Skiing the Pandemic in Steamboat Springs 2020
Last weekend was beautiful! Blue skies and bright sunshine welcomed me as I was walking up to the gondola. Families were playing together in the snow and many were just enjoying time on Timber and Torch’s patio. Though there was a short line to get onto the gondola, the singles line was empty and I walked right up and into a cabin.
I was a in a little bit of a hurry because I wanted to get a couple runs in before I met my friend for some runs. Once I was in the cabin, I started my Ski Tracks app and looked around. I was in the cabin with four others who were from out of town. Outside, I could tell there was fewer people than normal. News of coronavirus 19 was just getting real in Colorado, with Steamboat just announcing its first case the day before.
Most everyone who I have been running into had a sober perspective on the contagion. It has been hard to believe that it would reach the far corner of Colorado, but it did. On my walk to the gondola, I saw families packing cars for the drive back where they came from. I saw one family arriving and wondered how long they would stay. I get it – if I didn’t live here, I would be making decisions relating to my family. But, since I live here, I went skiing and kept my gloves on.
My friend was visiting from Nebraska. She was stoked to be able get some snowboarding in. We had met years earlier in Montana where we both lived, worked, and played in the mountains. I took her on a short locals tour. Though Storm Peak lift had a line to it, we were able to hit several other lifts without lines. We didn’t have to wait but a minute or two at each lift.
Around noon, the snow had become very slushy and was hard to move around. I had one of the worst falls of the season. Two runs later, I took her to the T Bar. We grabbed cold beverages and caught up over the last ten years. It was good to sit in a chair and relax, something I had not done in awhile.
The end of that day Steamboat closed for the season. Concern about the virus and it’s spread caused all resorts in Colorado to close. Being folks from out of state who brought the illness to Summit County and Steamboat, we all understood that this measure would both reduce new problems from arriving and keeping any contagious persons from going to another place and be a problem there.
Today, it’s expected that there will be up to 30 inches of new snow at the top of the mountains here in Steamboat. In the valley, we have light snow and rain. It’s damp and wet. And quiet as we all wait out the pandemic.