2141, www.coreykopischke.com Copa Photo 970-870-9224, www.copaphoto.com FlatTail Productions 970-846-8010, www.FlatTailProductions.com Jessica Maynard Photography 970-846-6127, www.jessica-maynard.com Jack Klobetanz Photography 970-736-8354, www.jackklobetanzphotography.com Kate Z Photo 970-846-9852, www.katezphoto.com Mical Hutson Photography 970-819-8701, www.micalhutsonphotography.com M Lazy P Film Production 970-879-0033/303-638-3688, www.mlazyp.com Nan Porter Photography 970-879-3491, www.nanporterphotography.com One Shot Photo 970-846-7802 Natural Light Images 970-846-5940, www.naturalightimages.com Proper Exposure Photography 970-879-1961/846-1961, www.kenproperphotography.com
Top Shelf 970-819-4401, www.topshelfsteamboat.com
Rene Tate Photography 719-371-0798, www.renetate.com
Teri Rose- Harpist, Flutist, and Vocalist 970-871-7958, www.harpandflute1.com
Robin Proctor Photography 970-723-8423, www.robinproctorphotography.com
Keri Rusthoi- Soprano 917-282-1704, www.KeriRusthoi.com
Rife Photography 970-879-7383, www.RifePhotography.com
invitations One Fine Day Productions 970-871-7431, www.weddingsinsteamboat.com The Print Shop 970-824-7484 PostNet 970-871-9000, www.postnet.com Staples 970-879-5428, www.staples.com The UPS Store 970-879-6161 offiCiants Say I Do! 970-819-2170 photogRapheRs/videogRapheRs
City Market 970-879-3290, www.citymarket.com
Andy Barnhart Photography 303-246-9508, www.andybarnhart.com
One Fine Day Productions 970-871-7431/970-846-5680,
IN Photography 970-333-0594, www.inphotography.net
40 | Steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Angeli’s Photography 970-583-6209
Shauna Lamansky 970-879-6213, www.shaunastudio.com Stewart Photo Service 970-871-4277, www.stewartphoto.biz photo booth Rentals Flow Photography, LLC 970-471-6144/471-3102 planneRs (Wedding) Last Call Productions 970-819-3668, www.lastcalleventplanning.com Caroline’s High Country Occasions 970-846-4240, www.carolineshco.com Catamount Ranch & Club 970-871-9300, www.catamountranchclub.com Girl Friday 970-846-1270, www.mygirlfridaydoes.com Last Call Events 970-819-3668 Lockhart Auction & Realty
Wedding directory 800-850-3303, www.LockhartAuction.com One Fine Day Productions 970-871-7431, www.weddingsinsteamboat.com The Main Event 970-879-9020/303-570-6570, www.steamboatevents.com poRtable RestRooms Royal Flush Industries 970-870-6500 RegistRies Branches 970-870-2980, www.branchessteamboat.com Rentals Colorado Event Rentals 970-871-6786, www.coloradoeventrentals.com spas and salons Acqua Salon and Spa 970-761-2048, www.acquasteamboat.com
Catamount Ranch & Club 970-871-9300, www.catamountranchclub.com
Old Town Pub 970-879-2101, www.theoldtownpub.com
Bud Werner Memorial Library 970-879-0240, www.steamboatlibrary.org
Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp 970-879-7125, www.perry-mansfield.org
Cottonwood Grill 970-879-2229, www.cottonwoodgrill.com Depot Art Center 970-879-9008, www.steamboatspringsarts.com Elk River Guest Ranch 970-879-6220, www.elkriverguestranch.com Fetcher Barns 970-846-6252, www.fetcherranch.com Flying Horse Ranch 970-736-2652, firstname.lastname@example.org Glen Eden Resort 970-879-3907, www.glenedenresort.com Ghost Ranch 970-879-9898, www.ghostranchsaloon.com
The Ranch at Steamboat 970-879-3000, www.ranch-steamboat.com ResortQuest Steamboat 866-836-9090, www.resortqueststeamboat.com Rex’s American Grill & Bar 970-871-1107, www.rexsgrill.com Riggio’s Ristorante 970-879-9010, riggiosfineitalian.com Saddleback Ranch 970-879-3711, www.saddlebackranch.net Slopeside Grill 970-879-2916, www.slopesidegrill.com Sheraton Steamboat Resort 970-879-2220, www.sheraton.com/steamboat
Boots and Nails 970-879-9991
Hahns Peak Roadhouse Clark, 970-879-4404/800-342-1889, www.hahnspeakroadhouse.com
St. Cloud Mountain Club 970-879-6463, www.stcloudmtnclub.com
Healing Ways Wellness Spa 970-871-1975
Haven Community Center in Hayden 970-875-1887, www.havenseniorliving.com
The Steamboat Grand 970-871-5500, www.steamboatgrand.com
Waterside Day Spa 970-875-0271, www.steamboatspringsdayspa.com
High Meadows Ranch, LLC 970-736-8416, email@example.com
Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. 970-871-5162, www.steamboat.com
Wildhorse Salon Wildhorse Marketplace, 970-879-1222
La Montaña 970-879-5800, www.lamontanasteamboat.com
Sweetwater Grill 970-879-9500, www.sweetwatersteamboat.com
