‘It was an epic season’ | VailDaily.com

‘It was an epic season’

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
CVR Vail Last Day TS 04-13-08

VAIL, Colorado ” It is 4:21 p.m. atop Chair 4 on Vail Mountain, and the last chairful of skiers appears over the ledge.

Lift operator Ross Franklin flips the switches, the chairlift slows to a halt, and the raucous crowd at the top of Mountain Top Express lets out a chorus of cheers and whistles.

The 2008 Vail ski season is officially over.

Crowds of skiers and snowboarders, dressed in wacky outfits and toting beer, headed to “Chair 4 at 4” for the traditional end-of-season party.

“It’s pretty cool to see this many people. It’s fun to see everyone dressed up,” Franklin said.

His favorite was a drunken man wearing a mullet wig and underwear printed with ” well, what it may have looked like underneath, and brandishing a beer, who loudly cheered on all the final chairs of people as they downloaded.

Littleton resident Max Blun was decked out in his “pimp suit,” complete with a fur shawl, diamond-topped cane, purple overcoat and several items of “bling.”

Boulder resident Staci Streignitz was wearing a grass skirt and shell bra over her ski clothes.

“We wanted to end the season in Vail this year. It’s got the best show, the best terrain and the biggest party,” Blun said.

Most skiers had one word to describe the 2007-08 season: “Epic.”

Vail Mountain reported that this season probably would prove to be its second- or third-snowiest winter ever. The mountain had recorded 453 inches for the season through Saturday.

Beaver Creek reported the most snow in its 27 years, racking up 427 inches of snow through Saturday.

Avon resident Roger Michaud, who has been skiing in the area since the mid-’70s, said this has been one of the best powder years he has ever seen.

“Two Mondays ago and last Thursday were some of the best powder days. On Grouse Mountain, on some of the troughs and moguls, you’d just make a turn and be waist-deep in snow,” he said.

It is crazy that the week before Closing Day has been a powder week, Vail snowboarder Tanner Miller said.

“It’s a bummer they can’t keep it open another week,” he said.

Many atop Chair 4 felt the same way ” several groups started chants of “One more week!”

“It’s going to be very hard looking at the mountain every day and not being able to ski,” Vail resident Justin Bryer said.

Some said they were eager to rack up every last day on the mountain, no matter what. Besides Halloween costumes and retro ski suits, many were sporting arm slings and knee braces.

Michaud separated his shoulder after a run-in with a snowboarder Friday, but that did not stop him from skiing Sunday, since his “mortal life is measured in available ski days,” he said.

“It was an incredible season. I’m sorry to see it end,” he said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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