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Letters: Vail is changing

Steve L. Boyd
Vail CO, Colorado

Like my daddy used to say, there’s nothing as constant as change, and that’s true for Chair 5 and Sun Down Bowl as well.

Anyone who expects to have a quasi-backcountry/powder experience in the original Back Bowls is either extremely naive or hasn’t been here very long. They need a reality check.

At least 20-plus years ago bumps started appearing on lower Seldom, Never and O.S. areas above Sundown catwalk, as well as many other areas in Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls.

Granted, in the good old days there were few that possessed the ability, and equipment, to ski the often near-baseless conditions in the backside.

Long, long, long gone are the days when one could take the beginning of the Minturn Mile, now called Windows Road, and traverse into Sun Down Bowl to experience truly baseless powder conditions. I remember specifically one occasion whereby fellow ski-patrolman J.C. Clarke and myself laid down a near-perfect set of figure 8s all the way down Ricky’s Ridge – and they sat there all week, visible from Chair 5.

Those were the days when Chair 5 was a two-seater and chairs 1, 2, and 3 had not yet been installed.

There’s no comparison, as Vail Resorts likes to say, in skier numbers per skiable acres then-to-now. Dare I mention snowboarders, who seem to scrape down much of the snow on Vail Mountain?

The upshot of this diatribe is this: it’s the price we pay for success so I say, GO FOR IT! Why not put another chair in Sun Down, and by the way how about south Game Creek or even the East Vail Chutes, all of which were within the original permit boundary, as Earl Eaton has told me.

In reality, everything will get tracked out just a little bit faster. But it’s been that way for a long time anyway.

Also, if they groomed one run in Sun Down, as they did several years ago, hopefully that would keep less-accomplished skiers on the groomers and leave the powder for the rest of us.

If you insist on having a truly backcountry experience, i.e. powder, then earn your turns, or divvy up for a snow cat or helicopter.

All this said, I’ve been skiing and living in Vail since 1963 and loving the hell out of it (except maybe Saturdays).

All this is my not-so-humble opinion.


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