70K in one day: How this snowboarder hit 70,000 vertical feet at Beaver Creek

33 lifts later ...

What: 70,848 vertical feet snowboarded in one day

When: Friday, March 15

Where: Beaver Creek Mountain


Day 102 on the season was a big one for the Vail Daily’s Ross Leonhart, hitting 70,000 vertical feet on the EpicMix app.

I have always wanted to see how much vertical feet I could put up in a day at Beaver Creek. After snowboarding 101 days this season, I was looking for a way to keep things interesting heading into spring skiing. Previously, my most vert was around 30,000 — never full days. To be honest, why not go for it?

I had the day off, no one to ride with and was on my own time.


I started right at 8:30 a.m. For the first hour or so, I hit the Centennial Express chairlift five times (2,102), lapping a groomed Willy’s Face that is my favorite run on the mountain — also one of Mikaela Shiffrin’s favorites.

The Birds of Prey chairlift nets you the most vertical feet on the mountain (2,159), so my plan was to spend the rest of the day over there.

With 10,500 vert and the sun still coming up, I dropped over Red Tail trail heading for Birds of Prey. Outside of a 40-minute break for lunch at Talon’s, I proceeded to hit Birds of Prey … 26 times in a row.

Lapping the area became kind of a blur, but with spring breakers in town, I enjoyed riding the chairlift and making small talk with strangers. And when I scored the occasional solo chair, I embraced my time alone.

Red Tail was really the only thing groomed top-to-bottom off Birds of Prey, so I decided to alternate between cruising underneath Cinch to Red Tail, hitting a fun tree run under Birds of Prey or cleaning up some leftover snow on Peregrine and Goshawk.

When Birds of Prey closed at 3:30 p.m., I went back to Centennial for two more laps, catching my last lift at 3:52 p.m.

I’ve been telling people that while I think I’m a good snowboarder, I’m not anything special — I just like to go fast. I think a lot of people could put up 70,000 in a day or more if they wanted to. I just happened to have the patience to do it, and seven and a half hours to kill by myself.

By the numbers

33: Total chairlifts (26 Birds of Prey; 7 Centennial Express)

8:30 a.m.: First ride up

70,848: Total vertical feet

2,159: Vertical feet from Birds of Prey chairlift

To get to 70,000 vert, the Vail Daily’s Ross Leonhart hit the Birds of Prey chairlift 26 times in a row, as well as seven rides on Centennial Express.

EpicMix Pins

Livin’ on a Prayer: Earned for riding Birds of Prey 4 times in a row

Creature of Habit: Earned for hitting the same lift 10 times in a row on the same day

Millionaire: Earned for covering 1,000,000 feet this season.

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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