Midnight Ranch 970-870-3456 , www.midnightranch.com
Three Peaks Grill 970-879-3399, www.threepeaksgrill.com
Ore House at the Pine Grove 970-879-1190, www.orehouse.com
Vista Verde Guest Ranch 970-879-3858, www.vistaverde.com
Wedding and ReCeption sites Bella Vista Estate 970-879-4449, www.steamboat1.com
Yampa River Botanic Park 970-871-9300, www.catamountranchclub.com tents Colorado Event Rentals 970-871-6786, www.coloradoeventrentals.com tRanspoRtation Go Alpine 970-879-2800, www.goalpine.com Storm Mountain Express 970-879-1963, www.stormmountainexpress.com
Photo courtesy of Paula Jo Jaconetta
tRavel planneRs Steamboat Reservations & Travel 970-879-3202, www.steamboattravel.com tuXedo Rentals Allen’s Tuxedo Rentals 970-879-0351 Bushwackers 970-879-2970, www.bushwackersclothing.com
Winter 2012-13 | Steamboat living
Sweet Tooths Unite Talk about a tasting room with a view. On Nov. 5, the day before Election Day, more than 150 locals sunk their teeth into electing winning recipes for this year’s Holiday Dessert Bake-off in the new glass-walled auditorium overlooking Steamboat at Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus. Sponsored by the Steamboat Pilot & Today, Ace at the Curve, Moxie Home Consignments and Design, Easy 94.1 FM, CMC and Lil’ House Country Biscuits & Coffee, the event hosted nearly 50 edible entries — from pies, cakes and cookies to truffles, tortes and more — with a panel of seven judges on hand to weigh in on the top awards. Following is a look at the winners and their winning recipes from one of the most popular food events in the Yampa Valley.
Download the complete recipe book at ExploreSteamboat.com
Photos by John F. Russell 42 | Steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
BEST PiE Ellen Ladley’s Heavenly Holiday Chocolate Pie it’s all in the family for Best Pie winner Ellen Ladley, who’s been baking all her life, learning from her mother and grandmother. Ladley moved to Steamboat 10 years ago from Chicago with her children — Matt, now 21, and Lauran, 22 — whom she says “love my cooking.” As typical Steamboat winter kids, they burned a lot of calories that needed replenishing. “My daughter skied for CU and used to come here with the team and eat at my kitchen throughout the weekend,” she says. “My son is on the U.S. Snowboard Team, and i cook for them at least once a year at an event.” Of course, she’s just as happy serving her pie to her hungry family and friends. “My kids love my pies, and so do their friends,” she says. “Food and family dinners are a great way to celebrate the day.” Ingredients 4 egg whites 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar 1 cup sugar 1 package semisweet chocolate morsels 2 eggs
3 egg yolks 1 1/2 tsp. rum (optional) 3 egg whites 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Directions Beat 4 egg whites until frothy; add cream of tartar, beating slightly. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Spoon meringue into a well greased 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Cool thoroughly. Place chocolate in top of a double boiler; bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low temperature; cook until melted. Remove from heat. Beat eggs. Gradually stir about one fourth of melted chocolate into eggs; add to remaining chocolate, stirring constantly. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in rum (optional). Beat 3 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites and whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Pour into meringue shell and spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate eight hours. Yield: one 9-inch pie. Garnish with fresh raspberries, white chocolate shavings and minted spearmint leaves. Minted spearmint leaves: Soak fresh leaves in sugar water and bake on parchment paper at 100 degrees until dry and crisp. Handle with care. -Nona Bartolini
