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Cross Country Cruising – Expert Tips from a Steamboat Local

Wednesday, 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. 


It’s a dogs’ life in Steamboat

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Steamboat Spring has earned a notable reputation for many things. One you may not be so familiar with unless you live here, or have four legs and tail, is, Steamboat peoples’ love for dogs. No event shouts out ‘we love Fido,’ like the bi-annual Poochie Paddle. When the town stops to take a breath after the mountain closes, some unusual things happen, no more so, than at the Old Town Hot Springs. Twice a year the pools are drained, cleaned and refilled. The day before the water is emptied, dogs of every shape, size and age can take the plunge. It’s a sight to be seen – or heard. Yelping, howling and mad splashing mask the calls and whistles of owners directing, tossing Frisbees and hauling soggy stragglers from the waters edge. If you are on the fence about bringing the hairiest member of the family on a trip to Steamboat, then just remember – locals call this Dog Town USA, for good reason.


The sound of music is coming to Steamboat

Friday, January 16th, 2015


It’s getting close to that time again when the mountain air in Steamboat is filled with the sound of music. Mark your calendars and join us at the ski area base for Saturday afternoon’s Bud Light Rocks the Boat Music Series. As always it’s an eclectic line up, so ditch the boots and put on your dancing feet, for a little apres ski boogie. Concerts are free and bands start playing at 3.30 p.m.

Feburary 14 – No BS! Brass Band: Prepare to dance your feet off with this Virginia based group. Hugely original the music mixes elements of James Brown, John Coltrane, Michael Jackson and Led Zepplin.


March 7 – The Groovetrotters: It’s all about the funk, from Reggae and Blues to Rock and Jazz. What started as plain old family fun jam sessions, morphed into major live performances.


March 14 – Nahko and Medicine for the People: Compared to Bob Marley by the Huffington Post, Nahko plays hip-hop, folk and jazz music inspired by tribal and cultural influences derived from his own childhood.


March 21 – 6 Million Dollar Band: Step back to the 80’s with an eclectic rendition of time honored favorites delivered by five key boards, drum and bass, blazing guitar solos, and four part vocal harmonies.


March 28 – The Wheeland Brothers: Two Southern California boys bring their “beach rock reggae” to the mountains. Making waves on radio stations nationwide, they have received commercial syncs with Forever 21 and Hollister Co.


April 4 – The Motet: Denver based the Motet blends American funk, afrobeat and jazz. Known for their high energy performances, the band has released seven studio albums.


April 12 -Steel Pulse: Spreading a message of love and justice to all people, this British reggae band plays their grammy award-winning music all over the world. Prepare the end ski season with style. 


Friday, December 12th, 2014

CONDOSGONDOLA1. How did the Gondola earn the nickname the silver bullet?

Back in the 80’s previous Steamboat ski area President, Hans Geier commissioned a first of its kind 8 person gondola. After it had been constructed a series of load tests to ensure everything was working correctly needed to be carried out. The obvious choice for a Colorado ski resort was cases of Coors Silver Bullet beer of course. The cars were filled with beer, the tests successfully completed, and the gondola earned a new nickname.

A Word Of Thanks From Around “The Boat”

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


Sitting by the window with this morning’s first cup of coffee, I’m struck by Steamboat’s beauty following last night’s heavy snowfall. The sky is still grey, filled and heavy with more snow that continues to fall lightly. The branches in a small grove of Aspen trees are moving like an infant on a trampoline, feeling the weight of their newly adorned winter coat.

This week we will start welcoming visitors back to town, following the bi-annual monthly lull between seasons.  We’ll be caught up once again playing a small part in someone’s vacation, hoping that person leaves with the feeling they’ve spent their time in a very special place.

Today is a reminder of how fortunate we are to call Steamboat home, and how thankful we are to our visitors for making it possible for us to live here. This weekend we talked to the locals who we work with, raise our children alongside, hike, bike or ski with and asked them to share their “thanks” with you, our friends at Condos in Steamboat.



I’m thankful for our wonderfully generous community members. We have a very giving spirit.

Lynna Broyles, Director of Marketing and Development, Steamboat Boys and Girls Club

I’m thankful for all the loyal visitors that come to Steamboat every year to be a part of our town. You provide me with the best job on the mountain!

Leigh Ann McLaughlin, Ski School Instructor.


I’m thankful to live in a community full of wonderful volunteers and organizations that work hard to support one another and meet the needs of the less fortunate. I also am grateful every day for the natural beauty that surrounds us. It is truly awe inspiring.

Lisa Schlichtman, Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today


I’m thankful for the people in our community for supporting our local businesses.

Savannah Bongiourno, Owner, The Comb Goddess.


I’m thankful for the opening day we are going to have this season, so much snow!

Kelly Bohmer, Owner, All Fixed Steamboat


I’m totally thankful for all our wonderful customers and this community.

Wendy Lyons, Owner, Lyons Drugstore and Soda Fountain


The Big Agnes Team is thankful this winter to share fleece blankets and apparel from BAP at the little red house on Oak Street, Honey Stinger waffles to help get you thru the day, and new puffy coats just in from Big Agnes.

Len Zanni, Big Agnes (who promises he isn’t biased!).


I’m so thankful for all this snow.

Colin Dunlap, Ski Technician, Ski Haus


Top Tips For Your Tootsies

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

penguinIt’s all about the base, and the Condos in Steamboat crew are talking layers here. Mother Nature has begun laying the white carpet for this year’s ski season, which means it’s out with Birkenstocks and shorts, and in with long underwear and sorrels.

Every year we speak to guests asking advice about what to wear for a Steamboat ski trip. We tell them one thing; think layers. Weather changes in the Valley as frequently as a person dressing on a cruise ship. You need to be prepared for anything, and the same applies to little skiers.

We follow the rule of three.

  1. The base layer – avoid cotton. You want moisture to be drawn away from the skin to avoid dampness which inevitably will make you feel miserable.
  2. The mid layer – think of this as your insulating layer. Wool or polar Tec fleece make great options.
  3. The outer layer – number one stipulation, it needs to be waterproof and windproof. It’s all down to personal preference but pit zips, powder skirts and hoods are also things to consider.

We may be biased but locally based SmartWool offers the ultimate solution to preparing for a day of Steamboat winter fun. Taken straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s what they have to say about their two piece solution to layering.

“Like Fibers More wool is more comfortable. Two wool pieces work together as one to manage moisture, improve breathability, regulate temperature and, happily, control odor.

The System Instead of looking at layers individually, we took a “system” approach — designing pieces that not only work independently, but together as well. Fitting together. Made for each other. Smart layers that are more efficient, with less bulk. The result?

Layered together, they don’t bunch or restrict movement, so you can focus on the trail ahead and not your clothing.”

While we’ve got most of the body covered here, don’t forget to remain mindful of your extremities.  Longtime local Doctor Steven Ross suggests always putting gloves and hats on inside before walking outdoors. Good fitting quality socks and boots will give the best chance of avoiding chilly toes. Don’t rely on a helmet to keep the cold out. A face and neck guard will keep you smiling on that cold chair ride up Storm Peak.

Last of all, but by no means least; cover your eyes. Protecting yourself from the intense glare of the sun at this altitude is a must. When it comes to younger skiers rebelling against the goggles, this is one of those times the fight is worth the fight.

Off the hill or trails, we are a pretty casual bunch, so dress down, kick back and pack that suitcase with layers in mind; you won’t go wrong.  Best case, wait to you get here and we’ll set you on the right path in Steamboat’s thoughtfully stocked stores.


Steamboat Skiers and Boarders Get Their First Taste of Snow for 2014/15 Ski Season

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Jack Brown on Buffalo Pass

Typically it’s the time of year in Steamboat Springs, when locals take to betting. Hedge your best guess on the first snowfall of the coming ski season?  Well, snooze you lose, it’s already been. By the morning of September 30, Steamboat Ski Area had been given its’ first dusting.  Discontent to admire from a far, several die hard skiers and boarders unearthed their gear and headed for the highest elevations on Rabbit Ears Pass and Buffalo pass to bump or glide over what they could find.

The rest of us prefer to wait for that Champagne Powder, and it won’t be long. November 26, the mountain officially opens but will Mother Nature go on to bless us with early snowfall? It’s hard to predict, especially as this year is a La Nina year.

Derek Guimond on Buffalo PassTaking a glance at seasons gone by, 2007 started with a whopping 17 inches in October, laying the foundation for a record of 489 inches. The second snowiest season to date was 1996/97 with 26.5 inches in October.

Keeping a watchful eye on the weather channel, it looks like September’s little dusting was merely a false alarm for a freezing Fall. White flakes are not set to return until the end of the month. In Steamboat speak that means one thing; choose a warm Halloween costume. We’ve been lucky the last few years to enjoy balmy temps for the downtown stroll, looks like our luck has run out.  Trick or treaters, you’ve been warned.

Skiers, the wait is almost over. So hurry up and snag this year’s ski trip deal with Condos in Steamboat.

With 23 days to go…..

Monday, October 29th, 2012

until the Mountain officially opens we are going to run a few other numbers by you, while we wait. So to start us off 10 facts and stats you might like to know about Steamboat’s ski area…….

1963 – on January 12, the ski area was officially opened

165 trails to explore for the novice to the expert.

3,000 skiable acres of cruisers, meadows, trees, bowls and terrain parks.

6,900 ft – ski area base elevation

3 miles and counting – Why Not?- Steamboat’s longest ski run

331 inches is the average snowfall

59 frost-free days (so true we even have a book to prove it, 59 days, 39 degrees F at 6,770 Feet – Meeting the Challenge of Gardening in the Yampa Valley).

19,668 pillows to lay your head are available within the valley.

3 miles between the ski area shopping zone and downtown, a free bus service joins the two.

79 Olympians with links to Steamboat – there are several around to lend a hand each winter on the mountain between guiding and clinics, so keep you eyes open and you might just snag a couple great tips.

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