Chair 10 lifts locals one last time
VAIL – Cait Boyd recalled her childhood when she would ski behind her father, Steve Boyd, on the mogul-laden Highline, and afterward ride Chair 10.For Cait Boyd’s last run down Highline this season, it was like old times. “I followed him down because that’s what I remember doing,” she said.
The Boyd family and other Vail locals flocked to Vail’s east side Sunday afternoon to take their final rides up Chair 10. A high-speed-quad lift will replace Chair 10 next season, with construction beginning this spring. Also known as Highline Lift, the lumbering two-seater brought skiers to the top of double-black-diamond bump runs Highline, Blue Ox and Roger’s Run since 1973. A steady crowd of locals streamed through the line on a warm, sunny afternoon and looked back on 34 years of Chair 10. Vail residents Les and Leslie Mashburn rode the lift together on their first date in 1976. The Mashburns enjoy the lift for its solitude, they said.
“It always felt the most remote, even back then,” said Leslie Mashburn, Highline skier for decades. Christian Kloser, 13-year-old Vail resident, will miss the ample time Chair 10 allowed him to enjoy the view, he said. Chair 10 offers a close view of the jagged Gore Range. “It’s going to be good riddance and sad,” Kloser said ambivalently. A lift operator told Vail resident Timm Paxson that he was the first one in the skiing public to ride the lift when it opened this season, Paxson said. Paxson considers it one of his favorite Chair 10 memories – he got first tracks.
Now he worries a new quad could ruin the runs – he might ski Highline again. “It kinds of depends on how bad the turkeys cut up the moguls,” he said. Cait Boyd thought the lift’s demise called for a party, but Steve Boyd enjoyed the peace. “I don’t need any big fanfare,” he said.
Without fanfare about 2:30 p.m., Chair 10’s wheels stopped their familiar creaking minutes after chair 231 carried Dave Postle and Paxson to the top. Silence set in at first, then gave way to chirping birds and water rushing in the adjacent creek. Employees roped off the double-blacks and the cat track at the bottom for the season. They chattered nervously about the possibility of skiers ducking ropes for “one last Highline” – that crowd never came. Mountain officials had announced last week that they would be taking reservations for the chairs Sunday, but that didn’t happen. All of the Chair 10 chairs were reserved last week and there’s a large waiting list for the 265 chairs, said Jen Brown, spokeswoman for Vail Resorts.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Vail will also realign Chair 14, also known as Sourdough, so skiers can access Two Elk Restaurant. Vail also wants to replace the 28-year-old Chair 5, also known as High Noon. Chair 5, a three-seater, ascends along the ridge between Sun Up and Sun Down bowls for an 11-minute ride. Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.