Vail Valley Voices: Ode to Chair 5 | VailDaily.com
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Vail Valley Voices: Ode to Chair 5

Vail Daily staffVail, CO, Coloradonewsroom@vaildaily.com

Editor’s note: Alas, we lost track of the author’s name in moving this ode from e-mail into our news system. But still thought we should share anyway.The end of an era is here,they say you are old and creaky.You’re too slow and you can’t keep up.Some people get cranky when they have to wait for you,the virtue of patience being long lost.You have been Vail Mountain’s heart and soulfor almost a half century,a revolving witness to ever-changing trends.You’ve seen leather boots turn into plastic.Stretch pants and suspenders gave way to baggy pants with half-moons.Colors went from boring brown to flashy neon to sporty pastels.Skis morphed from tall & skinny to short & fat.Snow Bunnies turned into Cougars.You started out as a double in the sixties,then became a triple in the seventies while attracting skiers from around the world.Snowboarders joined in on the fun in the eighties,and you survived a terrorist attack in the nineties.Yes, you’ve weathered many a storm over the years.Wind, snow, raging blizzard mattered not,you always delivered us back to the top.Even when those lunatics set your scalp on fire,you bounced right back and kept on turning.”High Noon” was your name, and dependability was your game.You were famous, yet humble,your leisurely pace a welcome respite for our burning quads.The “Panty Tree” is legendary, the terrain you serve remarkable,for High Noon Ridge is the backbone of the mountain.You gave us the “Vortex,” a synchronous meeting of chairs 11 and 111 at tower 11,each and every time around the bullwheels.To sit in the “Observatory” (chair 12) and watch this unfold gave one a sense of belonging,a feeling of being exactly where you were supposed to be, precisely when you were supposed to be there.Ah, to be a part of the Chair 5 family, to be “home.”Your “Lifties” have always been the best and the friendliest,grasping and swinging your chairs to kiss our buttocks just right.They toiled with a vigor and pride not seen anywhere else,surely inspired by your status and grace.A sad spring day it is when they will push the red button for the last time.And what of “Forever Man”?What must he think of your demise?Will he shed a tear? Or is he indifferent? Or happy?Will he disappear, just like you, never to be seen again?Doubtful.He’ll be there still, riding your replacement, speeding up the hill to rip another run,red gaiters firmly in place.So, iconic Chair 5, as you fall victim to “progress” in this high-speed world,go knowing that you leave us with more than a little regret.We appreciate your service and your history.You will be missed,and you will be fondly remembered … Forever.”One Chairlift … 20 Towers … 174 Chairs … 2 Bowls … 1,850 Vertical Feet … 1,000s of Powder Days … One Everlasting Perma-Grin”


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