blog: Fate favors the early riser
Vail CO, Colorado
It’s Saturday. At 7:30 in the morning. I am awake.
I haven’t seen 7:30 a.m. since, well, high school. But Colorado finally got some snow and I’m determined to take advantage of it!
So I drug myself out of bed and got my gear on in a lethargic fashion. As I gradually woke up, my excitement mounted. I was getting on the mountain today!
I picked my friends up and we headed toward Vail with our gear thrown in my trunk in the absence of a ski rack.
Luckily, we found a free spot in the Municipal lot and then trekked our way over to the slopes in Lionshead. Since we were in a group of six, we decided to take the touristy Eagle Bahn gondola instead of the Born Free high-speed quad. It wasn’t too bad except we were all so hot we considered jumping out halfway up.
We hit lifts 2, 3, 4 and 7, since they were pretty much all that was open that day. And it was surprisingly good. Not too crowded, considering it was a Saturday and it had snowed overnight, not to mention that it was dumping all day while we were up there.
It was so beautiful – no views to speak of, but plenty of soft flakes of snow floating down and filling the previous tracks. There were probably about 3 or 4 inches of powder.
Unfortunately, I got stuck on a black run from Chair 3 (I think it was S. Look Ma) and a woman standing nearby warned her friend, “Be careful. We call this one the boneyard.” Well, there’s only one way to get down a mountain, so down I went. Not fun.
However, the runs from Mountain Top Express were great – for a good cruiser, Swingsville is nice. For something a bit more challenging, hit Espresso. Off of Chair 7, Lost Boy is about as easy as it can get. It’s just getting all the way up there that is challenging.
By the time we had finished the day (my first day this year was a grand total of 6 1/2 hours of skiing), my legs felt like Jell-o and I wasn’t sure I could walk to my car. A friend and I compared ourselves to 100-year-olds, the way we were walking. Oh well, it snowed, we made it, and we spent an amazing day on the mountain.
I went again Monday morning. Most of the runs were groomed and there was no new snow, but the slopes weren’t crowded and it was a blue-sky day. I fell a couple of times and have a huge bruise on my left leg, but hey, I’m in Vail, and life doesn’t get much better than this.