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Eye Candy

A Champagne Powder Toast to Steamboat Springs

by James Sturz

View Slideshow A Champagne Powder Toast to Steamboat Springs

Photo: Larry Pierce/Steamboat

We continue our winter tour of the world's best ski slopes with a stop in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. As he did on safari in Kenya, Fathom contributor James Sturz considers the scene in koans, the paradoxes Buddhist monks ponder to achieve enlightenment.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado – As one of Colorado's oldest ski towns, Steamboat Springs is the anti-Aspen. Its main street was designed for driving cattle, and the cowboys here are the real McCoy.

But with some 3,000 skiable acres, Steamboat Springs is also officially "Ski Town U.S.A." and owner of the trademark Champagne Powder — the fizzy, low-density kind of fluff that tickles your nose and makes both adult and adolescent skiers swoon. The town's slopes have sent more athletes to the Winter Olympics than any other in North America. Which is to say it's not a bad place for a ski weekend. Here's what I learned on a visit this winter while contemplating the ski-in, ski-out approach to life.

COLORADO KOANS

Steamboat Springs Slideshow

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James, Fathom's contributing koan editor, is author of the novel Sasso. His travel journalism, short fiction, and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Outside, Afar, Men's Journal, Travel + Leisure, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and the anthology Italy: The Best Travel Writing from the New York Times. He travels for the jet lag. And the pretzels. And other stuff.

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