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Tubing on the Yampa River – All You Need to Know

June 30th, 2019

During warm summer days the cool water of the Yampa River is a magnet for tourists and locals. Paddle boarders, tubers, kayakers, anglers and rafters all diverge beyond its beautiful banks, which led the City of Steamboat Springs to form a strict guideline for users.

  • Avoid standing or walking on the river bed (except fisherman)
  • Dogs allowed per leash laws
  • Life jackets, flotation devices and proper footwear recommended
  • No alcohol
  • No bathing or diapers in the river
  • No glass
  • No littering
  • No Styrofoam coolers
  • Respect other river users
  • Respect private property

Tubers can use their own tubes or rent them. Backdoor Sports at 841 Yampa Street has been running watersports on the Yampa River for years. Their published ‘frequently asked questions’ answers all you need to know about renting a tube for a float on the Yampa.

Guest: Where do we start tubing and where do we finish?

Backdoor Sports: Tubing starts from our shop location at 841 Yampa Street. Tubers will float approximately 2 miles down river to just past the James Brown Soul Center Of The Universe bridge, where there is a large sign directing tubers to exit the river and a takeout. Tubers are then shuttled back to the shop.

Guest: How long does this take?

Backdoor Sports: The time of the tube ride depends on the flow pace of the river. Generally in peak tubing season, the trip is just over an hour.

Guest: How do we get back?

Backdoor Sports: We continuously run shuttles between the takeout and the shop.

Guest: How far do we tube?

Backdoor Sports: The tube ride is approximately two miles down the Yampa River.

Guest: Can I wear flip-flops?

Backdoor Sports: Sorry, no flip-flops allowed, shoes/sandals with a heel strap or closed heel are required. We rent river shoes for $3, should you need them.

Guest: What didn’t I think of?

Backdoor Sports: If you wear sunglasses or prescription eyewear, a safety strap is highly recommended to prevent them from falling and getting lost in the river. We sell Croakies safety straps, which are available at the tubing desk. Sunscreen is highly recommended.

 

 

 

Tips for Safely Viewing Wildlife In Steamboat Springs

April 30th, 2019

Peakaboo by the Steamboat Pilot

Did you know Colorado is home to more than 960 species of wildlife? While that is an exciting prospect to animal and bird lovers who come to visit the state, it can be a challenge for the animals themselves. Knowing how to appreciate and view wildlife safely is paramount to the safety of both humans and animals.

In Steamboat, sightings of black bears, moose and elk have become a frequent occurrence in urban areas. We urge everyone to remember that the wildlife you see is indeed wild and should never be approached. At Condos in Steamboat, we reached out to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for safety tips to share with our guests who are on a mission to seek out the furry and feathered members of our community.

  • Time your outing for morning or evening, when wildlife are most active.
  • Wear earth-tone clothes, like gray, khaki and olive green. Animals will tolerate you better if you blend into the surroundings.
  • Keep your distance, for the safety and comfort of both animals and people. If an animal changes its behavior, stops eating or seems nervous at your presence, it’s time to back away.
  • Stay quiet and still. Noise and quick movements mean “danger” to wildlife. They may run or fly off, sometimes leaving their nests or young unprotected. Never chase or harass wildlife.
  • Look to the edges of the landscape, (where the forest meets the meadow for example), because many wildlife species spend time along habitat edges.
  • Look for movement, shapes, and color contrasts. Motion is the best giveaway. Also, look for parts of an animal such as its head, tail, ear, wing, or antler.
  • Use binoculars, a spotting scope, or a telephoto lens for a close-up view.
  • Use your car as a viewing blind. Pull safely off the road. Respect others who are viewing the same animals.
  • Avoid animals that behave unexpectedly or aggressively. They may be ill, injured, or have young nearby.
  • Leave your pets at home. Pets hinder wildlife watching. They can chase, injure or kill wildlife, or be injured or killed themselves.
  • Do not feed wild animals. It can change their behavior in ways that can be harmful—both to them and to people. Reserve feeding for ‘backyard’ birds.

 

Free Concerts at Steamboat Resort

March 12th, 2019

This season’s Steamboat’s Rock The Boat Free Concert Series is underway with The Main Squeeze set to play this Saturday. All concerts are free to the public and take place on the Steamboat Stage in Gondola Square beginning around 3:30pm (with some exceptions).

