| VailDaily.com

Pedestrian hit by a car in Avon, taken to hospital

A male driving an SUV ran into a female pedestrian Tuesday afternoon at the Avon intersection of East Hurd Lane and Avon Road. The injured woman was conscious when emergency personnel arrived on scene, according to Avon Police Chief Greg Daly, and left in an ambulance.

The male driver of the vehicle cooperated with police when they arrived on the scene and was released. Charges are pending.

Daly said the driver was heading westbound on East Hurd Lane and came to a full stop at the intersection and looked left before pulling out. The driver told police he didn’t see the pedestrian to his right.

“He hit the pedestrian and she went down to the ground,” Daly said.

A passerby who happens to be a nurse came to the pedestrian’s aid to provide emergency care and get the injured woman into a recovery position, Daly said. Another person with medical training who was driving by also stopped to help.

Daly said the department is currently investigating the accident by taking photos and measurements of the accident scene and talking to witnesses before making a decision on charges.

This story will be updated as more details become available.

Right lane of eastbound I-70 in East Vail now open

The right lane of eastbound Interstate 70 that was blocked at mile marker 181 in East Vail is now open.

Mikaela Shiffrin rules World Cup downhill in Bulgaria for her first win in 2020

Mikaela Shiffrin had gone nearly a whole month — insert overly-dramatic sound effects here — without winning on the World Cup tour, so, naturally, she burst back into the win column on Friday with a downhill victory by winning the Val d’Isere, France, downhill in Bansko, Bulgaria.

Shiffrin finished in 1 minute, 29.79 seconds, 0.18 seconds ahead of Itay’s Federica Brignone and Switzerland’s Joana Haehlen (0.23 seconds) in a downhill rescheduled from Val d’Isere last month.

Ironically, Shiffrin withdrew from the original Val d’Isere downhill because that came on the heels of a 17th-place finish in giant slalom in Courchevel, France, to hit the pause button on her season. Said downhill ended up getting snowed out twice in France.

While fans are used to Shiffrin winning World Cups — this is her 65th career win and fifth in 2019-20 — it’s only the second time she’s won in downhill (Lake Louise, Alberta, on Dec. 1, 2017).

“I was really excited about this track and the challenges in it,” Shiffrin told The Associated Press. “It’s not easy. It’s a little bit scary. At the start, I was like, ‘OK, you got to get tough now.’ It’s for sure a nice track for me.”

Big points

What originally seemed like a trip to Bulgaria to pad her overall lead in her quest for a fourth consecutive World Cup championships by participating in speed events this weekend became a bit more serious when Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova also entered training on Thursday.

Shiffrin led Vlhova in the overall, 925-726, going into Friday’s race. Vlhova, who had only competed in one World Cup downhill in her career (17th, Are, Sweden, in 2018), finished sixth on Friday, an excellent result for the Slovakian better known for her tech skills.

Nonetheless, Shiffrin gained 60 points on Vlhova and 20 on Brignone, who surged past the Slovakian into second. For the statistically inclined, Shiffrin now leads the table with 1,075 points, followed by Brignone (795) and Vlhova (766).

One sleeps better, we assume, on what is nearly a three-race lead.

While the overall championship is doubtless the goal, Shiffrin also pulled into second place in the downhill standings with 206 points behind Switzerland’s Corinne Sutter (243). It sounds a little silly — Shiffrin competing for a downhill globe — but the ladies are racing in another downhill in Bansko on Saturday.

Post-race breakdown

Via FIS SoundCloud, Shiffrin busted up the post-race news conference, when the Bulgarian host asked her about Saturday’s downhill.

“I thought tomorrow was slalom,” Shiffrin deadpanned. “Just kidding.”

On a serious note, it’s been quite an adjustment for Shiffrin from technical skiing back to downhill. Consider that she last raced the discipline on Dec. 6-7.

“The last time I was on my downhill skis was in Lake Louise, so it felt like a really long time ago. I felt a little bit strange on my skis yesterday (during training),” she said. “It’s hard to make the turns so long. I’m normally doing slalom and GS turns … It’s a little bit strange only to have now just two runs of downhill since early December. I wasn’t expecting this today and I’m not expecting it tomorrow.”

That said, Bansko seems like a fit for Shiffrin. As she has slowly expanded into speed events, she’s been meticulous in selecting the sites for her forays. Lake Louise is a mellow track and also conveniently scheduled early in the season.

St. Moritz and Crans-Montana in Switzerland have slowly been added through the years as has Cortina, Italy. By the way, this spring’s World Cup finals and next year’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championships are in Cortina. (Doubtless, Cortina making Shiffrin’s cut in not a coincidence.)

Bansko, though not an annual stop on the tour, also may get added to that list. The Bulgarian resort has hosted the women’s World Cup in 2009, 2012 and 2015 — Lindsey Vonn won super-Gs there the first two years — and has a reputation as a technical track.

Technical is ski-speak for a speed course with more turns — which just happens to be a Shiffrin specialty — and was targetted by Shiffrin’s coaching staff.

“This hill is pretty challenging and it’s prepared amazing,” Shiffrin said. “It’s for sure the most technical hill on the speed circuit. I was looking forward to coming here because that maybe suits me a bit better than some of the other typical speed tracks.”

Shiffrin will compete in Saturday’s, ahem, downhill, followed by Sunday’s super-G.

