Fresh snow and more activities make for great days in March around Vail, Beaver Creek: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 3/19/21 |

Fresh snow and more activities make for great days in March around Vail, Beaver Creek: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 3/19/21

Talons Challenge, spring skiing tips, family fun, live music and more happening this weekend

Talons Challenge

The 18th annual Talons Challenge happens from now until April 4. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event isn’t being held on one day. Participants get to pick which day to tackle 26,226 verticle feet of terrain. (Sarah Innerarity, Special to the Daily)

This year due to COVID-19 restrictions, instead of hosting the 18th annual Talons Challenge in one day, it can be completed whenever you want to tackle it. You get to decide the day and conditions in which you want to ski or snowboard 26,226 vertical feet on some of Eagle County’s steepest terrain.

The Talons Challenge happens from now until April 4. Here’s how you can earn bragging rights and the coveted Talons Challenge pin:

  1. Pick up a Talons Challenge credential at a participating business in Beaver Creek Village
  2. Complete the on-mountain challenge of 26,226 vertical feet
  3. Return to a merchant location to redeem a collectible pin. Participating businesses include:
  • Avalon Clothing Company
  • Base Mountain Sports
  • Beaver Creek Chophouse
  • Beaver Creek Sports
  • Blue Moose Pizza
  • Coyote Cafe
  • Knox Galleries
  • Siempre Viva
  • Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company

Credentials and pins are available while supplies last. Once you complete the Talons Challenge, share your story to be entered to win a prize package from Helly Hansen. The event is free this year. For more information, go to and click on the Events Calendar.

Tips for spring conditions

Spring skiing and riding means changing conditions throughout the day. Proper wax and terrain choices are key to enjoying the spring snow. (Tricia Swenson,

Spring is a great time to get out on the slopes, but be aware of the freeze-thaw cycle that goes on during this time of year. According to the National Weather Service, the valley could see warmer-than-normal daytime temperatures this weekend. The temperature can swing dramatically from sun up to sun down and that can affect the snow conditions.

Give yourself permission to hit the snooze button or have that extra cup of coffee in the morning. You’ll want to let the slopes soften a bit before heading out. The common phrase locals know is “follow the sun,” where you ride on eastern-facing slopes first. For example, at Beaver Creek, runs in Rose Bowl, Larkspur Bowl and Strawberry Park will soften up before something western-facing like Red Tail run.

The Back Bowls of Vail can be tricky this time of year with the overnight freeze and daytime thaw cycle as well. Ricky’s Ridge, Milt’s Face, Cow’s Face and Sun Up Bowl will be the first to thaw. Snow conditions can go from very firm to perfect “corn snow” to “mashed potato” snow in just a few hours. When the east aspects become too slushy, move over to the western-facing slopes that haven’t been in the sun as long.

Treating your skis and snowboard to a coat of wax for warmer temperatures can do wonders. The afternoon thaw brings out what I call the “stop-go snow,” where you’ll hit a certain consistency and feel like your boards come to a stand still beneath you while your upper body goes forward. Drop your gear off at any local gear shop and they will have them waxed for you by the start of the next day.

If the slush gets to be too much for your legs to push around by the end of the day, take a break, don’t get too fatigued and always remember you can download on the gondolas on both mountains. Offer to go down early and put your name in for a table at a restaurant with an outside deck and soak in the springtime rays during aprés ski, and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen.

Family Fun at Beaver Creek

The Frost Flowers, part of the new Beaver Creek Wonder art displays, light up the night along the ice rink at Beaver Creek. (Beaver Creek Resort Company, Special to the Daily)

Beaver Creek is known as a family-friendly resort and even during a pandemic, the beloved Beav’ is still dishing out the fun after the slopes close. During the month of March, Beaver Creek presents Bloom, a celebration of spring with live music and performers throughout the village.