“This year’s lineup provides a little of something for everyone, with a wide span of musical options,” said Katie Brown, vice president of sales and marketing for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. “To be able to bring together our guests and staff in the base area with a musical celebration each weekend is one of the highlights of a visit to Steamboat.”  We have some old favorites returning and fresh new additions to keep everyone on their feet dancing.

The following outlines the full schedule of concerts as part of the Rock the Boat free concert series:

March 16: The Main Squeeze
March 23: Freddy Jones Band 
March 30: Southern Avenue
April 6: The Commonheart
April 13: TBA
April 14: The Wailers 

 

SCHEDULE & BAND LISTING

The Main Squeeze                                             Saturday, March 16                                

A powerful combination of hip-hop, funk, and rock, the Main Squeeze has vastly evolved from their humble beginning as a party band at Indiana University. Their unique sound and soulful energy have propelled them to the stage at Red Rocks as well as performances alongside The Roots and Aloe Blacc. The soulful sound of front man Corey Frye’s vocals mixed with creative instrumentals bring an emotional and funky stage presence that invites the audience to experience and enjoy life. The Main Squeeze debuts their new album, “Without a Sound”, this April which continues to build on their classic yet innovative music with the goal of appealing to the senses of their listeners.

Freddy Jones Band                                            Saturday, March 23                                

Building on their previous roots-rock hits, Freddy Jones Band most recently released “Never Change”, an album described as “euphoric” by the band’s lead singer/songwriter Marty Lloyd. Lloyd is a founding member of the band that was formed in the early ‘90s and is accompanied by Rich Ross on bass, Stu Miller on guitar, and drummer Goose LaPoint. This long-running act brings a mix of Southern rock and blues producing number-one singles such as “In a Daydream”, “Take the Time”, and “Those Diamonds” from their newly debuted album.

Southern Avenue                                               Saturday, March 30                               

Named for a street in their home town of Memphis, Southern Avenue puts a twist on gospel with a unique blend of R&B and soul. Founded by guitarist Ori Naftaly, who grew up in Israel with a passion for blues and funk, the band was formed when Naftaly met Memphis natives Tierinii Jackson and her sister Tikyra who provide soulful vocals and powerful drumming along with bassist Daniel McKee, and Jeremy Powell on the keyboard.

The Commonheart                                              Saturday, April 6         

Debuting their new album, “Grown”, The Commonheart brings an energetic tone and energy infusing crisp sound with powerful instrumentals. The nine-piece band, formed in Pittsburgh, is made up of vocals from front man Clinton Clegg along with trumpet, saxophone, keys, and guitar bring a powerhouse performance with blues, soul, and gospel influence. The Commonheart’s sound is a true testament to the past while completely holding its own as one of today’s most promising acts.

To Be Announced                                               Saturday, April 13       

 

The Wailers                                                         Sunday, April 14           

Throughout the ‘70s, Bob Marley & The Wailers helped bring the genre of reggae music to the world. Today they continue this quest in memory of their original front man after his untimely passing in 1981. Several original members, including Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett on bass guitar and lead guitarist Donald Kinsey are among the eight-piece band delivering a bright and innovative sound. The group continues its mission of sharing Bob Marley’s message of unity and the spirit of their leader alive through music.

Cross Country Cruising – Expert Tips from a Steamboat Local

January 30th, 2019

Miles of snow-covered terrain waits to be explored in and around the Yampa Valley. At Condos in Steamboat, we often get asked for tips on cross-country skiing, so we decided to call in a local expert.

Steamboat Springs native, teacher Jess Aldighieri, was raised on skis. She lives with her husband, Bobby, a former Olympian and freestyle program director for Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and their toddler son.

Skate or classic, what should someone who has never tried any kind of Nordic skiing consider? 

JA: Depends on interest and physical ability. Classic skiing is a good foundation for Nordic skiing and will help your skate skiing. Classic skiing is easier to learn, but difficult to become more efficient. Skate skiing is the opposite.

What should you wear Nordic skiing? 

JA: A lightweight long sleeve Smartwool top, tights or light long underwear bottoms, covered by lightweight Nordic ski pants and jacket. Well fitting gloves and boots will make the learning experience more enjoyable. A lightweight hat or neck buff will help trap body heat. 

