Vail, Beaver Creek enjoy biggest powder days so far this season
Fresh snow, extended season, extended hours set to start Sunday have skiers and snowboarders stoked
Matt Snyder made it to Vail between storms on Thursday and hit the slopes right away.
“I came from New Jersey to Eagle this morning and now I’m out shredding powder with the locals,” he said in the afternoon.
And Snyder was, in fact, shredding like a local. Excited about later hours coming to the mountain on Sunday (Vail’s gondolas will run until 4 p.m.), excited about a later season coming to the mountain this spring, and excited about the 11-inch powder day he was lucky to catch, the 56-year-old was finding deep snow in the trees all afternoon.
“The guys at the Burton shop in SoHo tell me I’m the top snowboarder on Wall Street,” he said with a laugh.
And Snyder has the skills to accompany the claim. Now a Senior Vice President Institutional Equity Sales at Wedbush Securities, he started snowboarding in Vail in the mid-’90s after his friend Tye Stockton, a former equity options trader on Wall Street for Bear Stearns, moved to Vail and went into real estate.
Snyder learned to surf at age 4 and said when he picked up snowboarding, he never went back to skiing.
“The job is very stressful,” Snyder said. “Getting squeezed up 600 points, down 600, that volatility can become stressful, and there’s no better stress reliever in the world than going after it hard on the mountain.”
EagleVail local Ryan Paules was also shredding powder and trees on Thursday, and was also very stoked about the conditions.
Paules works at Blu Cow in Vail Village, one of Vail’s oldest businesses, which is a job he loves, he said from the slopes on Thursday. But he also had a stressful moment at work on Wednesday as the interstate was closed for hours and he wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to get home.
“I just decided to stay at work,” he said.
The 11-inch powder day, as Paules pointed out, was a more enjoyable powder day than the previous 11-inch powder day this season, in December, as more terrain is now open.
While all of Vail’s terrain is now available to skiers and snowboarders, the whole mountain has not yet become lift accessible this season as the Mongolia Platter (No. 22) is not running, something Paules said he took notice of on Thursday.
Nevertheless, Paules said he was delighted to hear Vail’s Monday announcement revealing that the mountain will remain open until May 1 this year. He said the announcement was well timed with the recent snow.
“I’ll be out here, for sure,” he said. “Hopefully it keeps snowing.”
John Plack with Vail Mountain said Thursday’s 11-inch total on the snowstake tied the previous 24-hour high total for this season. The other 11-inch day was on Dec. 10.
Beaver Creek’s 10-inch powder day on Thursday was the highest recorded 24-hour total for this season by an inch, Plack said.
Both Vail and Beaver Creek have recorded 25 inches of new snow since Saturday.
While Vail will extend its ski day by 30 minutes starting Sunday, Beaver Creek will remain in its current hours of operation — 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Centennial and Strawberry Park lifts and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for most others.