  • 4-7 p.m. – Enjoy live music from Brent Gordon and watch Sventastic as he rolls through the village on his globe.
  • 6, 7 and 8 p.m. – Tree Light Show


  • 3-5 p.m. – Fossil Posse Dinosaur Adventures
  • 3-5 p.m. – Family-friendly DJ
  • 4-7 p.m. – Sventastic is back for a second night of circus arts, fire, knives and a crystal ball.
  • 5-8 p.m. – Silent disco
  • 6, 7 and 8 p.m. – Tree Light Show


  • 4-7 p.m. – Enjoy live music from Chuck Grossman.
  • 6, 7 and 8 p.m. – Tree Light Show

Ice rink

The ice rink in Beaver Creek Village has been such a fun place for kids to go after the slopes close or as an alternative to skiing or snowboarding during the day. Skate rentals are available in sizes for kids and adults. The ice rink is open daily from 1 to 8 p.m. Get a reservation at Toscanini, which has tables that are rink side. Hooked is a few more steps away with outdoor seating and tented seating with windows facing the rink. Or, order pizza from Blue Moose and have a pizza party on the plaza.

There are also several couches and tables and the new fire pit bars surrounding the ice rink. The new Common Consumption Area allows those 21 years of age and older to have an alcoholic beverage in that zone. Area restaurants are selling takeout drinks and food, so you can create your own little après ski retreat and watch the kids skate while you listen to live music on the plaza.

Ice bikes

New this year are ice bikes which are available daily for 30-minute time slots from noon to 12:30 p.m. or 12:30 to 1 p.m. during the day and from 8 to 8:30 p.m. or 8:30 to 9 p.m. under the lights of the Beaver Creek ice rink. Those wanting to ride the ice bikes unaccompanied by an adult need to be 8 years old or older. For more information go to and click on Winter Activities or call 970-845-0438.

Snowshoe race

This Sunday marks the last snowshoe race at Beaver Creek for the season. The route takes you to McCoy Park Nordic Center at the top of the Strawberry Park Express (No. 12). Registration is between 8:30-9:30 a.m. outside the Candy Cabin. A foot pass for the chairlift will be provided for those who do not have an Epic Pass. The race will start at 10 a.m. for both 5K and 10K races. Go to Eventbrite to learn more and to register.

Vail Family Scavenger Hunt

The Vail Scavenger Hunt is a family-friendly way to enjoy a day off the slopes, learn about the history of Vail and earn some prizes. (Special to the Daily)

The town of Vail and the Colorado Snowsports Museum have teamed up to bring a scavenger hunt that is based on Vail’s history. All you need is your phone to download the app. Working alone or as a team, players will learn unique facts about Vail’s history as you visit various points of interest from Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead. For those who complete the hunt, a free prize awaits you from the Colorado Snowsports Museum.

Each clue on the hunt is worth various point values. From trivia and photo challenges to QR check-ins, participants can rack up points and climb the leaderboard. For those who complete the hunt, a free prize awaits you from the Colorado Snowsports Museum. The participant with the most points at the end of the season will win $500 to use at Vail restaurant and retail locations.

To participate, download the free Eventzee app for Apple or Android from your mobile device. Then create a login and enter the code: VailHunt. For more information visit:

Vilar Performing Arts Center shows at Beaver Creek

Two-time Grammy-winning bassist Oteil Burbridge and special guests take the stage at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Friday and Saturday. (Vilar Performing Arts Center
Special to the Daily)

The Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek has been working hard throughout the pandemic to come up with ways to support live music and other performances and support the industry while providing a safe experience for the audience. The Residency has been a huge hit with those looking to experience the arts in an intimate setting. This weekend brings the Oteil Burbridge Trio and Special Guests and Chris Thile to the stage.

Thursday’s live stream will be available for free on the VPAC YouTube Channel and Fri. & Sat. will be available on FANS.Live for $19.99

Friday: 7 p.m.

  • Oteil Burbridge Trio and Special Guest Joey Porter (The Motet)
  • $200 General Admission
  • Live Stream show available on FANS.Live for $19.99

Saturday: 7 p.m.

  • Oteil Burbridge Trio and Special Guests Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters) and Joey Porter (The Motet)
  • $200 General Admission
  • Live Stream show available on FANS.Live for $19.99

Sunday: 7:30 p.m.

  • An Evening with Chris Thile
  • $98 General Admission
  • No live stream available for Chris Thile’s shows

For more information about the shows, to get tickets and the learn more about what the Vilar Performing Arts Center is doing to keep everyone safe at its shows during the pandemic, visit

Support Local Journalism