Time machine: 50 years ago, a memorable photo from a Vail Mountain ‘hotdog’ contest | VailDaily.com

Time machine: 50 years ago, a memorable photo from a Vail Mountain ‘hotdog’ contest

10 years ago

Feb. 21, 2013

The Eagle County Planning Commission approved a plan to develop 600 residences and 135,000 square feet of commercial space in Wolcott, the Vail Daily reported. The planning commission voted 4-3 to recommend that the county commissioners approve the project, which required moving U.S. Highway 6 closer to Interstate 70.

“Most of the homes are proposed to be around 2,000 square feet and be moderately priced,” the Vail Daily reported. “When it’s completed, Wolcott would be home to around 2,000 people.”

Commissioner Greg Moffet was among those to vote against the project, saying it is a new town, not a subdivision, and it has the potential to corrode existing communities.

20 years ago

Feb. 22, 2003

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Vail and Beaver Creek celebrated “Sustainable Slopes Day,” a day aimed at recognizing the National Ski Areas Association’s environmental charter for ski areas, a voluntary document that outlined the industry’s commitment to a set of environmental values.

The charter was completed in 2000, when it acknowledged the issue of climate change and “pointed the way for resorts,” the Vail Trail reported.

Holy Cross Energy distributed information about its Wind Pioneer Program, which allowed homeowners and purchasers of electricity to buy wind blocks instead of energy from coal power; The Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability provided tips on how people can make their homes more environmentally friendly; SkiCarpool.com had representatives on had to talk about their website, and the Gore Range Natural Science School led “ski with a naturalist” tours on Vail Mountain.

A photo from the Feb. 26, 1993 edition of the Vail Trail shows a sign over Interstate 70 following a massive avalanche on Vail Pass which buried four cars.
Vail Daily archive

30 years ago

Feb. 26, 1993

A weather event that the Vail Trail called “the mother of all snowfalls” beset Vail and the Eagle River Valley, affecting stranded motorists and small towns like Red Cliff which had trouble dealing with all the snow.

“We haven’t seen snow like this since 1983-84,” said Don Fessler, Eagle County’s road bridge director.

In Red Cliff, plows had trouble manipulating the town’s narrow roadways, and cars were plowed in, leaving their owners to dig them out. An avalanche on Vail Pass buried four cars and halted traffic for “the better part of a day last weekend,” Vail Trail writer Scott Willoughby wrote in a Feb. 26, 1993 story. “The average snow base atop the mountain on today’s date over the last 30 years is 71 inches, with a maximum of 98 inches in 1968. This year, the base is up to 93. In the winter of 1983-84, remembered by many as the last big winter in the state, the base was only 89 inches on this date.”

40 years ago

Feb. 25, 1983

Vail Associates approved $2 million in capital improvement projects for Vail and Beaver Creek, the Vail Trail reported, including the expansion into Larkspur Bowl with a new lift at Beaver Creek, and the replacement of the Hunky Dory Lift (No. 3) on Vail Mountain.

“Located opposite the Birds of Prey runs, Chair 11 will take skiers 1,530 vertical feet to the top of McCoy Ridge, at an elevation of 10,370 feet,” the Vail Trail reported. “The new expansion will open up another 90 to 115 acres of ski terrain, most of it an open, deep powder area in Larkspur Bowl.”

The Chair 3 replacement on Vail Mountain sought to replace the 1964 double chair with a triple chair, the Trail reported.

“Construction on both chairlifts is expected to begin in late May or early June and planners hope to have them ready for the 1983-84 ski season,” the Vail Trail reported. “The old Chair 3 lift will be torn down with the triple lift following the same alignment, said Mike Larson, a VA mountain planner.”

Photographer Jonathan Rawle captured this image of Pete Nelson upside down in the air with one ski attached, the other launching into space, which ran in the Feb. 23, 1973 edition of the Vail Trail.
Vail Daily archive

50 years ago

Feb. 23, 1973

A freestyle and aerials contest took place on Vail Mountain, the Vail Trail reported.

Vail resident Stewart Green won the combined men’s title, and a “hotdog” contest took place, in which John Murphy won the aerials portion of the contest.

Photographer Jonathan Rawle captured a memorable image of Pete Nelson upside down in the air with one ski attached, the other launching into space.

60 years ago

Feb. 28, 1963

The February snow and water survey compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Soil Conservation Service said snow cover on the main stem of the Colorado River is roughly half of what it should be, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

“Much above normal snow must fall in this area during the next three months to even produce normal runoff,” the Enterprise reported. “Deficient soil moisture also adds gloom to the picture. All moisture stations indicate less moisture than normal except in the Vail Pass area.”

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