What is Champagne Powder®?


Skiing Steamboat Powder

You often hear that Steamboat is famous for its Champagne Powder® snow, but what does that really mean? It’s more than just a trademark name so let me shower you with an explanation (pun intended). Snow quality fluctuates based on how wet or dry the snow is aka the water content of the snow. To give you a reference point, you can easily form a snowball with one hand with snow that has 12% water content and snow that is 8% water content will blow off your sleeve like ashes. Snow that falls in Steamboat has an average of 5% water content, making it the snow with the lowest water content in the United States. And just how does the snow get so dry you may ask? Storms begin in the Pacific Northwest and wet clouds travel east about 1,200 miles encountering cold temperatures in the lower troposphere. The Park Range, comprised of Mount Werner and Storm, Sunshine, Thunderhead and Christie Peaks, is the first mountain range to intersect the storms. Once the clouds enter the mountains they lift and cool thus losing their ability to hold moisture. Down comes the dreamy snow we know and love as Champagne Powder® and out come the fat skis and false excuses to get out of work.


If you’re dreaming of effortlessly floating on top of the snow, bouncing from pillow to pillow, you know to head on over to Steamboat Resort. Cheers!