Relatively speaking, the mountain pine beetle epidemic barely hit the wet climate of Steamboat, but what little damage was done could be a mini boon for skiers. This past summer Steamboat removed approximately 100 acres of beetle-killed pine trees. Our editor watched some of it happen on a mountain bike ride, and all he could think was: Tree skiing! "I've skied here for 16 years," says Olympian Caroline Lalive, "and I discovered more places to ski last year-there are always new spots." Powder skiing in glades is what Steamboat is famous for, and with good cause. Isolated from the larger Colorado ski industry, Steamboat sits alone on the same northerly storm track that plasters Utah. It's also beneath the wind that plagues many higher elevation resorts. Drop all that powder in sheltered glades (aspen and fir) and you have arguably the best snow quality in the state. Notable: Hard to believe given last year's monster snowfall, but Steamboat is adding to its early season snowmaking potential this winter.
From the Early Winter 2012 issue