Vail Legacy Days, Talons Challenge, a new après ski hot spot, hot wax art and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 2/24/23
Celebrate Vail's history and pay homage to the 10th Mountain Division
Vail Legacy Days
Celebrate Vail’s founders and history and learn more about the role the 10th Mountain Division played in World War II and the outdoor industry at this year’s Vail Legacy Days. Vail Legacy Days coincides with the 10th Mountain Division Association Ski-in, which travels to Copper Mountain, Ski Cooper, Breckenridge and Vail. There will be events on and off the slopes of Vail Mountain and at the Colorado Snowsports Museum.
The event is typically held around this time to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge that took place the night of Feb. 18-19, 1945. Members of the 86th Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division conducted a surprise attack on the Germans and were able to break through the Nazi Gothic Line, which became a turning point during the war.
On Saturday, head to the Legacy Hut near Mountain Top Express (No. 4) and Northwoods Express (No. 11) at 11 a.m. to hear from Col. Matthew Bramam, Deputy Commander of the 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum. Then follow current active-duty members of the 10th down Riva Ridge in the annual ski down that goes down Vail’s longest run (4 miles).
Later on Saturday at the base of Vail Mountain you’ll find six teams consisting of members of the current 10th Mountain Division doing skills and strength tests on Pepi’s trail in the Ski Troopers Cup starting at 3 p.m.
On Sunday, head up on Vail Mountain for your chance to see a Blackhawk helicopter land near the top of Avanti Express (No. 2) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wear your goggles if you are there during the landing as those propellers can cast off quite a bit of snow and debris. But it is an amazing experience to watch this aircraft land and then it will be on display for a while where you can see it up close and take some photos.
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At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, stop by the Colorado Snowsports Museum for Tales of the 10th, which honors 10th veteran and Hall of Famer Sandy Treat. This beloved local passed away a few years ago, but he would dedicate his time to tell the stories of his experience with the public to give a glimpse into what it was like to serve back in those times. Sunday’s speaker will be author and historian Flint Whitlock. A suggested $5 donation to the Colorado Snowsports Museum is appreciated by all attendees. For more information, go to SnowsportsMuseum.org.
At 6 p.m., head back up Bridge Street to Mountain Plaza at the base of Gondola One (No. 1) for the Vail Legacy Days Parade. Hear from area dignitaries, watch a short movie giving you history of the 10th Mountain Division and its ties to Vail followed by a torch-light ski down and veterans proceeding down Bridge Street to the 10th Mountain Division statue near the Covered Bridge. The Colorado Snowsports Museum is open until 8 p.m. on parade nights, so if you didn’t stop by earlier, go there to learn more about this famed winter warfare unit that trained just south of Vail at Camp Hale.
The Talons Challenge may have to wait until next year since both Saturday and Sunday have sold out. The Talons Challenge, which is held yearly at Beaver Creek, challenges skiers, snowboarders, telemark skiers, whatever your mode of transportation, to take on 14 black diamond and double black diamond runs in the Talons area of Beaver Creek.
Called the Talons because the formation of the three chair lifts on the map looks like the talon of a bird of prey, the area at Beaver Creek houses the Birds of Prey Express (No. 9), Grouse Mountain Express (No. 10) and Larkspur Express (No. 11). Those who complete this task get the coveted Talons Challenge patch and other swag, a meal and a drink afterward. But, that’s not all, there is an afterparty in Beaver Creek Village. Even if you didn’t participate in the Talons Challenge, the public is able to attend the afterparty.
Each year, the event benefits SOS Outreach, a local nonprofit that utilizes sports as the hook to get kids interested in the outdoors and to teach life lessons and skills kids can take on and off the slopes.
Even though the event is going on this Saturday and Sunday, the runs are not closed to the general public, so go out and take a few runs in this area and see if it should be put on the bucket list for next year. For more information, go to BeaverCreek.com.
Winter Dew Tour
Missing the Burton U.S. Open? Yeah, we hear you, but just over Vail Pass you can find the athletes and high-flying action at the base of the slopes at Copper Mountain for the Winter Dew Tour. This event brings together snowboarders, skiers, bands, artists and the fans of all of those things to one location to celebrate the lifestyle and competition that takes place throughout the weekend.
Look for superpipe legends like Danny Davis and Ayumu Hirano, Ski and Snowboard Club Vail alumni Aaron Blunck and Ryan Wachendorfer, Steamboat’s Taylor Gold and Summit County’s own, Red Gerard. There will be autograph signing opportunities throughout the Dew Tour Experience on Saturday with Davis and Gerard and skateboarder Sean Malto. Title sponsor MTN Dew will have samples, “spin to win” prize opportunities like snowboards and headphones and more. The Dew Tour Experience will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Even the United States Air Force is sponsoring the Winter Dew Tour and will lend its name to a new competition, the Superpipe High Air & Best Trick Jam on Sunday. Channel your favorite “Top Gun” character and try out two virtual reality experiences where you can pilot an F-35 fighter through a canyon — they even provide a real-life throttle and flight stick or operate a replica KC-135 boom pod and “refuel” airborne aircraft like a B-2 Stealth Bomber.
The Winter Dew Tour is also teaming up with B4BC, Boarders for Breast Cancer, throughout the weekend and will be hosting the Pink Poker Run on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. where participants can explore the mountain while looking for the winning cards for their poker hands.
B4BC will also host a Tribute Ride, a collective lap down Bouncer Run in honor of a loved one who is or has battled breast cancer. For more details and to register, go to b4bc.org.
Mix Master Mike will provide the music and the stoke on Saturday night as the DJ. He was just in Vail for the Soul on Snow concert during the National Brotherhood of Skiers 50th annual summit. Mix Master Mike will spin tunes at the Center Village Base in between the women’s and men’s Super Streetstyle event. For more information go to DewTour.com.
Après Ski at Miller & Lux
With the days getting longer, it’s time to bring après ski outdoors at Miller & Lux at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail. Après ski means “after skiing” in French and it basically is a happy hour in your ski clothes. Miller & Lux wants you to join them on their terrace for mountain and pool views, delicious dishes and festive drinks.
Miller & Lux is celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s project and Flame Restaurant has hosted a pop-up all season. This San Francisco-based eatery brought signature dishes and tableside presentations of its Dover sole and the Caesar salad for two to diners to experience, but you can enjoy a little Miller & Lux for après ski as well. The slopes meet the sea with appetizers like Maine lobster shooters, oysters and Louisiana shrimp cocktail. Or, share the Elk’s shepherd’s pie or the mini M&L burger with the table.
Wash the appetizers down with the signature drink, the Alpine Nigroni with barrel-aged Campari, gin, Breckenridge Aquavit and chamomile. Draft beer and wines by the glass are also served including some specialty items from the Coravin Section and Elk Bar. The après ski menu and offerings are available daily from 3 to 5 p.m.
Wax and Wine
You may have tried Cocktails and Canvas or Cocktails and Clay, but how about Wax and Wine? Alpine Arts Center in Edwards is welcoming you to try a new medium and see what you can create with wax and a cast iron.
The technical name for wax painting is encaustics, where you use pigments mixed with hot wax that are burned in as an inlay. The art instructor will take you through the step-by-step process and help you create four art prints.
Sign up to try something new and grab your friends or do a date night. The class is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday and no prior experience is necessary. The class is $49 per person and wine or beer is $6 per glass with non-alcoholic options and snacks available, too. For more information, go to AlpineArtsCenter.org.