Steamboat Marks Another Three-Wire Winter


January 19, 2006

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO (Steamboat Press Release)—With more than 22 feet of snow this winter, Steamboat has reached another snow milestone, recording a three-wire winter, when the snow stacks up past the third row of fence wires. Yampa Valley ranchers have traditionallymeasured the severity of a Routt County winter by how high the snow stacks up against their four fence wires.

"Clearly, Steamboat has the best and most snow in the Rocky Mountainswith a mid-mountain base that rivals some summit bases," said Andy Wirth, vice president of sales & marketing for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. "With our snowiest November on record, over 100 inches in December and our snowiest January in the past four years, Steamboat is definitely showing why it is the home of Champagne Powder snow."

This season, snow has surpassed the third row of fence wires across the Yampa Valley and is fast approaching the fourth. As Sureva Towler writes in her book, The History of Skiing at Steamboat Springs, "By January or February of a typical winter, snow will cover the third fence wire, usually 30 inches high." Four-wire winters, generally more than 350 inches at the resort's mid-mountain location, were recorded in 1983-84, 1989-90, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1999-2000.

As of 5am, five inches has fallen overnight at mid-mountain and nine inches at the summit in a 24-hour period. In the past four days, 25 inches (2.08 feet) has fallen at mid-mountain and the summit. Since the resort opened on November 23rd, snow has fallen 38 out of 58 days (65.5%) with 23 of those days recording four or more inches. So far this season at mid-mountain, Steamboat has seen 15" in October; 83" in November (a new monthly record); 105" in December (5th time 100" has fallen during month); and already 65" in January (most in past four years) for a combined total of 268" (22.33 feet).