Fresh snow on slopes greets Vail’s close
CLOSING DAY HOURS
2:30 p.m. close:
Eagle Bahn Gondola (No. 19)
3 p.m. close:
Avanti Express Lift (No. 2)
Riva Bahn Express Lift (No. 6)
High Noon Express Lift (No. 5)
3:30 p.m. close:
Wildwood Express Lift (No. 3)
Mountain Top Express Lift (No. 4)
Northwoods Express Lift (No. 11)
Little Eagle Lift (No. 15)
VAIL MOUNTAIN — It wasn’t the 2-foot blizzard Loveland enjoyed, but a few inches here was enough to delight skiers and snowboarders on Saturday.
While the Continental Divide was getting blasted with snow on Friday, people like the dozens of Greyhound passengers stuck in Vail scratched their heads and looked up at sunny skies. Snow was indeed falling after Vail Mountain delivered its 5 a.m. report of 1 inch, but by the next morning, that snow must have melted as the measuring stick read 0 inches in the last 24 hours. It was a 48-hour report of 1 inch here, compared to 14 inches 25 miles away at Copper Mountain. Fortunately, things started changing Saturday morning when Vail started seeing some real accumulation.
“We were thinking about driving to Frisco, because we thought the conditions were going to be better, but it’s awesome up here,” said Karl Denson from Chair 4 at 12 p.m., as the snow continued to fall.
Denson and his San Diego-based band The Greyboy Allstars will headline Sunday’s closing day performance.
“The Allstars are working on something really cool for Jazz Fest, so we might throw a couple of teasers at you guys tomorrow,” Denson said Saturday.
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The Greyboy Allstars will play at the Solaris venue, with the gates scheduled to open at 5 p.m.
‘ABOUT 3 INCHES OF POWDER’
If you hurry over to the Sonnenalp following the Greyboy Allstars, you might catch a few numbers from local resident Harvey Simpson, who will be singing there for a few hours until 9 p.m. or so. Simpson is the Sonnenalp’s first-ever full-time resident, and the 88-year-old skied his 100th day on Saturday.
“Once you’re over 80, you gotta keep moving,” he said.
Four years ago, Simpson skied his first-ever 100-day season with 105 days. Three years ago, he skied 103 days.
“And then I had my hip operation, and it slowed me down a little bit,” he said.
Simpson said in order to ski 100 days you have to be willing to ski in all conditions, but the type of snow we were seeing Saturday was his favorite.
“About 3 inches of powder,” he said was the ideal for him. “I’m not a super powder hound.”
Simpson said he plans on skiing 100 days again next season and once again enlisting in the aid of his friend and trusted ski instructor, Gunnar Moberg.
“It’s Gunnar’s instruction that keeps me able to do it,” Simpson said.
SLIGHTLY ABBREVIATED DAY
For Sunday, expect a slightly abbreviated version of your typical Vail closing day. Over at Golden Peak, the annual pond skimming spectacle starts at 3 p.m. which is the same time the Riva Bahn Chair 6 and the terrain park will close for the season.
The Eagle Bahn Gondola will stop uploading passengers at 2:30 p.m. Gondola One and Chairs 2 and 5 will close at 3 p.m. and Chairs 3, 4, 11 and 15 will close at 3:30 p.m.
Vail Mountain officials said the change was “in anticipation of the need to better accommodate guests for downloading,” and is strongly encouraging guests to download early at the end of the day to beat the crowds.
Vail also said there will be off-mountain egress routes available for expert skiers and snowboarders to Lionshead, Vail Village and Golden Peak.
At 4 p.m., all public restrooms and on-mountain decks will close for the season. As is customary, Vail Ski Patrol will detonate a series of avalanche explosives to signal the end of the season and the time at which guests are asked to depart.