In search of snow..riding the flat tops

13 Jul, 2008

Today was a day to track down what is left of snow in Colorado. There are a lot of places with a abundance of summer snow like Independence Pass and St. Mary’s Glacier. Those places are a farther drive from Steamboat so we decided to try the Flat Tops to see if there was any snow to ride.

The flat tops are glacier formed plateau’s here in Northwest Colorado. From Steamboat it’s 30 miles away but you can see the flat tops from town showing snow from a distance.
We wanted to hit these snow patches, but with the distance and the time we had it wasn’t very possible. The Flat Tops have an abundance of beautiful lakes and reservoirs nearby.
Emily and Sean came over from Utah to spend the weekend in Colorado to earn turns, yesterday they hit up St. Mary’s Glacier and wanted more riding today. Emily was one of my industry profile interviews, and I know her from high school way back in the day. Sean lived in Steamboat and knows the area, but it was our first time going to the Flat Tops to find snow.
Thanks Ranger Station for the awesome map…Sean trying to decipher it

Emily scouting it out

We had a couple options to choose from. One option meant hiking up a steeper side of the plateau nearby, through trees and brush. The other option was to just session a patch of snow near the parking lot. The patch of snow has some rocks on the sides but was enough room for a couple turns each run and an easy hike. We chose Option 2, so Emily and I got our boards and ready to shred.

I still have the Atomic reverse camber snowboard so I took it out for today’s riding.

Sean enjoyed the sun while we made turns

I strapped in and made the first turns down the slush patch. The first turns were really slow since the top of the snow was dirt.

Here’s the photo Emily took of me riding

Here’s some photos I took of Emily’s riding down the slush. We stayed in our day clothes rather than put on snowboard gear since it wasn’t that much snow.

I like this photo cause you can see that this is the only snow for miles.

Emily riding around the rocks

The rocks were rough for me. After a couple turns, I slid into the rocks at the bottom which Emily got a classic photo of me wiped out on them. But the best crash took place when I decided to ride switch in this small location and ended up crashing my knees into the rocks. That hurt and luckily Emily was there to unstrap me quickly.

Here’s the photo Emily took of me crashed into the rocks
Such a classic shot

I like this shot of Emily hiking up with her Skate Banana

We weren’t out there too long, just hiking and riding. I’m a bit scraped up but not too bad.
I’ll count it as a riding day because it’s July and any day on snow in July should count. But definitely a easy riding day with just a couple turns. It was refreshing to get back on snow. I’m looking forward to my mid-August trip to Hood and riding halfpipe in the summer.

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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  1. Pink Monkey
    July 14, 2008

    That picture of Sean with the map is great!

    But I’m still looking for the picture of you crashed into the rocks…? 😉

  2. Shayboarder
    July 14, 2008

    It’s coming, Emily had it on her camera 🙂

  3. Anonymous
    July 14, 2008

    I really enjoy your blog. You keep me up to date on the industry so thank you for that but I’m going to have to sound like a father here(because I’m a new dad myself with a 20month old little girl), and say be careful around those rocks! Whenever I see spring/summer shots with rocks it always reminds me of Nick Perrata going head first into them in that Fall Line film. Hope you had fun out there.