Ski blog: A day at Keystone |

Ski blog: A day at Keystone

Kelly Miles
Vail CO, Colorado

KEYSTONE, Colorado ” This Sunday, as passes were blacked out in Vail and Beaver Creek for the holidays, my roommate and I decided to make the drive to Keystone. We left Eagle-Vail around 9:30, and it was a 45 minute drive that morning.

When we hit the hill, it was crowded and extremely windy. Even with body armor, fleece and my ultra-warm jacket, I was so cold that we had to stop at The Outpost a couple of times (one was exactly at noon, at which point I felt extremely guilty for drinking) for a beer to warm us up.

However, Dercum Mountain offered us plenty of fun and challenging intermediate runs. We headed up Summit Express lift and hit Mozart, which at least it was on the back side and out of the wind.

Then the Santiago Express took us to Star Fire. Back up top, we then took Spillway, finished on Fox Trot and took the Outback Express up to Wildwoods and hit Bighorn and Porcupine, which take you to The Willows. All in all, not a bad day.

The worst part was coming back down to Keystone. Coming down Spring Dipper, Santa Fe and River Run was near torture. The wind was blowing so hard it was whiteout conditions half the time ” and I very nearly killed myself because of the flat light and snow flying in my face.

Then the fun began. We went to Parrot Eyes and had a couple beers, and actually ran into some friends from Vail who also came down to get some skiing in. And just so everyone knows, the quesadillas there definitely hit the spot.

Our drive back to Vail, however, was decidedly less fun. It took us a full hour to go the 7 miles from Keystone to Interstate 70. Then, add three or four hours to get over Vail Pass. I think we might just have made the cutoff – no one should have been allowed to drive over the pass because the conditions were so horrible.

After between four and five hours of driving, a nice bath was the perfect conclusion to a day away from Vail.

Kelly Miles can be reached at

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