Talons Challenge, Skiing with Jonny Moseley in Vail: Tricia's Top Weekend Picks | VailDaily.com

Vertical challenges, history hikes, live music and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 2/21/20

Talons Challenge at Beaver Creek

For 17 years, skiers and snowboarders have taken to the Talons area of Beaver Creek to conquer 14 of the resort’s toughest black and double black diamond runs in order to have bragging rights and a sense of satisfaction after conquering over 26,000 vertical feet in one day. Are you ready for the Talons Challenge?

This Saturday, competitors of all ages will tackle the steep terrain on Grouse Mountain, Birds of Prey and Larkspur Bowl. In between runs you can always stop and rest at the Talons restaurant, nestled at the base of the three lifts that service this area. The Talons restaurant will also play host to the Talons Challenge après-ski party from 12 to 4 p.m. The celebration will continue down in Beaver Creek Village from 4 to 6 p.m. with additional entertainment and giveaways.

The physical challenge is also a fundraiser for SOS Outreach, an organization that uses adventure sports to teach underserved youth core values and leadership development. At the base of each lift, kids from SOS Outreach programs and volunteers will be there to keep you honest by marking your lanyard after each run. The kids have also been known to give you plenty of words of encouragement to keep your energy levels and spirits up.

A $40 registration includes your access to the Talons Challenge, a lanyard and credential for tracking your runs, special 17th Edition Talons Challenge swag and food. Please note that your lift ticket is not included in registration.

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From $160, the Ultimate Talon limited edition package gets you additional perks beyond the standard Talons Challenge registration. If you go the Ultimate route you will get a commemorative Talons Challenge Vanir backpack from Helly Hansen (a $130 value) as well as a $40 donation to SOS Outreach and discounted drinks at the village après-ski event. The Ultimate Talon packages tend to sell out. To learn more go to http://www.beavercreek.com and search for Signature Events. 

Ski with Jonny Moseley

Vail Mountain also has a ski benefit on Saturday. Can Do MS is calling it “powder with a purpose” and wants everyone to come out for its annual Ski for MS event, which brings teams from all over the region to Vail to participate in amateur races, a costume contest and an après-ski party to help fund its programs for those living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  

The locally-based Can Do MS organization was formerly known as The Jimmy Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis. Jimmy Heuga was an Olympic bronze medalist in alpine skiing. He and teammate Billy Kidd made America proud when Kidd finished second and Heuga finished third on the podium in Innsbruck, Austria at the 1964 Olympic Games.

Heuga was diagnosed with MS early in his career and he revolutionized treatment with a whole-body approach. He wanted to focus on the things that those with MS can do versus the things they can’t do.

Can Do MS hosts seven ski events from California to New Hampshire, inviting people to participate in a day of fun while also raising funds to help those living with MS. This year the teams will be joined by Olympic skier Jonny Moseley.

The Express Lift at the bottom of Gondola One in Vail Village will serve as the home base for registration on Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. During the day there will be amateur ski races at the Epic Mix racecourse near the Avanti Express lift. A Celebration Ski Down to honor Can Do MS Founder, Jimmy Heuga will be held at the bottom of the Epic Mix race arena at 3 p.m. and the group will return to the Express Lift bar at Mountain Plaza for the après ski awards party and raffle from 3 to 6 p.m. Enjoy live music by Jonny Mogambo, free beer thanks to Bonfire Brewing, appetizers, musical chairs and raffles.

There is no cause or cure for MS but Can Do MS provides hope and a pathway to take charge of the disease. To find out more please visit www.cando-ms.org.

A country music queen and music fit for a king

Country music singer Sara Evans will grace the Vilar Performing Arts Center with her beautiful voice and soulful lyrics on Friday at 7 p.m.

She’s had five No. 1 singles, sold millions of albums worldwide, won the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist Award and claimed a Country Music Association trophy for her signature song, “Born To Fly.”

Evans grew up singing and was a part of her family’s band in has been in and out of Nashville recording songs and albums as a solo artist. You may remember hits such as “A Little Bit Stronger,” “I Could Not Ask For More,” “Born to Fly,” “Suds In The Bucket,” “No Place That Far,” “My Heart Can’t Tell You No” and more.

