Vail Daily column: How to make it snow |

Vail Daily column: How to make it snow

Richard Carnes
My View
Richard Carnes

Well, I’ve finally figured out the proverbial “it.” After 29 seasons in Happy Valley, I now know how to make it snow.

And by snow, I mean dump. And by dump, I mean DUMP!

All I have to do is leave town.

Last Monday, I drove four Ski & Snowboard Club Vail members to the airport to make a 7 p.m. flight to Reno, Nev. They were going to spend a full week in Squaw Valley for races, and the snow was so thick that afternoon that it took a solid four hours to make it to DIA.

The boys made it onto the plane with barely 15 minutes to spare.

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Since I had quite literally left the valley and the dump began, it should have been my first clue. But no, I’m far too smart to be so easily manipulated.

Two days later we flew out west to join them, having the brilliant foresight to leave early in case another chance for local snow panned out (as it so rarely actually does), causing us to perhaps miss our flight.

We made it in time to watch the Eagle County alerts quickly grow en masse on our phones, and as Vail Pass closed, we patted ourselves on the back for missing the storm, clinging with hope to the meteorological predictions of 2-3 feet of new snow in the Lake Tahoe area over the next 24 hours.

By the time we made it to Squaw Valley, those predictions had dwindled down to an actuality of, oh, around 2-3 inches instead, yet our phones continued to remind us (nag is more like it at this point) of the extreme dumpage occurring back home.

Stupid Eagle County alerts.

So there we were, in one of the most dramatically beautiful ski areas in the world, smack in the middle of their worst drought in 30 years, while back home they (you guys) were enjoying the best snow in 30 years.

Yet what made it all suddenly worthwhile?

Two words: Tamara McKinney.

Yep, the winner of four World Cup season titles, including the 1983 overall, has lived in Squaw Valley most of her life and spent the majority of her limited free time entertaining little ol’ us.

Even though apologizing for the severe lack of snow (as if she were somehow responsible), Tamara had obviously completely forgotten about the time I checked her in at the old Vail Westin back in 1985 when she was in town for the American Ski Classic.

Even though a highly accomplished front desk assistant manager at the time, apparently I don’t always leave the impression I think I do.

Anyway, while you people were busy enjoying fresh powder measured in feet and posting pictures on Facebook of your patio furniture, we were thoroughly entertained by Tamara (along with our KSL hosts, who happens to own Squaw but lives in Vail) to the point that the dearth of snow coverage was a mere anecdotal side issue, no more important than who wins the stupid friggin’ Super Bowl.

But either way, I can’t wait for the first bozo to say, “Hey Dick, when are you gonna leave town again so we can have another dump? HAHAHAHA HAHA!”

Yep, I just can’t wait, you people are hilarious.

And as for the snow itself, you are very welcome.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a weekly column. He can be reached at

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