Snow in forecast for Vail all weekend

(2:06 p.m.): Snow is in the forecast for Vail and surrounding areas all weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

There is a 70% chance of precipitation starting after 3:00 p.m. Friday, with stormy conditions expected to continue throughout the evening.

Saturday afternoon shows a 30% chance of precipitation, which will carry on into the evening. Sunday will be a similar scenario, with a 40% chance of snow in the afternoon and 20% in the evening.

Varying temperatures will play a factor in the type of precipitation that falls. Areas of lower elevation are expected to be in the thirties all weekend, creating high hopes for those hitting the slopes.

3-6 inches of total accumulation is expected, according to OpenSnow.com.

Avalanche advisory issued for Vail, Summit County through Presidents Day weekend

Heavy snowfall and gusting winds this week have presented very dangerous avalanche conditions for the higher elevations in Colorado.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has issued an avalanche watch from Thursday morning until Monday for Vail, Summit County and other mountainous regions across Colorado. Avalanche danger near and above tree line will be high through the weekend. The center advises people to avoid traveling on or under avalanche terrain throughout this time.

“Any avalanche that you trigger or that occurs naturally will be large and destructive,” the center’s website warns.

In the past decade, 113 people have died in Colorado from avalanches, according to reports from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

The center has documented two avalanche deaths across the state since the start of the year.

To warn people about avalanche dangers, the center collects reports from the public about incidents that occur, divided into regions.

In 2019, Vail and Summit County have had 76 reports of avalanche sightings so far.


Avalanches vary based on the snow and weather conditions. There are nine types of avalanches in all. After this week’s heavy snow storms, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center lists storm slab avalanches as the likeliest form to occur.

They happen when a layer of new, unstable snow — a slab — slides over the old snow surface. Such slabs can be difficult to identify because the surface of the snow is often soft and powder-packed.

Storm slab avalanches can occur naturally and without warning because the base snow layer can adapt to a certain amount of additional weight from new snow.

But a sudden increase in that weight, such as the dense snowfall from this week’s storms, can cause instabilities and massive slides.

Avalanche education and reporting helps keep you safe

When reporting avalanches, any information is better than none at all. People should at least describe the elevation at which the incident occurred and offer a general size of the avalanche. Including pictures in a report can be especially helpful in filling any gaps in the observation.

Daniel Edmiston teaches avalanche safety classes through Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs. He offers four basic, Level I courses and one Level 2 course each year. He shows people how to recognize and avoid avalanche dangers, as well as what to do if one occurs.

When it comes to the backcountry, he said that being educated could mean the difference between life and death.

“Ninety percent of people caught in avalanches are caught because they triggered them or someone in their party did,” Edmiston said. “It can be a preventable circumstance.”

Marijuana banking proposal gets first-ever hearing in U.S. House committee

A proposal to open banking and financial services to marijuana businesses in states that have legalized marijuana got its first-ever hearing in a U.S.House committee Wednesday, making Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter optimistic about its chances.

“We’ve been introducing a version of this bill for almost six years, since Colorado by initiative legalized recreational marijuana,” Perlmutter, a prime sponsor of the proposal, said in a call with reporters.

But the bill failed to get a hearing when the House was controlled by the Republican Party.

Perlmutter and his fellow Democrat and co-sponsor, Rep. Denny Heck of Washington, said the measure has the support of Republican Reps. Warren Davidson of Ohio and Steve Stivers, both of Ohio.

The draft bill would allow banks and other financial institutions to serve marijuana businesses in states where the businesses are legal. Federal banking regulators couldn’t discourage, prohibit or penalize the banks for serving legitimate marijuana businesses.

Read the full story via The Denver Post. 

Rocky Mountain Tacos is a hotspot for juicy tacos, steaming burritos and tasty salsas

Editor’s note: This story first ran as a paid feature in EAT magazine.

There are few places in the Vail Valley where you can score a meal for less than $10, much less one that features made-from-scratch, fresh ingredients. It’s no mystery why Rocky Mountain Taco, a food truck located next to the Vail Brewing Company in EagleVail, has become a hotspot for juicy tacos, steaming burritos and tasty salsas.

Three years after opening its windows, Rocky Mountain Taco has been named Best Burrito, Best Mexican, Best Takeout, Best Worker’s Lunch and Best Festival or Event Food in the Vail Daily’s Best of Vail polls. Owners Dan Purtell, Chris McGinnis and Jose Reza met in the kitchen of another local restaurant, where they had long dreamed of opening a food truck. Purtell is particularly proud of the truck’s popularity among the local Hispanic community. That mark of legitimacy is partly thanks to Reza’s wife, Noemi, who shared home recipes from Chihuahua, Mexico, for everything from the marinade for the carne asada to salsas for the truck’s menu.

Don’t miss the Alambre, featuring a trifecta of grilled steak, crispy bacon and chorizo, or the pork carnitas, which are slow cooked for a full day before being paired with avocado and tangy pico de gallo. Vegetarians aren’t left out, either, with the shockingly satisfying Hippie Crack, a nod to Purtell and McGinnis’ southern California skate park roots, featuring potatoes, a medley of grilled peppers and spicy crema sauce. Besides their brewery digs, check out their second location at the Westin Riverfront bus stop, the perfect place to grab a breakfast burrito before hopping onto the gondola.