Runs at the base of Steamboat have been re-contoured, and the old chairlifts are gone. The new base area has beginner skiers and riders in mind, along with a high-speed, six-passenger chairlift. The new Christie Peak Express lift will get people to the top of Christie Peak in less than five minutes, with an option to off-load midway. It relieves the pressure off the gondola. Christie Peak Express lower, mid, and upper terminals are all in, with the haul rope and chairs soon to follow. A load test then will be done before the chair is open to the public. The three new trails on Headwall - Stampede, Lil' Rodeo and Headwall North - are distinctly formed and their grades are being finalized by early Thanksgiving week. The Magic carpets for kids and beginners also will be in by then. The town of Steamboat is ready for snow. The new snowmaking system will be able to provide snow if there's not enough of the natural. New pipe and high-efficiency snowmaking guns (which use 30 percent less energy than conventional guns while producing the same amount of snow) are in place and ready to go from the top of Thunderhead down. "The new snowmaking system enhances water management, increases capacity, and reduces energy consumption while continuing to provide the highest safety levels possible. The system covers 375 acres of top-to-bottom terrain (3,600 vertical feet) or a total of 35 trails," says Steamboat's Heidi Thomsen. What it means is that with the new snowmaking, and the right temperatures, the slopes can be covered in three days. Steamboat opens Friday, Nov. 21. The Friday opening will be the traditional Scholarship Day, a fundraiser for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.