Snow falls on annual Talons Challenge
Vail, CO Colorado
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – There are those who like a good challenge, and there are those who take that challenge to the extreme.
Skiers Bill Dillon, of Colorado Springs, and Andrew Frederick, of Highlands Ranch, decided they were going to tackle Beaver Creek’s seventh annual Talons Challenge, a day of skiing 13 bump runs for a total of more than 24,000 vertical feet, but they were going to do it faster than the other 1,500 skiers and snowboarders attempting the feat.
Dillon and Frederick were ready for Saturday’s event because they had done it three weeks in a row – they wanted to practice their runs so they could get it just right when it mattered.
“We both love skiing,” Dillon said. “Go big or go home.”
The Talons Challenge at Beaver Creek began with about 200 locals and has grown to more than 1,500, with about 70 percent coming from the Front Range.
Dillon was the first person to finish the challenge Saturday, with Frederick right behind him. The men were up early because they were determined to finish first. They parked in the Bear Lot at 7 a.m. and caught the second chair lift of the day up Centennial Express.
By 11:30 a.m., they were finished and ready for beers.
The snow began coming down hard at Beaver Creek around 11 a.m. – it was extra motivation for the hundreds of people trying to complete their 13 runs by the end of the day.
“The snow is energizing,” Frederick said.
Patrick Vandenbroek was attempting Talons Challenge for the first time, and with all the snow coming down, he said he planned to keep skiing after the event.
Beaver Creek recorded 2 inches of new snow by the time Talons Challenge began, and another 2 inches had fallen by the afternoon. Snow may not have been the motivation for many people at Talons Challenge, but it was definitely brightening up the mood.
Nate Frank, of Centennial, was just happy the snow falling down would help cover up some of the rough patches he had seen earlier in the day.
“It’s getting better,” Frank said.
For 10-year-olds Beckett Aizeki and Nate Petersen, from Lafayette, their motivation was simple.
“I want to do 24,000 feet of bumps,” Beckett said.
“Because my dad did it, I wanted to, also,” Petersen said.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@