Friday October 31, 2014 7:17 a.m. MDT
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6 inches of snow falls on Steamboat Ski Area during weekend

Skiers and snowboarders take advantage of 6 fresh inches of snowfall Sunday at Steamboat Ski Area.

Skiers and snowboarders take advantage of 6 fresh inches of snowfall Sunday at Steamboat Ski Area.

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— After weeks of mostly clear skies and unseasonably warm temperatures, Steamboat Springs finally got a welcome shot of winter Saturday as 6 inches of fresh, natural snow coated Mount Werner.

Wanting to be among the first to test the new powder, skier Filip Angelov hit the lifts early Sunday morning when sunshine revealed the slopes that the skier said rode better than they have in recent weeks.

“Overall, I would say the conditions are the best we’ve had so far this season,” Angelov declared. “The snowfall was excellent, but proceed with caution. There are still some rocks you can hit under the snow.”

Brad Boyd, who on Thursday traveled to Yampa Valley from Texas, also reveled in the natural powder.

“We don’ t see much natural snow like this down in Fort Worth,” he said as he took a short break in Gondola Square from skiing. “We were afraid when we got here Thursday we wouldn’t see any.”

The first-time skier added that the snow also made the slopes friendlier to newcomers.

“It’s a lot easier to stop because it isn’t as icy,” Boyd said.

A lack of snow across Colorado had been blamed for an increase in ski- and snowboard-related injuries during the peak holiday weeks, including in Steamboat, because of icy, sun-baked slope conditions.

The weekend storm brought the first significant snowfall to Steamboat since Dec. 22 and dropped about 4.6 inches of snow in town, said Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.

Phillips said Steamboat might see another flurry Tuesday night, but not much else throughout the weekend. He added no significant snowfall is forecasted to hit Northwest Colorado again this week.

As they prepared to head down Heavenly Daze, friends Nick Pagliaro and Colten Crawford were enjoying the fresh snow while it lasted.

“We really needed this,” Nick said. “It’s the perfect day today. We have sun and a mixture of fresh powder.”

The sunshine also helped fill Gondola Square, which hosted a round of MusicFest on Sunday afternoon.

At 2:30 p.m., the Turnpike Troubadours played a mix of folk, Cajun, country and bluegrass tunes to a packed Gondola Square.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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