Any tips to improve performance and speed for skate skiing? 

JA: Skiing in general is about balance, position and timing. If you can improve these basic skills, your efficiency will increase. As a result, you will gain ground on your performance and speed.  Skate skiing is all about the application of power to the snow. Strengthening your technical ability will help accelerate your ability to apply power. 

Best techniques to keep you upright on a downhill turn? 

JA: Keep your feet underneath your hips and constantly move your feet. The old classic – bend your knees!

If you want to try Nordic skiing as a family for a day what do you advise?

JA: Make an adventure out of it and carry a picnic or small snack in a backpack, because it’s quite physically demanding and you’ll need to refuel when you’re out there. A day of classic skiing can be great fun for everyone in the family.

Most memorable day you’ve ever had Nordic skiing in Steamboat? 

JA: Wow, there have been so many, but skate skiing the Hogan Park trail on spring crust after Mount Werner was closed. The snow was fast and the sunrise was beautiful. After an adventurous decent on our skinny skis, we finished with a run in the mud on B.C. Ski Way with our backpacks and skate gear. 

 

No More Schlepping Skis

November 26th, 2018

You’ve had an epic day on the mountain but your body is aching and you are balancing not only your own skis on your shoulder, but your worn out kids stuff too and you are corralling everyone to catch the bus in ski boots. Sound familiar? If you are not renting slope side, then we have a few solutions to ease the pain.

Rent from Christy Sports and you can store your gear at their mountain location and rent a daily locker for anything you don’t want to carry around. Fleischer Sport by the base of One Steamboat Place will store your skis and boots for free every night. It might be pricier than some of the other on-mountain ski hire, but those heated boot dryers will make you happy you paid more.

Beneath the newly remodeled Timber and Torch is the Ski Corral, which offers overnight storage for $12 a-day and weekly ski storage for $60. Lockers are available in the gondola building for daily use from $7 per day. If you are happy to keep your skis, boards and boots but need a spot to leave your lunch or smaller items, the basket check or unlimited bins in the Thunderhead Lodge are great options, from $2 per day.

Ski and Sport have baskets from $3 per day and overnight storage for $5 per day or $28 for 7-days. The Sheraton Ski and Sport offers a small bin for $6 and a large bin for $10 per day.

If you’d rather save the money and need a helping hand schlepping gear, look out for the little red wagons that make the walk between the bus pick up and gondola building less strenuous. The novelty factor might even turn your weary skier into a pack mule for the short journey.

Photo by Larry Pierce

The Big Guns Are Out At The Steamboat Ski Area

October 31st, 2018

Snow making at Steamboat Ski Area. Photo: Larry Pierce.

As darkness lifted in the early hours this morning, little plumes of moisture could be seen clouding in clusters over the Steamboat Ski Area. The snow guns were out and Mount Werner was getting primed for her winter coat.

On November 21, Alterra Mountain Company will pop the cork on bottles of Korbel and open their gondola doors for the first riders and boarders of the 2018/ 19 season.

“The countdown to Opening Day is on with the start of snowmaking,” shared Dave Hunter, vice president of mountain operations for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. “We are just about 20 days away, the excitement is building, and our crews are hard at work assisting Mother Nature to create a great early season base for our guests to enjoy.”

New resort owners Alterra, have already started to make a mark on their master development plan for the ski area. The Bear River Bar and Grill at the base of the mountain underwent a mammoth transformation this summer and will reopen as the Timber and Torch. Expanded indoor seating, an oversized deck with outdoor fireplace and barbecue grill area are just some of the changes guests will be able to enjoy.

On the snow, diners can look out for the Taco Beast, a snowcat-come-food truck for some Mexican themed fast food and new signage marking trails and lifts. Although the resort’s 2,965 acres remains untouched, plans are afoot for future developments.

As the new season starts, one thing is certain, the annual line up of winter festivities stays unchanged. The Yampa Valley’s long list of winter traditions will be celebrated on and off the mountain, in true Steamboat style. Cheers to the next winter season.

Five Things You Need for Fall in Steamboat

August 29th, 2018

Camera

Routt County’s scenery explodes into a backdrop of spectacular reds and golds during fall. Take to the roads and leave plenty time to pull over and take photos. Favorite drives include: The Flat Tops Wilderness Area Scenic Byway from Yampa over Dunkley Pass and Ripple Creek Pass; Elk River Road to Hahns Peak and Steamboat Lake; or Rabbit Ears Pass to Muddy Pass.

