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Steamboat — Snowboarding, Parks and pipes

Mountain Layout-Snowboarding

Steamboat’s trademark Champagne Powder® snow, which seems to fall in well-timed weekly accumulations, makes this a tree boarder’s paradise. Shadows, with its steady pitch and widely spaced aspen trees, is possibly the most perfect tree run in Colorado. And Pioneer Ridge, below Storm Peak, invites exploration, although the long run-out makes a little hiking likely. When the pow blows out (as if), enter The Twilight Zone between the Sunshine and Sundown lifts. It’s a difficult gladed run studded with moguls.

If you’re lucky, you might run into Banana George Blair, Steamboat’s 90-something snowboard ambassador and barefoot water skier extraordinaire. Always clad in yellow, Banana was extreme before the term was coined; he learned to snowboard at age 75. He’s cooler than you, so share the love.

For beginning snowboarders, a moving carpet serves the learning area. This section, at the base of the mountain is separated from other traffic so novices can focus on their fun.

Parks and pipes

Steamboat is ranked in the Top 10 in the country for its parks and pipes by several ski and snowboard magazines. Even its “vibe” gets high ratings. The Bashor lift serves both the Mavericks Superpipe and the SoBe Terrain Park. Mavericks Superpipe is a big hit. It’s one of the longest superpipes on the continent (650 feet long, 50 feet wide and 15-foot walls with 17-foot transitions). There’s a mega music system and snowmaking. A 50-foot quarterpipe finishes off the superpipe ride. The SoBe Terrain Park is chock full of features for all ability levels. You’ll find 11 jumps with different landings, hips, tables and mailboxes, 14 rails including a flat bar, flat-down, rainbow, S-rail and crazy double barrel . Mini-Mav is a 250-foot-long minipipe version of Mavericks with 10-foot walls for beginner riders. There’s also a kids-only terrain park, the Beehive, at Rough Rider Basin.

Photos courtesy of Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp.