Steel Pulse and Gov't. Mule in Vail | Tricia's Top Weekend Picks |

Pond skimming, golf, free concerts and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 4/12/19

Spring Back to Vail brings free concerts, on-mountain parties and pond skimming to town while down valley golf courses welcome back golfers.

Spring Back to Vail

A snowboarder tries to skim across the pond at the base of Golden Peak for the World Pond Skimming Championship at Spring Back to Vail.
Photo Courtesy Vail Resorts

Vail Mountain celebrates spring with concerts, parties, deals and the World Pond Skimming Championship competition this weekend. Plan to come early and stay late for all the festivities.

The live music kicks off Friday night with Austin’s Rose opening up for Gov’t. Mule. Saturday night hear the irie sounds of Steel Pulse and Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Xavier Rudd. The Ford Park venue will open at 6 p.m. both nights. Dress warm enough to stand outside and enjoy the music.

In its 17th year, the World Pond Skimming Championships brings skimmers from all over to “Lake Golden Peak” to compete for the grand prize, the Golden Skimmer trophy and bragging rights. First place gets a 2019-2020 Epic Pass and the panel of judges will hand out other prizes for best splash and best performance by a skier and snowboarder. Want to give it a try? Sign up by tonight at

If pond skimming isn’t your thing, test your skills at the Spring Back to Vail Bags Tournament at Golden Peak. Registration will be set up at Tikis and Tunes event at Mid Vail on Saturday and at Golden Peak on Sunday from 12 until 1 p.m. and is free for those 21 years of age and older. The tournament starts at 1 p.m. and special prizes will be given out for all participants and winners.

Beaver Creek’s closing weekend, terrain updates for Vail

Arrowhead, the western-most portal of Beaver Creek, closed down last Sunday and the rest of Beaver Creek will close down this Sunday. Before the chair lifts stop, here’s a look at what will be open throughout the weekend:

Beaver Creek will close for the season on Sunday. There is also limited terrain; there is no access to Bachelor Gulch from Beaver Creek.
Photo Courtesy Vail Resorts
  • Haymeadow Express Gondola
  • Rose Bowl Express
  • Red Buffalo Express
  • Centennial Express
  • Cinch Express
  • Birds of Prey Express
  • Grouse Mountain Express
  • Bachelor Gulch Express

Private and group lessons will continue to be offered for children and adults through Beaver Creek Ski School. Spruce Saddle and the Ice Cream Parlour at the top of the Haymeadow Express Gondola will be open for food and beverages and Starbucks will be open along with other restaurants at the base village. For more information, visit

Vail Mountain is ramping down operations as well. A few lifts such as Pride Express, Mongolia lift and Highline lift have already closed down. Blue Sky Basin will close down this Sunday. Other closures this Sunday include Game Creek lift, Sun Up lift, Sourdough lift, Orient Express, Teacup Express and the Gopher lift at the base of Golden Peak.

The major lifts on the front side of Vail Mountain will remain open until closing day on Sunday, April 21. Portions of the Back Bowls will be serviced by the High Noon Express lift in Sun Up Bowl until closing day. On-mountain dining can be found at Marketplace at Eagles Nest, The 10th, Express Lift Bar and Look Ma at MidVail until closing day. For more information, go to

Western Colorado Outdoor and Sportsman Expo

Get ready to head outdoors and recreate with the help of the Western Colorado Outdoor and Sportsman Expo. In its second year, the event will bring back exhibitors who will showcase everything from hunting, fishing, rafting, stand up paddle boarding, ATV riding, camping, kayaking, hiking, biking and more.

In addition to the many booths that will showcase the latest and greatest in products, there will also be seminars and demonstrations. Gun dog demonstrations, information on mushroom foraging, elk calls and even safety and survival in the wilderness will be covered during the two-day event. You can find impressive bios of the presenters on the website.

The Western Colorado Outdoor and Sportsman Expo takes place Friday and Saturday at the Eagle River Center in Eagle.
Daily File Photo

No need to travel all the way to Denver or Salt Lake City, western slope residents can take advantage of the offerings right in their own backyard. The event is being held at the Eagle River Center in Eagle and runs Friday from 12 to 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday. For ticket information visit

Golf in Eagle County

Who’s ready for some golf? Gypsum Creek Golf Club and Eagle Ranch Golf Club are open for the season. Even with more snow this winter than last year, recent warm temperatures have allowed those courses down valley to welcome golfers back to the links.

There’s nothing like jumping into the season with a tournament and Gypsum Creek Golf Club, which opened on March 27, is hosting its Frost Bite two-day men’s tournament (which is sold out) this Saturday and Sunday, so tee times in the mornings are booked up during the tournament, but available in the afternoons.

“A lot of people are doing the ‘ski and tee’ thing, which is skiing and golfing all in one day and we have a great rate in the afternoons starting at 2:30 p.m.,” said Blake Scott, director of golf at the Gypsum Creek Golf Club. Play after 2:30 p.m. for just $34 and that includes a cart. Before 2:30 p.m. it’s still affordable at $45, including the cart.

It’s time to “ski and tee,” where you can ski and golf all in one day! Gypsum Creek and Eagle Ranch Golf Club are open for the season.
Photo Courtesy Gypsum Creek Golf Club

“We’ve already mowed down here and the course is in great shape for this early in the season,” Scott said. The Creekside Grill restaurant is also open seven days a week.

Jeff Boyer, director of golf at Eagle Ranch Golf Club said it was a push to get open last Saturday and that this year’s opening day was three weeks later than the previous three years. “We’re opening later this year just due to the snow cover, but that’s a good thing. Knowing that all this snowpack and moisture will mean water in our rivers and streams, hopefully, less fire danger and good skiing all winter is great for our valley as a whole.

Boyer said that early season conditions exist. “With all the snowmelt, people think the grass wet, but it’s actually dry, so it’s cart-path-only for now,” Boyer said. “The greens are also roped off due to the elk that are wondering down.”

All 18 holes are open as well as the driving range and early season rates are set at $55 for 18 holes, $36 for 9 holes and $36 for 18 holes after 3 p.m. and all rates include the golf cart. To book a tee time, go to

Student-led productions

TEDxYouth@Vail 2019 returns to Battle Mountain High School with the theme, Rise Up, which will sharpen your senses and expand your mind’s reach this Saturday.

This student-led event has been in the works for months and will culminate with two sessions throughout the day. According to the TEDx Vail Facebook page, the first session is entitled “Don’t just Fly, Soar” and focuses on overcoming adversity and finding strength in the community around you. The second session is called “Surpassing Horizons”. Here, speakers will talk about overcoming limitations imposed by themselves and by society. 

In between the two sessions, there will be a break called “intersnacktivity” where snacks and interaction will occur. If you are wondering what’s on the minds of teens these days, here’s where you can hear it first hand. For more information go to

High school students from throughout Eagle County will showcase current topics at this year’s TEDxYouth@Vail event entitled “Rise Up” at Battle Mountain High School on Saturday.
Photo Courtesy TEDxVail

2:30-Registration begins
3:30-Doors open
3:45-4:45-Session 1
6-7:15-Session 2
7:20- 9:15-After Party at Battle Mountain High School, dinner available for purchase.

Have you ever wanted to swap places with someone? That’s what happens in “Freaky Friday” when an overworked mother and teenage daughter magically exchange bodies for a day. The Vail Christian High School’s theater department will showcase this performance this weekend.

“Freaky Friday” is a musical with music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, and a book by Bridget Carpenter based on the original novel by Mary Rodgers and the Disney films. This story follows the mother-daughter duo as they experience life in each other’s shoes, where they come to appreciate one another’s struggles, learn self-acceptance and realize the bond between a mother and a daughter.

Come cheer on the students who have been working hard the past few months getting things ready for the Grace auditorium stage. Check out the show Friday at 7 p.m. Saturday has two showings: 2:30 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. For more information, go to

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