Skiing in Steamboat Springs

Posted on 15. Apr, 2010 by in Men's Fashion, Travel

My wife and I both enjoy skiing and, now that our kids are old enough (four and six) to take part, we’ve tried to get away when we can to ski as a family.  Steamboat Springs has long been our regular favorite.  Steamboat has a unique personality among Colorado ski towns.   Steamboat normally gets more than its share of what the locals call “champagne powder” and offers endless and varied terrain for all levels of skiers.  It sits next to the wide open Yampa Valley, so the sun shines later in the day than at most ski areas.  It’s a very casual place and, though I’m in the fashion business, I really like the vibe here, which is more relaxed western town than ritzy resort.  The ski school is highly regarded, especially for young kids.  Our kids aren’t quite ready to keep up with us, so they spend most days in ski school and have a great time.  It won’t be long before we won’t be able to keep up with them.  If you’re looking for a place to ski with your family and you want something not too fancy, I’d really recommend Steamboat.  I’d also love to hear about your favorite ski resort.  We’d like to try something new when the kids get a bit more proficient.

Steamboat is a great family ski place.

I’m a fan of cool gear, as I think a lot of our customers are.  When I was young, which was quite some time ago, I bought new ski gear every year or two.  By this ski season, I had been skiing on the same Volkl skis and Tecnica boots for the past seven or eight years.  I’ve really enjoyed this equipment and, like my golf clubs, it certainly isn’t what’s holding me back.  In any case, I got the itch to buy new gear this season, so I started looking around.  I have very wide feet and have never had what you could call comfortable ski boots.  Our local ski shop, Outpost Sunsport, has been telling me about Apex boots.  Denny Hanson started the company a year or so ago.  He lives in Boulder, CO and started Hanson boots in the early seventies.  These were the first rear entry boots and pretty revolutionary.  I had a pair in 1972 and they were torturously uncomfortable and cold.  Not being one to hold a grudge for any longer than thirty five years, I decided to give his new boots a try.  They’ve basically taken a snowboarding boot and put it inside a carbon fiber exoskeleton (their word, not mine) with a couple of buckles to hold them together.  I skied in them on this last trip and I have to give them two enthusiastic thumbs up.  They’re incredibly comfortable and warm.  Someone who is accustomed to race boots might think they’re too soft, but their performance is right up there with typical high performance recreational boots.  You’re supposed to be able wear the soft inner boot around as an after-ski boot, but I’d rather clomp around than have one more thing to carry, so I didn’t test that.  If your ski boots are keeping you from enjoying this great sport, take a look at these.

Apex Ski Boot

I looked for new skis, but I was discouraged by the crazy graphics on most of them.  Granted, I expect the high performance models to be designed to appeal to the twenty somethings, but I don’t want any skulls painted on my skis.  I was in a shop in Steamboat and saw a solid blue ski on the wall made by Wagner Custom Skis.  Pete Wagner was a golf club designer who decided to apply his knowledge to making custom skis in Telluride, CO.  He asks you to fill out a profile and then he builds your skis.  He has some wild graphics available as well, but he also makes skis in solid colors as well as ones with gorgeous wood top skins.  These are a little showy for me and I don’t want to explain what they are to everyone in the lift line, so mine will be burnt orange.  I’ll let you know how they ski next season.  I’m sure they’ll be great and  I know I’ll like the way they look.

I’d love to hear about your favorite activities, if you’re so inclined.  People who like nice clothes seem to like other nice things, good food and interesting travel spots.  Please let us know what you’re interested in and what you’ve been up to.

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4 Responses to “Skiing in Steamboat Springs”

  1. Steve Hitchcock

    13. Oct, 2010

    Hey Scott!
    I had never found this part of your site before. Thanks for the nice write up of our town. It was good to see you in our store (Zirkel Trading) while you were here too.

    We hope to see you again soon.

    Steve & Denise

    • Scott Barber

      14. Oct, 2010

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your comments. We’ll be back in Steamboat the week before Christmas. I should have mentioned your great store in my first post. If anyone gets to Steamboat you should drop by Zirkel Trading. You’ll find that it has a unique personality that fits in perfectly with the Steamboat vibe. They sell a lot of our apparel, so I can’t claim to be completely objective, but it’s a cool store run by very nice people. You can also go to zirkeltrading.com.

      Best regards,
      Scott

  2. Denny Hanson

    18. Oct, 2010

    Scott:
    Great to meet you last night. Thanks for the nice blog about the Apex boot. I am really pleased that you liked them on snow.

    • Scott Barber

      21. Oct, 2010

      Denny,

      It was fun to meet you and talk about your new venture. I wish I could convince more people to try your boots. As I told you, I have a tradition of calling my dad after my first day of skiing each season as soon as I’ve taken off my boots. He used to say that taking off ski boots was one of life’s small pleasures. It’s never been hard to remember to call him because I’m always so happy to take off my boots. Your boots are so comfortable that I’ll have to try hard to remember to make the call. Thanks Denny.

      Best,
      Scott