‘Good endnote to a good season’ | VailDaily.com

‘Good endnote to a good season’

Chris Outcalt
Vail, CO
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyAndrew Noonan, left, Cole "Bubbles" Burnham, Liz Fitzgerald, Chris Carroll, and Carissa Lewis jump over a cat track Sunday during closing day at Beaver Creek.

BEAVER CREEK ” Andy Steves tilted his head and situated his mouth in-between the opening in one of the windows of the Cinch Express Lift shack. The outfits of a couple skiers in the lift line caught his eye and he wanted to make sure they could hear him.

“Woo,” said Steves, who worked at Beaver Creek all this year.

The lifts ran for the last time this season on Sunday. Steves wore a bright orange hat and sunglasses with neon green rims to mark the occasion. The skiers and riders ” a group of friends from Minturn ” getting on the lift had more elaborate costumes on and Steves was yelling in approval.

“People are having a good time,” Steves said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The Minturn crew had pieced together get-ups using clothing from dumpsters, basements, thrift stores and friends before hitting the slopes Sunday.

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Tyler Huggins partially covered his dumpster-sweater with a red cloak that seemed more likely to be worn by a ninja than a snowboarder.

“When you’re ripping shred all the time ridiculously you gotta let loose,” Huggins said. “If you can’t laugh at life, man, what’re you gonna do ” you’re done.”

His friends were wearing everything from Spandex and a decades-old helmet to overalls and an orange hunting sweatshirt. They all agreed the day was about having fun.

“It’s the last one you have for several months,” Scott Davis said. “Get crazy, have fun, go out with your friends and just have a blast on every level.”

With six inches of fresh snow on the ground, most people didn’t seem to be having any trouble having fun.

“Typical closing day, pow day,” said Stan Gale, who celebrated the Easter holiday by skiing with his family. “It’s the best, we’ve had a lot of it.”

And just because the mountain is closing, doesn’t mean the season is over, Gale said.

“It isn’t really going anywhere,” he said. “It’s time to climb.”

It started raining in Avon Sunday afternoon, but the top half of Beaver Creek was still getting snow. A total of 392 inches, not counting Sunday’s snowfall, fell on the mountain this season ” well above Beaver Creek’s yearly average.

Diana Bruce and Dave Roberts decided to make the trip from Denver to ski. They said the decision was a no-brainer.

“There’s a bunch of snow and it’s the last day,” said Bruce, who skis a handful of days a year.

Some of the best days Roberts has had skiing in the last few years were at Beaver Creek this season.

“A week and a half ago on a Wednesday there was 15 inches of fluff,” Roberts said. “It was the best in three or four years for me.”

Roberts has a nephew that works in Avon ” he was calling him every half an hour to try and get him on the mountain.

A lot of people in Denver have already forgotten about skiing, Bruce said. She said it seems to coincide every year with the start of baseball season.

“It makes the trip pretty easy getting up here,” she said. “The roads were wide open.”

By 2 p.m., Mike Benedict and Charlie Wolf, who live in Avon, had popped off their skis were celebrating the end of the season with about 30 other people on the deck near the entrance to the Lumber Yard terrain park.

“It’s good to see everybody and get together one last time,” Wolf said.

Benedict plans to get two more months of backcountry skiing in.

“Closing day on a powder day,” Benedict said. “A good end note to a good season, but still a teaser.”

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