BEST CAkE John Wither’s Fresh Apple Cake Cake category winner John Wither, has lived in Steamboat 67 of his 68 years. But he only started baking about a decade ago, and this year marked his first entry into a competition like the Holiday Dessert Bake-off. “i’ve mainly just made cookies, with a few cakes every now and again,” he says. There aren’t any particular tricks to making his winning Fresh Apple Cake, he says, other than perhaps making a trip to Paonia. “i think, fresh local apples — not Granny Smith as the recipe calls for — made the difference,” he says. While he likes seeing others try his waist-bulging wares, he’s not above sampling it himself. “it’s a great combination of apples and nuts with a crisp top and moist body,” he says. “This was my first baking entry into any kind of contest. What a great start.” Ingredients 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups sugar 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 1/4 cups canola oil or cooking oil 2 tsp. vanilla
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (3 cups) 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted Sweetened whipped cream (optional) Apple slices (optional)
Directions Grease 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan; set aside. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; make a well in center of dry mixture and set aside. In medium bowl, combine eggs, oil and vanilla; stir in apples and nuts. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be stiff). Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least one hour. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. If you like, top each serving with sweetened whipped cream and an apple slice. Makes 20 servings. Winter 2012-13 | Steamboat living
BEST PrESENTATiON Elizabeth Meissner’s Santa On His Way Cupcakes Best Presentation winner Elizabeth Meissner, 40, has had plenty of practice preparing award-winning desserts. The only problem is having them last around the kitchen long enough to visually enjoy. “i’m the mom of two sweet tooths — actually, three, as my husband has the biggest sweet tooth of all,” says the local teacher of husband, Dave, and sons, Mitch, 10, and Tommy, 8. The key, she adds, is having fun, decorative candies on hand, and getting creative when you can't find the exact supplies. “You can get everything you need for these at the grocery store and you don’t need any special baker’s tools,” she says. “Baking is always done with love and for others. it’s so much fun to share what you baked with people you care about.” Ingredients 3/4 cup soft butter 3 eggs 2 cup flour 3/4 cup cocoa powder 1 package chocolate pudding 3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1 1/2 cup sugar 2 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 cup milk (almond, soy, cows, coconut, any will work)
Classic buttercream icing 2 sticks butter, softened 3 cups powdered sugar
Splash of vanilla 1/4 cup milk or water
Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside (flour, cocoa, pudding mix, soda, powder, salt). Beat butter till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add sugar and vanilla. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk till combined. Pour into cupcake tins lined with cupcake wrappers, 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes and remove from pans. Ice and decorate. Whip butter till fluffy. Add sugar and milk alternately. Add vanilla. Beat until creamy and spreadable (you may need more sugar or milk ... use milk sparingly). Spread on cool cupcakes. For reindeer, use assorted decorations and sanding sugars. Be creative.
robin Stone’s Molasses Sugar Cookies
Megan Jonathans’ Apple Crumble Cheesecake
When robin Stone first visited Steamboat from California in 1999 for her friends wedding, little did she know that she’d meet her future husband, get married and move here. Little did she know at this year’s Bake-off that her baking prowess would result in her walking down the winner’s aisle with the 2012 Best Cookies award. “This is the third year we’ve entered the Holiday Bake-off and it’s become a much-anticipated holiday tradition in our home,” says Stone, a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her two children, Christopher, 9, and Annabelle, 7. Stone has been baking since she was a child and says she clearly remembers her first cooking attempt. “it was a ‘No Bake Cake,’ which tasted like a brick and weighed even more,” she says. “i’ve been using an oven pretty much ever since.” For this year’s contest, however, it was someone else’s oven. “Our oven broke down on the morning of the Bake-off,” she says. “it was unbelievably poor timing. Luckily, the kids came up with the solution — lots of batter mixing in our kitchen and then over to our neighbors home to bake in their oven.”
