Holiday skiing a family tradition for many
VAIL — Skiing on Christmas, for some families, is a tradition that goes back generations.
Under very sunny, and very cloudy skies, families like the Jeffries, of Miami, and the Rodriguez family, of San Francisco, enjoyed Vail on Thursday, continuing a tradition now years in the making. The Jeffries said it’s their fourth year skiing Vail on Christmas; the Rodriguez family said it’s their sixth.
“This year has been really great,” said Robert Rodriguez, whose sons, 18-year-old Hayden and 14-year-old Quinn, also had their friend Stefan Stango joining them from Lima, Peru.
“It’s great to be able to spend time with the family here with all the nice snow, and also for us to enjoy the company of our friend from Peru,” Rodriguez said.
CHRISTMAS IN BLUE SKY
Conditions on the day varied from intense sun to total white-out fog to dumps of large snowflakes. Festive gear could be found all over the mountain, with a fair amount of Denver Broncos gear sprinkled in.
Nate Danner and John McCormick, of Denver, boarded early Gondola One cabins at 8:45 a.m., dressed in cloth Santa and elf suits.
“We don’t care if these suits aren’t the best in the powder, we’re headed right for Blue Sky Basin,” they said.
In addition to the newly opened terrain in Blue Sky Basin, Vail saw the opening of kids’ favorite run Cady’s Cafe on Christmas Eve. Lots of kids were out skiing on that day and Christmas, many of them quite skilled.
Rebecca Gruen-Wener, 8, of Denver, skied Vail with her parents Ray Wener and Liss Gruen on Christmas. Rebecca started skiing just before she turned 3; she said she also wanted to get back to Blue Sky Basin, where she’s trying to get good at doing cliffs.
“It’s my favorite part of Vail,” she said.
After a few hours of sun in the morning, a white Christmas it turned out to be. On the mountain, a “white-out” Christmas may be the better way to describe it. Visibility started decreasing at the higher elevations at around 12:30 p.m.
As conditions turned from foggy to snowy to very snowy to end the day, many families didn’t wait out the final chairs.
The Goldberg family from Toronto — Jason, Robyn and their kids Ethan, 10, Jonah, 8, and Sadie, 5 — wrapped up before the visibility all but disappeared. Three generations of that family skied Vail on Christmas, part of a tradition they’re hoping to keep alive for generations to come.
“We’ve been skiing Vail on Christmas since 1975,” said Esther Naiberg, Robyn Goldberg’s mother.
“This little girl here,” said Barry Naiberg, Robyn’s father, with a gesture toward Sadie Goldberg. “That used to be Robyn.”