Enjoy a little storytelling at this intimate venue with this award-winning county music star. Tickets are $78 and you can find out more by visiting http://www.vilarpac.org.

Also performing at the Vilar Performing Arts Center this weekend is the King’s Singers on Sunday at 7 p.m. This British a cappella group has been around for over 50 years and it still features the same vocal formation of two countertenors, one tenor, two baritones and a bass singer.

The King’s Singers will perform “Royal Blood,” a program that investigates the life and legacy of 16th century King Henry VIII. From London’s Royal Albert Hall to the Opera House in Sydney or New York’s Carnegie Hall, take advantage of the King’s Singers sharing their vocal qualities in Beaver Creek.

Tickets start at $48 for adults and are $10 for students. Or, buy three tickets to this show and get the fourth ticket free. This show is also part of the VPAC ticket package: Pick three shows for $90, pick five shows for $175 or pick eight shows for $240. The show is also part of the Pay Your Age (18-30 years old) ticket program. Go to http://www.vilarpac.org for more details.

Après ski with Vail Jazz

We don’t hear a lot about Vail Jazz in the wintertime. For 26 years the sounds of jazz have dominated outdoor venues from the Vail Farmers Market to the Ford Amphitheater. But this Friday, Vail Jazz will host a special pop-up après ski party at the Minturn Saloon with the sounds of the Burnsville Band.

Head over to this iconic Minturn bar and restaurant and enjoy the free live music as well as free drinks and appetizers from 3 to 5 p.m.

“Every local knows that the Minturn Saloon is one of the valley’s most boisterous, under-the-radar venues for a celebratory drink after a day on the slopes. We want to ramp that up a notch,” said Vail Jazz executive director James Kenly in a press release. “It makes sense to add après ski to our wheelhouse with this pop-up event and also provide a glimpse of the musical energy to come this summer.”

The Burnsville Band is lead by Steve Burns, who has been playing the guitar since he was 11 and will be guiding the audience with some deep, soul searching blues music. The Burnsville Band has developed a regional following as well as a reputation for bringing a joyful buzz to any party.

Head to Minturn, which is a close drive from Vail or Beaver Creek ski areas, or leave work a little early this Friday to take part in this winter celebration with Vail Jazz. For more information, visit http://www.vailjazz.org.

Historical hike

In addition to the daily snowshoe hikes, evening snowshoe tours, full moon snowshoe tours and backcountry snowshoe hikes, Walking Mountains Science Center also hosts history trips on snowshoes.

Walking Mountains’ mission is “to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education.” They take that one step further by adding historical tidbits of Eagle County’s legacy with the addition of the Hiking Through History tours.

Walking Mountains has teamed up with the Eagle County Historical Society for the snowshoe history treks. Saturday’s hike takes place in East Brush Creek outside of Eagle. Local historian Kathy Heicher will share stories about Ranger Brown, who tended the forest from 1920-1935.

Ranger Brown handled tasks including managing grazing allotments for local ranchers, building key trails and roads, building Forest Service cabins and offices throughout Eagle County. He also handled predator control issues involving wolves. Brown also managed the Civilian Conservation Corps camp established in 1940. Learn about this fascinating character who helped shape many of the trails and forest resources in our valley.

“Kathy Heicher and the Eagle County Historical Society always do an amazing job with us for Hiking Through History,” said Paul Abling, marketing and communications director for Walking Mountains. We’ve explored the history of many areas together including Camp Hale, Red Cliff, Fulford, and the Sweetwater Cave. We are excited to learn all about the history of another area, East Brush Creek, on this fun snowshoe history trek.”

The tour is set up to be a half-day excursion with the hike itself about 2.5 miles in distance. Snowshoes and poles are provided. Bring your own lunch for a post-tour picnic at Yeoman Park Campground. The program meets at Walking Mountains Science Center at 9 a.m. Register online in advance: www.walkingmountains.org.


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