Miscellaneous category winner Megan Jonathans, 27, says she has been baking desserts and other goodies “since she could reach the countertop.” That background helped her reach the podium in the Miscellaneous category, with her carefully concocted Apple Crumble Cheesecake. “it’s such a cozy, comforting treat that it seemed like the perfect choice to submit,” says Jonathans, who moved to Steamboat six years ago from Tampa, Fla. The operating owner of Finders keepers Consignment Clothing Boutique says the main trick to making it is to ensure it’s as smooth as one of Steamboat’s ski slopes. “i always beat the cream cheese by itself before adding the other ingredients to make it creamy-smooth,” she says. “Also, another hint is to let the crust cool a touch before layering.” She also likes the fact that it’s simple to make. “You use a package of oatmeal cookie mix, which is a handy shortcut without compromising on taste,” she says.
Ingredients 3/4 cup Crisco, melted and cooled 1 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar plus additional for forming cookies 1/4 cup molasses 1 egg 2 cup plus 2 tbsp. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground cloves 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Directions In a large bowl whisk together Crisco, 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. of the sugar, molasses and egg. Into a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and ginger. Stir flour mixture into the molasses mixture, until mixture forms a dough. Chill dough covered for at least two hours or overnight. Roll level tablespoons of the dough into balls, roll the balls in additional sugar, coating them completely and then arrange them 3 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for six minutes or until the tops are cracked and the cookies are just set. Transfer to rack to cool. Makes 35 cookies.
44 | Steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Ingredients 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix 1/2 cup firm butter or margarine 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour 1 tsp. vanilla 1 egg 1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Directions Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 13-by-9-inch pan with cooking spray. Place cookie mix in large bowl. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and coarse. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked crust. In medium bowl, mix pie filling and cinnamon. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake 35 to 40 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool about 30 minutes. Refrigerate to chill, about two hours. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
Winter 2012-13 | Steamboat living
COMMUNiTY CHOiCE Meghan McNamara’s Miss Paula’s italian Creme Cake Like many of this year’s Holiday Dessert Bake-off winners, Meghan McNamara, winner of 2012’s coveted Community Choice award for the second year in a row — this time for her Miss Paula’s italian Creme Cake — learned from the best. “My grandma rita kelly taught me how to bake when i was little and i’ve been baking ever since,” says McNamara 25, a teen coordinator for Horizons Specialized Services. Born and raised in Steamboat, McNamara, got the recipe from friend and mentor, Paula Lotz. Then she tweaked it a hair in her own special way, leading to her win for the second year in a row. “The cream cheese frosting is the best part,” she says. “And it is also important to whisk the egg whites stiff.” As for seemingly owning the Community Choice category, she says the real award is simply being a part of it all and showcasing her desserts alongside those from town’s other great bakers. “The Bake-off is such a fun community event,” she says. “i’m just glad to be a part of it. There were so many great desserts this year. it is just nice to be recognized.” Ingredients 1 cup butter 2 cup sugar 1 tsp. baking soda 5 eggs (separated) 1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cup flour 1 cup coconut 1 cup finely chopped pecans 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 1/2 tsp. coconut extract
Cream Cheese Frosting 1/2 cup butter 8 oz. cream cheese
2 to 3 cup powdered sugar 1 tsp. vanilla
Directions Grease and flour three 9-inch round pans. Set aside. Separate eggs. Beat whites stiff. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk. Add alternately with flour. Beat well. Add nuts, coconut and extracts. Fold in egg whites. Bake in 3 9-inch pans at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with cream cheese frosting. Mix the butter and cream cheese together. Add in the powdered sugar until frosting consistency. Mix in vanilla extract.
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46 | Steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
tom ross remembers
Of Howelsen & Boat Tows
Built in 1934, the Boat tow was the first ski lift at Howelsen Hill.
