Winter Carnival + Olympics! – February 2022 Routt Recap

Life in Routt County, CO during February 2022 as documented by Hallie Myhre.

February is always a big month in Steamboat Springs! The beginning of the month starts with Winter Carnival, one of the most exciting weeks of the year. The tradition started in 1914 to create a little joy and excitement for locals during the long winter months. The event has evolved over the last 108 years but is a small sign of Steamboat’s western heritage. Schools are let out of class, downtown Lincoln is filled in with snow and local kids are pulled on skis by local ranchers on their horses. There are many events including slalom, the donkey jump, and even an event for adults, the shovel race. Locals compete in a snow sculpture contest and build intricate snow creations along the side of Lincoln Ave. The biggest event is the Night Extravaganza. Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Skiers and Snowboarders show off their skills at Howelsen Hill. It’s important to mention that the mountain is completely dark and the athletes are carrying flares, glow sticks, or covered in lights. The special guest of the evening is the Lighted Man. A single man skis down the face of Howelsen Hill completely covered in lights, with a backpack that shoots full-size fireworks. Watching the lighted man during the winter carnival is not something you want to miss.

The 25th Winter Olympics took place from February 4th through the 20th. Although it is exciting to watch the Olympics no matter where you live in the world, it is particularly exciting if you live in Steamboat Springs. As of 2022, Steamboat has sent more than 100 athletes to compete against the top athletes in the World. This Year there were 13 athletes competing that had ties to Steamboat Springs, 6 of them being steamboat natives. It’s crazy to see people you passed in the high school hallways competing on the flat screen at Carl’s Tavern. Steamboat held multiple special events to honor past and present Steamboat Olympians.

Although not Olympic caliber, I personally had a few good runs at Steamboat Resort in February. There wasn’t much powder to be found but the untouched groomers made up for it. I also skied at Howelsen a few Ski Free Sundays, riding the poma is something I have loved since my first “poma trauma day”. I continued checking on ewes each day as the arrival of more lambs took place. Only a few left to round out the 2022 lambing season!