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.