Steamboat 1/12/08: Dawn Patrol

12 Jan, 2008

Dawn Patrol is being first on the mountain, same time ski patrol goes up and same time lifties are up. It’s the first chairs, first gondola rides and first powder turns of the day. Getting offered the chance to be up this early…never turn it down.

Saturday morning was my first dawn patrol at Steamboat. Catching the 6:55am gondola ride when it was still dark out. Luckily Starbucks was open so I was able to get wide awake before hitting up the gondola.

My co-workers and I were able to head over to Sundown to work on the Steamboat web cam that is there. It’s a lot easier to get the work done when the chairlift is not running yet. Luckily it was also a powder day in Steamboat, 23 inches overnight at the mountain. When I left my house, not even that much snow had fallen so I didn’t think it’d be a powder day at all.

It took a while to get everything done but once ski patrol arrived, we were ready to get to the top of the mountain and enjoy some powder perks before anyone else. It took a while to get up, but the wait was well worth it. Still were hitting up Sundown a good half hour before the public was on the mountain. I was the photographer for the day so no riding pictures of me…but you’ll see a lot of James and Chris in the powder.

James enjoying the freshies

We hit up sideburns, closet and shadows the first couple runs on Sundown. Every run by each person was making fresh powder turns in knee high to waist deep powder.


My lines coming down
The snow was this high…
The crew of us for the day on the chairlift: Chris, James, and myself

Powder lines

Ah my favorite shot…this is totally wide open powder. I was looking down at this, Chris and James were below on the left which meant I had this to ride…it was seriously awesome coming down making S turns without anyone able to poach my line.

Since the mountain was now open, we decided to cut over to hit up Pony which meant breaking trail since no one had come up 4 Points lift yet. We managed to make it over to 4 points and twister when I saw the first people coming up 4 points chairlift. I got this photo where you can see my line and the chairlift totally loaded with people.

Got this collection of photos coming down Twister of some good powder shots.

From Twister, we hit up Pony to take advantage of some powder turns on Pony. Made it just a couple minutes after first chair got loaded. I was surprised not many people were hitting up the face so there were still turns to be made on the face of Pony.

Since it was a late start for Patrol…Storm Peak took a while to open up due to avy control. When we were riding this morning, Chris heard them blasting. I was listening to tunes, so I didn’t notice it. Even with 2 feet of powder…there were people complaining because 1 chairlift wasn’t open. What a bunch of sour pusses!

After making some tree turns down the pony liftline, we cut over onto longhorn which still had powder turns.

Here’s a shot ahead of me looking down the run.
And yet again…having a run all to myself making fresh turns with no one around.
On one of the tree runs I made, went down and realized I had just hit something pretty good with my board. Got this photo of the object I uncovered beneath the snow.

Finally getting super tired from the pow riding, we made our way over back to the gondola. On the way passed below Flying Z and realized that those waiting for Storm Peak to open…still hadn’t come down for first tracks. I got this picture as I cut across and looked up to see no lines coming down the mountain yet.

I got this shot of James in the trees…just looks beautiful to me.

We ended the day by having lunch on the mountain in Stoker, yum, clam chowder in a bread bowl still makes the end of day complete. This is such an amazing winter in Steamboat. I’ve never had this many powder days and still amazed at how much snow we are getting here.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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