munity pitched in again and a new history on Howelsen was launched. Only a few current Routt County residents remember the changes that took place on Howelsen’s ski slopes during its first six decades. Local ski historian Bill Fetcher writes that Howelsen Hill essentially was a ski jumping facility through the 1920s, but in the 1930s, interest in slalom and downhill skiing emerged, giving rise to the first slalom events on the east flank of the hill. One of the ski hill’s most interesting eras began in 1934, when the first ski lift was built. Known as the Boat Tow, it was a sled pulled by a cable placed alongside the ski jumps to haul lumber and tools needed to maintain the jumps. When its value to skiers was fully realized, it was moved and lengthened to run 440 vertical feet to the top of Howelsen Hill. It was outfitted with two, 10-passenger sleds and
treaD of Pioneers
ow great is it that Steamboat gets to celebrate two big anniversaries within a month of each other in January and February 2013? To whomever was placed in charge of the timing of the 100th Winter Carnival and the 50th anniversary of Steamboat Ski Area, nice going! That’s what I call long-range planning. The ski area opened Jan. 12, 1963, and the first Winter Carnival was held Feb. 12 longtime local writer tom ross has and 13, 1914. Reading into this remarkcalled steamboat able coincidence, this home since 1979. means that people have been skiing Howelsen Hill for twice as long as Steamboat (the first Winter Carnival at Howelsen actually was the second annual event). The first Winter Carnival was held on Woodchuck Hill, where Colorado Mountain College stands today. Here’s how it all started. When Norwegian ski jumping champion Carl Howelsen arrived in Steamboat by train in 1913, it reminded him more of his home outside Oslo than any other place he had visited in Colorado. And that’s a good thing for us — our prominence in the ski industry might have been far different had Howelsen not been so smitten with Steamboat. The late Clarence Light, of F.M. Light & Sons fame, has a great tale of how the first ski jump for the first Winter Carnival came to be. Light recalled how Howelsen made his home on 10 acres in Strawberry Park and, owning neither bicycle nor horse, walked to town every morning to ply his trade as a stonemason, bricklayer and cement contractor. There, he often regaled his bricklaying co-workers with tales of the many ski jumping competitions he had won in Europe. “They were all greatly interested and one morning he came to work bringing a 10-pound lard bucket full of medals and ribbons,” Light wrote. “The fellows were greatly excited about the new sport of ski jumping and Carl told them, ‘If you can raise $50, we will build a ski jump and have jumping.’” Clarence’s father chipped in $5, and within a couple of hours, the $50 was in hand and the lumber was purchased. Standing at the top of the in-run on Woodchuck Hill and gazing straight into the hill that would soon bear his name, Howelsen realized there was the potential for a world record if the jump was relocated to the steeper hill on the other side of the Yampa River. The next summer, the com-
pulled by an electric winch from the bottom of the slope. Aware of rising ski areas in Aspen and Winter Park, Steamboat’s residents embraced a bigger ski hill that extended to the top of Emerald Mountain, increasing the vertical elevation to 1,440 feet. The lift comprised 120 T-bars and 60 single-seat chairs (two T-bars for every chair) that passed through 22 wooden portal towers. The muscle was supplied by a 75-horsepower motor. The lift eventually proved to be too costly to maintain, and a new lift was constructed that ran only to the top of Howelsen. Regardless, now we have a historic ski area in the heart of town — the oldest continually operating ski area in Colorado — as well as one of the best ski areas in the world on nearby Mount Werner. And what Howelsen recognized 100 years ago still holds true today: There aren’t many ski towns like Steamboat Springs. ■ Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
Green Building Tour offers lessons in homebuilding Green living means different things to different people. Baking a couple of spuds in an oven might not even be on the list. But the conscientious folks who attended the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council’s Green Building Tour this autumn learned that the ambient heat from cooking, playing video games and even their own exercise regimen can heat a small home. The tour took in three residences in different size ranges with distinctly different paths to sustainability. And one thing was clear: The dollars and sense of sustainable homebuilding add up for houses big and small — down to the last potato.