Binoculars

Spot an array of wildlife on the hillsides or roaming in the valley floor. It’s a busy time for our resident moose, elk, deer and bears. Keep a safe distance and use binoculars or telephoto lenses to watch them. Never approach a wild animal and make sure dogs remain on a leash.

Keep track of local bird sightings and document your own by using the popular app, ebird.org. For instant identification from a database of 650 North American birds, try merlin.allaboutbirds.org

 Warm Layers

Plan for cooler air temps in the mornings and evenings. Dress like a local and opt for layers. Several of the nations biggest players in outdoor recreation clothing and gear started out right here in Steamboat. Check out sidewalk sales throughout fall where last season’s gear can be a steal. You’ll have to race to the rack to grab anything from Smartwool or Big Agnes.

Taste Buds

It’s not just beer and brats on the menu this season, although you can find both in abundance at Steamboat’s OktoberWest festival on September 14 and 15. Sip local brews and pedal from pub to pub, while raising money for a great cause in the annual Mustache Ride on October 6.

Dine for less during ‘mud season’ when some of the town’s best eateries will be offering specials. Hunting season brings elk to the table in tasty stews and steaks. Homegrown apples, plums and the last harvest of peaches bubble inside cobblers and pies. Get a taste of local flavors at the first ever Yampavore dinner on October 11 at Harwigs Restaurant. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the Community Agriculture Alliance.

A Costume

We’re serious here – if you come on Halloween, you will need one. The downtown stroll is one of the community’s most cherished events. For two hours, Lincoln Avenue is closed to traffic and open to ghosts, ghouls and goblins. Join the throng of locals wandering from store to store on a trick or treat quest. Dress up and take part, or kick back with a cocktail and watch from the sidelines. October 31, 5-7 p.m.

Five Of The Most Scenic Dining Spots In Steamboat Springs

June 25th, 2018

Photo by Steamboat Ski Resort.

Warm summer nights and eye-popping sunsets make the perfect pairing for outdoor dining in Steamboat Springs. An extensive range of restaurants mean there is always something on the menu for everyone. If views are the order of the day, there is plenty to satisfy the eyes, and we’ve handpicked our favorites.

Haymaker Patio Grill

Located a couple miles on the outskirts of town, the family-friendly grill offers wrap around views of the rolling south valley. Eagles and herons frequently soar the skies above the 18-hole links-style course, adding to the ambience of this golf lovers’ paradise. Patio games occupy younger diners while grown ups can sip cocktails and feast on local fare. The restaurant is open all day and welcomes visitors, whether they come for the golf, or not.

E3

Set on the banks of the Yampa River in the heart of downtown Steamboat, the garden setting at E3 Chophouse is a magnate for outdoor diners. Although one of the pricier options around, their Happy Hour offers tremendous value for money. As the name suggests, steak weighs heavily on the menu, along with rich sides and a lobster mac n’ cheese that keeps locals coming back for more.

Aurum

Further downstream on Yampa Street is Aurum, a laid back bar and eatery with uninterrupted views of the iconic Howelsen Hill. A massive deck with a fire pit keeps folks enjoying the outdoors, even after the sun goes down. Families love the adjacent grassy space, which offers an enclosed space to run around and dance in, when a live band plays. An additional second level deck is popular with groups and gives diners a birds’ eye view of all the action on the river.

 Slopeside Grill

Bike, hike or stroll by the locals’ favorite hang out spot at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area. Kick back by Burgess Creek and let the kids run free while you sip locally brewed suds and feast on traditional American fare. Slopeside is an ideal spot to refuel during a day spent exploring Mount Werner, or grab a bite, before one of the free Movie on Mountain shows. Nothing beats the backdrop.

 Hazie’s at the Steamboat Ski Area

Your chariot awaits, to take you to brunch, literally – in the form of a gondola. Every Sunday until September 2, diners can ride in style to the top of Mount Werner for the ultimate room with a view. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. until 1p.m. at Hazie’s Restaurant, which offers guests the option of inside dining behind panoramic windows, or on the outside deck. Diners over 21 years are served Mimosas or Bloody Marys, and everyone can feast on a smorgasbord of delectable offerings. Reservations are recommended.

