Howelsen Hill is in the heart of Steamboat Springs. It’s a small mountain with only 15 trails, four lifts, and a mile-long run appropriately called “Mile.” It is the oldest ski area in continuous use in Colorado, and it hosts the largest complete natural jumping complex in North America.
While it may be small, it hosts some big events including World Cups and Nationals, along with world-famous athletes. Howelsen has been the training ground for more than 70 Olympians, making over 90 Winter Olympic appearances, along with 15 members of the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame and six members of the National Ski Hall of Fame. It’s also where so many kids in the community come after school to train in their different skiing and snowboarding disciplines under the lights. You can ski and ride there, too. Just buy a lift ticket.
Howelsen has received some upgrades this fall which were welcomed by the community. It’s all part of the Centennial Campaign to which community members have donated for capital improvements. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Executive Director Rick DeVos says Howelsen is in the best shape it's ever been in right now. "We're set for the best season ever."
Part of the big improvements are the nine light poles installed at the base area in September. The lights cover the terrain park, beginner area and the Magic Carpet, tubing lanes, skier/boarder cross course, Nordic jump outruns, and the alpine race finish area. The final light additions will be part of the K38 Nordic jump project next summer.
New lights are throughout the mountain and in the base finish area. Photo Courtesy of Shannon Luthy.
Seven new and very large snowguns are aimed to put more snow on the mountain, but especially onto the aerial complex, mogul slope and the primary slope at Howelsen to get it all open earlier.
The K90 Nordic Jump landing hill is going through a repair process. There was a dirt slide caused by excessive moisture this past spring. The City has used a method called "soil nailing" to permanently fix this area. Soil nailing involves the drilling of approximately 100 holes eight inches in diameter, installing rebar and concrete in those holes and then placing a chain link fence on the surface which is tightened to the ground on top of the rebar with a specialized system. If you’re in Steamboat, try to catch some jumping on the Nordic jumps. It’s amazing and typically something you will only see on TV during the Olympics.
Workers shore up the K90 jump hill before the snow starts to fly. Photo Courtesy of Shannon Luthy.
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