Letter: Lift Vail beyond the numbers

I love Vail, and I have skied over 230 ski resorts — Vail is one of my all-time favorites. What I don’t love is referencing Vail’s lifts by their numbers, not their names. Why refer to specific lifts by mere digits versus their much more intriguing, descriptive names?

Seriously, are we in such a hurry that we can’t pronounce “Northwoods” instead of 11? Perhaps I have abbreviation fatigue, but I’d rather meet you at Mountaintop than Chair 4. To me, a ski journalist at, the lift names lend such character to each place on the mountain. Game Creek, I’m game (Chair 7 — huh?). Sun Up, sounds fun (No. 9 — that’s Ted Williams number). I understand the lift numbers mark their installment, but they have all since been upgraded.

Vail has tremendous legacy. Give Pete and Earl their due, don’t just dub their honorary lifts No. 39 and No. 38. Let patrol, liftees and lift ops have their expedient numeration if necessary, but for the skiing public — let’s revere Vail’s unique flavor. If the mantra is “No like place on Earth” then let us not be so basic as to call these impressive lifts with mundane numbers like many ski areas do. An epic ski day at Vail spans from Outer Mongolia to Sun Down by High Noon, not 22 to 5. Debate amongst yourselves — I’m skiing to Skyline.

Heather Burke

St. Augustine, Florida

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