Film revives Vail’s notorious Ravinos |

Film revives Vail’s notorious Ravinos

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily/Nevada Lee, VailPM.comVail film: Eagle resident Jim Swanson, a longtime member of the Ravinos, at Hans Peak outside of Steamboat Springs.

VAIL, Colorado –Fifty years ago, a few adventurous skiers came to the Vail Valley and established themselves as the first extreme skiers in Colorado.

By the late 1970s, they earned their reputation for breaking the confines of traditional ski culture. At the time, flipping was not a common feat, and in response to the Ravinos’ extreme scene, ski resorts dynamited cliffs where they had held their famous St. Patrick’s Day parties. In response to their extreme antics, Vail banned inverted jumping and the Ravinos from the mountain.

Friday night at the Sandbar in West Vail, the Ravinos will resurface and release their debut film: “Revive.” The movie will also show at Loaded Joe’s in Avon on Saturday. Both showings are set for 7 p.m.

At Friday’s Sandbar show, the all tele-skier ski film “The Free Heel Life” will show before “Revive.” Local band MTHDS will perform immediately following “Revive,” at around 10 p.m.

The movie features original film from 1976, as well as the skills of today’s tele-skiers and snowboarders.

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.

“‘Revive’ covers all the great parts of living in the Vail Valley and our addiction to winter sports,” said Asa McKee, film producer and current Ravinos Rocky Mountain Chapter president. “Come relive and revive the Ravinos legacy!”

Jeff Van Tassel, founding father of the Ravinos, captured the core of Ravino culture when he said: “Flying Ravino colors shows appreciation of life through the excitement of edge sports and lifestyle. To become a Ravino, a person does not need to do anything different than what they are already doing. To be given the colors is a compliment to the attitude and style of that person. There was no plan to evolve the way it has. It is what it is because of a pure good vibe. It makes me feel good to see that the spirit still lives. Wail!”

There were more than 100 Ravino members in the club’s heyday, said McKee.

After the group was banned from Vail Mountain, they migrated to Vail Pass.

“They threw huge parties up there,” McKee said. “Thousands and thousands of people attended. They got permits with the Forest Service before the parties, but afterwards the Forest Service said we aren’t going to do that again.”

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