Vail ends season on a high note as Closing Day revelers take to the slopes
But some lifts closed early
There was no detonation of explosives atop the mountain this year, but an air horn got the job done. Vail Mountain skiers, snowboards and staffers celebrated a successful season on Sunday, Vail’s Closing Day.
A large crowd gathered atop Chair 4 to join in the revelry, as is commonplace at Vail, and when the air horn blew, the mountain staffers began clearing out the crowds.
Local skier Sean Delaney said he was glad to comply after enjoying Vail’s traditional atmosphere atop the mountain.
Delaney then skied Riva Ridge down the mountain and celebrated one of his own traditions. He stopped at the tree where his grandfather’s ashes were scattered and thanked his grandfather for everything he did to lead him to that spot on Closing Day, healthy and on his skis.
Others weren’t able to make it up the mountain as planned. Some were disappointed to see their favorite chairs close early as lifts 2, 3, 4, 6 and 11 closed at 2:30 p.m. Vail Mountain did not send out a Closing Day news release this year to let skiers and snowboarders know what to expect on Closing Day.
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Celebrating the season at the the top of Chair 4, Sava Tshontikidis, of Summit County, said he was glad he made it up the lift in time to meet his friends. He promptly lost them once he got up there.
“I’m having a blast,” he said.
Tshontikidis practiced snowskate tricks at the top of the mountain while waiting to reunite with his group.
Skiing with one leg, Patrick Halgren departed the scene atop the mountain skiing switch. Halgren lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. Halgren trains out of Winter Park and is hopeful to make the next Paralympics as a ski racer.
“But I love freestyle, too,” he said.
Vail ended the season with 233 inches of total snow on the season, a far cry from the 350 inches the mountain has called average in recent years, but enough coverage to finish with good conditions at the top of the mountain.
Bob and Teri Abrams are from Chicago but trying to spend more time in Vail. They said they were thankful to be in town this season at the Closing Day festivities, shutting down the mountain with the locals.
Bob Abrams wore a button of Pepi Gramshammer on his vest.
“I love this place,” he said.
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