Simpson/Hebert home on Maple Street ❱❱ drooped from the seams between the foundation and the base of the wood-framed walls. Simpson and Hebert brought in Ivars Mikelsons, of Greenleaf Building Performance; Scott Kemp, of New Mountain Carpenter; and Michael Roberts, of Odyssey Building Group, this year to give the home an energy audit and a fresh start. “We needed to find out just how leaky it was,” Mikelsons says. “The standard blower door test that measures the rate at which the home exchanges air showed that the house had some major issues.” A blower door test measures how air tight buildings are by fixing a large fan into an outside door with an air-tight seal. The test revealed that the home gave up 10 air exchanges per hour — way too many. Thermal imaging allowed him to pinpoint all of the places heat was escaping where
The home of Mayling Simpson and Paul Hebert offers a spectacular location in Old Town Steamboat Springs. But before the couple could feel cozy and secure in the house that has been remodeled several times, they had to unravel a complex knot of issues from the crawl space to the attic and roof. The house originally was built in 1938 and added onto in 1976 and “both were quite leaky,” Simpson says, blaming ice dams. “Paul and I tried a number of things, including closing the fireplaces,” she says. Hebert said they tried to address the issues in 1999 by tearing off an old porch and adding on a bedroom and library, but even the new cold roof didn’t solve the problems. Although energy bills weren’t overly high, the new bedroom was unusually cold and there still were the ice dams forming on the vaulted ceiling over the living room. Icicles even
Thomas home on Lone Star Trail
When complete, the Thomas home, high above Fish Creek Falls Road, could be Steamboat’s pre-eminent solar home, with a 9.8-kilowatt photovoltaic system that would allow the owners to go off the grid if they need to. The new home, designed by Rob Hawkins, of RH Architects, with co-designer Erik Lobeck and built by Bradley Bartels, of Purebuilt, will make a design statement in its own microclimate, where junipers and Douglas thrive on a rocky bench. “The home is oriented 5 degrees east of due south — perfect for passive solar,” Hawkins says. The home takes advantage of passive solar energy with an exposed concrete Trombe wall that serves as a heat sink in a greenhouse via a bank of tall windows. Building the home’s active solar heating system, which is designed to provide 100 percent of domestic hot water needs and 70 percent of its heating load, involved a team of consultants including Tim McCarthy, of Brightside Solar; Aaron Scarborough, of Down Hill Plumbing; Rob Orozco, of Orozco Electric; and Chad Feagler, of Mountain Energy Consultants.
The electricity generated by twin solar panels near the home’s driveway entrance is stored in a series of eight 17-inch tall batteries. Although the solar system is connected to the grid, McCarthy says two of those batteries are dedicated to inverters to provide electricity in case of an outage. The system is so robust, Scarborough adds, that there always is 200 gallons of water heated to 185 degrees available. He designed a plumbing system that mixes that hot water down to 120 degrees for the 35 percent that goes to kitchen and bathroom taps. And there’s more to the 5,665-square-foot home’s sustainable qualities than its passive and active solar systems. Before construction began, a smaller home dating to 1965 was taken down. Lumber salvaged from it was used in concrete framing and other components were sent elsewhere for resale. Additionally, 85 percent of the lighting in the home uses LED bulbs, the exterior is made from beetle-killed siding, insulation comprises spray foam and recycled denim, and it has virtually no lawn, with the driveway consisting of vegetation-filled perforated pavers. story by tom ross ❘ Photos by John F. Russell
48 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
elements of the older house joined with the newer one. By addressing those problem areas, the contractors were able to reduce leakage by 40 to 45 percent. Kemp urges homeowners undertaking an energy-efficiency remodel to hire an expert to verify the home’s improved energy efficiency. “It’s important to work with knowledgeable people,” Kemp says. “And the collaboration between the different building trades is important. Unfortunately, there’s some resistance to verification due to the cost. That’s a huge mistake.” Simpson and Hebert made all the right moves, including replacing can lighting in their ceilings and replacing the old trapezoidal windows with energy-efficient glass, making the view of the Little Soda Creek Valley from their living room more sustainable than ever.
