Parts of the Steamboat Ski Area are going to look very different once the mountain opens for 2010/2011 skiing. This summer, workers have been busy clear cutting the dead lodge pole pines. The pine beetle epidemic killed just about every lodge pole pine between New Mexico and Canada.
About 80 acres pf the lower Steamboat ski area are now bare where there used to be heavy tree coverage. The area between Vogue, Rough Rider Basin and Right O Way look like the picture below–clear cut.
I hiked up the mountain with a ski patroller this summer, and they said the area will expand the beginner area offering more terrain for skiers looking for green runs.