A Feast for the Senses at the Farmers Market

May 10th, 2018

Savor a taste of Steamboat Springs every Saturday morning this summer at the downtown Farmers Market. Now in its 14th year, the homegrown bazaar has become a platform for local farmers and artisan producers to showcase the flavors of the ‘Boat.

From June 9 to September 15, shoppers can pick up weekly groceries in the vibrant open-air setting on Yampa Street. Fresh Palisade peaches; grass-fed beef and bison, homemade cheeses and artisan breads are only some of the vast array of goodies on offer.

Saunter from stall to stall to find handmade goats milk soaps, custom jewelry and artwork, accessories, clothing and furnishings. Refuel at several food trucks, which serve up everything from crepes to curry.

Keep small shoppers happy at activity stations with hula-hoops, corn hole and crafts. Teens love the temporary henna tattoo stall. The wait is typically long, but you can give your name and reduce the time for standing in line.

Live music kicks off at 11 a.m. followed by entertainment from a collection of local performers. Expect anything from an impromptu display of belly dancing to off Broadway musical renditions.

The market runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. every Saturday on Yampa Street. Parking is limited downtown, so expect to walk or consider riding the free City bus and get off near 5th Street. Vendors do not tend to offer shopping bags, so plan to come prepared.

Look out for weekly happenings at www.mainstreetsteamboat.com

 

The Skinny on Skinning

March 28th, 2018

Backcountry skinning with Steamboat Powdercats

Have you ever sat in the gondola and looked out the window to see someone ascending Mount Werner on skis and wondered ‘what is that person doing – why hike when you can ride?’ Either they want to earn their turns and get heck of a work out, or they don’t want to pay a full price lift ticket. Whatever the motivation ‘skinning’ is on the rise and Condos in Steamboat decided delve into the details of this growing pastime.

We sat down with Kent Vertrees, the self-proclaimed master of chaos for Steamboat Powdercats, a local operation that added guided backcountry skinning trips to their repertoire this season.

Condos in Steamboat: What is skinning?

Kent Vertrees: It is hiking uphill wearing all terrain gear with skins attached to the base of the ski which enables it to grip the snow. At the top, peel off the skins and ski (or board) back down.

CIS: Why is it becoming so popular?

KV: It’s a natural progression as a skier or snowboarder to move out of bounds and try new things. Skinning in the backcountry gives expert skiers a challenge. Plus advances in technology are making it easier; lighter skis, better skins, more accessibility, avalanche beacons and general safety  information.

CIS: What equipment do you need?

KV: Basically you need to dress for hiking in the backcountry, which means layers, (Gortex is great to keep moisture out), hat, and sunglasses; a backpack with safety equipment such as a beacon, avalanche probe and shovel; a water bladder to keep hydrated. Extra clothing is good so you can change when you get sweaty. You’ll need skis, skins and poles, or a split board. All terrain gear includes a specific all terrain boot and skis that enable the walk mode.

CIS: Any tips on technique?

KV: Keep your head up – don’t look down at the skis. Poles out front, and glide skis don’t lift the whole ski. Maximize energy and minimize your effort, one step at a time. Look for the lowest pitch aspect. You don’t want to crisscross the snow where you plan to ski down.

CIS: Can anyone do it?

KV: You have to be a good level of fitness. If you want to try it in the backcountry then you should go with a guide who can teach you how to put skins on, work the bindings and how to do kick turns. Guides are also familiar with the terrain and know where it is safe to go and where it isn’t.

CIS: What do you do once you get to the top?

KV: Catch your breath, take off skis, lock bindings down, change clothes, hydrate, eat and descend.

CIS: How do snow conditions affect technique and overall experience?

KV: On a sunny warm spring day skis and skins can get clumped up with snow. In deeper conditions it is more difficult to set the track, which is another benefit of having a guide. On days when it’s stormy, consider your gear as you can get really wet and thermal regulation is key. On deeper and lighter days, the smiles get bigger.

For detailed information on equipment needed and guide services with Steamboat Powdercats, check out www.steamboatpowdercats.com 

* If you want to skin up at the Steamboat Ski Area, you need to purchase an uphill use pass and sign a waiver before taking it to the Visitor Center at the base area. For more information download the form here: Download

Skiing up at the Steamboat Ski Area


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