The ambient heat generated by domestic human activities will contribute a large share of the energy demand for heating required by the house being built by Erik Lobeck on Diagon Alley in Old Town Steamboat Springs. Built to meet Europe’s stringent Passive House Design Standard, the super-insulated home is calculated to take advantage of a modest amount of passive solar gain and the heat generated by its occupants to stay near 68 degrees year-round — even during Steamboat’s winters. The efficient 650-square-foot house (900 with garage) will have no furnace, no fireplace and only three small electric baseboard heaters as backup. Lobeck estimates the heating cost resulting from the baseboards won’t exceed $200 per year. As designer and builder, Lobeck
Lobeck home on Diagon Alley
ran his home’s specifications through Passive House Design Energy modeling software, including R-90 insulation in the roof and R-50 in the foam sub-slab and the walls. He even researched local climate data to factor into the formula. The house is so tight that an air exchange system is mandatory, he says. “The beauty of the system is that once you build your walls, ceilings and roofs right, they don’t require any maintenance like a high-efficiency boiler eventually would,” he says. “It becomes a dumb system that fades into the background and quietly does its thing.” Technically, the two-story house is an accessory unit as allowed under the Steamboat Springs zoning code. Lobeck intends to rent it to tenants and someday build a larger home for his family on the balance of the downtown lot. ■
Winter 2012-13 | steamboat living
ou can’t miss it. It’s there as soon as you step off the gondola, the “Billy Kidd is Skiing Today” sign, just as it’s been since the 1970s. In 2014, it will have been 50 years since Steamboat’s director of skiing became the first U.S. male to win an Olympic medal in skiing, when he took the silver in 1964. Now, the Steamboat icon and former world champion is celebrating his 70th birthday, with 43 of those years in the Boat. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. We caught up with him for his take on Steamboat and becoming a septuagenarian. Q. How’d you first end up in Steamboat? A. I moved here in 1970 from Stowe, Vt., after graduating from the University of Colorado in 1969. It was right after I won the World Championships. I’d heard about Steamboat from Buddy Werner and Moose Barrows, who were on the CU and U.S. ski teams with me. I got hooked on powder and sunshine, and with the town’s ranching background and a name like Billy Kidd, I thought I’d be comfortable here.
8 qUeStIonS WItH
SteamBoat SKIInG ICon
KIdd 50 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13
Q. Is it the Yampa Valley Curse that has kept you here? A. As a ski racer, I never thought that far off. Long term was four years to the next Olympics. Then I had the opportunity to become director of skiing, so I stayed, and I’m still here 43 years later. I’ve been really lucky. But I don’t like the word curse. It’s not a curse; it’s a privilege. I tell people, “If you’ve never been here, you should come, but be careful because you might get hooked.” Q. How much longer will that sign be at the top of the gondola? A. I still enjoy skiing and don’t see any reason to quit, even though I don’t ski as fast as I used to. I like to stop every 100 yards or so to look at the views. Banana George skied and snowboarded until he was 92, and Klaus Obermeyer is doing the same. Jack Rabbit Johannsen skied until he was 104. So I still see a lot of good years left. Q. What’s your favorite run? A. If it’s powder, Shadows. I’m an old ski racer, and the trees are just like slalom gates. You just don’t want to hit them. Plus, the mountain faces west, so it always has good lighting and visibility. For cruisers, I like Buddy’s Run, which brings back memories from skiing in the Olympics with Buddy. Q. What’s it like being the face of Steamboat? A. It wasn’t my goal. It just happened. I used to talk about Steamboat all the time on my travels. That’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my life. The Western image here is real. It’s not manufactured. There’s an authentic ranching history here. I can be in London, Tokyo or New York, and when people see my hat, it says American West and Steamboat. Q. Tell us a little more about that hat. A. It’s a Billy Kidd Stetson. They’ve had it in their line for 30 years and sell it all over. On cattle drives in the olden days, if the herd stampeded and your hat fell off, you wouldn’t go back for your hat. So they all had stampede straps to keep them on. That’s the main difference with my hat; it has a stampede strap to keep it on. It’s also turned out at the front so the wind blows it on instead of off. It’s ideal for skiing. Of course, now I wear a helmet most of the time when I’m skiing. Q. Did you ski on record-setting Presidents Day last year? A. You bet. That was a pretty good day. If I was wearing my Stetson, it would have almost come up to its brim. But I also remember a day in 1997 when Warren Miller was up here filming “Snow Riders.” It snowed every day for two weeks, and then we went into Shadows on the first sunny day afterward. Then it was over the top of my hat. Q. How are you going to celebrate your 70th? A. I’m not sure, but I’ll definitely get out and ski. My birthday’s April 13th, and 13 has always been my lucky number. I wore that number when I won the World Championships in 1970, so the numbers 13 and 70 fit together. But if they have a birthday cake with that many candles, they might have to be careful — that’s a lot of fire danger. ■
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ANNIE’S home consignments “It’s never the same store twice!”
We are pleased to announce our new, larger location in Central Park Plaza:
1755 Central Park Drive, Steamboat Springs, CO Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm 970-870-1300 Estate Sales, Auctions, Pick-up and Delivery available www.steamboatannies.com, firstname.lastname@example.org 52 | steamboat living | Winter 2012-13