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News and Information from the top of winter wonderland.


Steamboat Snowmobile Tours is in "Colorado’s Snowfall Capital"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

   One of our guides shoveling in the Park Range mountains on Christmas Eve

In addition to the special nature of the snow Steamboat receives, the volume is another amazing quality. The Park Range mountains, where we conduct our tours, receive the most winter precipitation in all of Colorado. The reason the Park Range receives the most precipitation is due to the way rain or snow is generated by mountains through orographic precipitation. Orographic precipitation is a term for the process by which moist air is forced up the slopes of mountains to produce rain or snow. Snowfall in our area is the result of storms that originate over the Pacific Ocean and travel inland, producing orographic precipitation in the mountains of California, Utah and Wyoming before reaching Colorado. Fortunately for us, there is a gap of relatively low terrain before Pacific storms reach the northern Colorado mountains. This results in moisture-rich clouds running perpendicularly into the Park Range, where they dump the brunt of their precipitation before traveling on. For a more thorough explanation of this phenomena, please take a look at the research paper “Why is the Park Range Colorado’s Snowfall Capital?” in Colorado Climate. Otherwise, you can come see us – we’d love to show you our record-breaking volume of snow firsthand.

The Steamboat Powder Experience

Friday, December 20, 2013

Snowmobiling in Northwest Colorado's Routt National Forest gives you a powder experience unique to this part of North America. Powder is defined as freshly fallen, uncompacted snow, and the powder in our area is prized for its low moisture content (about 6 percent, compared with 10 percent for most other mountains). Our powder is so dry due to the way winter storms make their way to the Steamboat Springs area from the Pacific Northwest. Clouds of supercooled water blow in from the ocean and travel about 1,200 miles east through Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. The supercooled water remains a liquid despite being colder than the freezing point. The clouds encounter cold temperatures in the lower troposphere – about 2,000 to 2,500 miles above the Earth. At these elevations, the wet clouds see their moisture attach to dust, creating large snowflakes known as stellar dendrites. When the clouds run into the Park Range encompassing the Steamboat area, they are forced above the mountains and cool. The clouds lose their moisture, sending us dry stellar dendrites that characterize our amazing powder. 


For snowmobilers, the powder will blow around you in a glittering, snowglobe-like wonderland as you and your guide sled through Routt National Forest. Snowmobiling allows us to take you to places you could not otherwise reach during the winter, to see sights that few people get to enjoy, all while having a powder experience available nowhere else. Come join us and see for yourself what makes the Steamboat Snowmobiling Tours adventure so unique.



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