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Vail X-mas week

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Headed out to Vail with Mrs. Bazzer and Bazzer Jr. on Dec. 20th.
Dropped Mrs. B. with friends in Denver, and hit the interstate with Jr., (aka The Kid, 15 years old.) High winds and blowing snow made the ride west a bit more exciting than I generally care for, but we did get a very close look at some big-horn sheep and eventually made it into town in good shape.

Local scuttlebutt is that many lifts are closed due to high winds, so The Kid and I head to the market and stock the pantry, then head to our ritual arrival meal at Bart and Yeti’s. B&Y is a traditional first night stop for The Kid and I, and an almost sacrosanct part of our ANNUAL FATHER AND SON NINJA SKI MISSION FROM GOD. I MUST order ribs, and The Kid MUST have Chicken Parmesan. Unbeknownst to us, there have been substantial changes to the bill of fare at B&Y’s, and the aforementioned CP is no longer on the menu. No CP? That’s like going to Communion and being given sesame rice cakes and soda pop. Not that it’s bad, but definitely not in keeping with the spirit of the ritual. Minor confusion and dismay results in The Kid ordering ribs, but subsequent chat with our new bestest buddy Maldy, one of the B&Y honchos, results in his promise that should we return the following evening, they will make CP for The Kid. Thus assuaged, we chow down, head back to the lodge, hang with a gang of South Africans who are working there for the season, then try and get some sleep while contemplating our upcoming first turns of the season. Late call to Mrs. Bazzer finds her drunk and happy in Denver. The Kid is even more excited than usual, as he’s got his first pair of boots (Atomic Hawk,)
so can’t wait to see how much nicer they’ll be than the rentals he’s been in all of his life. I too will be sporting my new boots, (Falcon 10’s,) and though hopeful, am pretty certain that I’ll be facing a few days of pain or at the least, some major discomfort until they are broken in and tweaked a bit.

The Kid and I catch first chair as soon as the lifts open. (Our usual habit.) Wind has died down, and a few warm up runs have us feeling almost like skiers. We lap the Avanti lift a few times, then drop into Game Creek for a while until patrol drops the rope into Sundown Bowl. Dang! What a blast! Tremendous soft snow! Big fluffy bumps that even I can look good skiing! Got to the #5 chair that there’s not even a line! Could be heaven. Skiing is so good that we blow off any break for hot chocolate, and truck our way around the back bowls until hunger demands a stop for lunch/fuel around 2:00. Post-lunch bloat and a longish lift-line at chair 11 slows us up, and we gradually make our way back to the bottom, call it a day, catch our bus, and head back to the lodge. It’s not until we get back “home” that I realize that it’s only now, at 5:00, as I’m taking off my boots, that I’ve not made a single adjustment to them since buckling up 8 ½ hours earlier. Amazing. Same goes for The Kid. We head off to the lobby and chill a while with our new South African buddies, then head off to B&Y’s. True to his word, Maldy and the chef have stocked up on the promised goods, and The Kid gets his CP for dinner. All seems right in our little corner of the world.

Little do we know, but things will soon get much better. They will however, get much worse as well.

Second day on the hill is similar to the first; hero snow, lots of deep stashes in the trees, short-to-nil lift-lines. Just add one old friend from Denver and her drop-dead gorgeous, kind, funny, almost-21-year-old daughter and her snowboard steeze. Happy hour at Larkspur leads to a hook-up with my old friend Dave, now in his 27th season as a Vail instructor. Plans are made for further turns and beers. I decided that the new Falcon 10’s are most definitely keepers, so I head off to a favorite shop and arrange for over-night canting job. (The local shop where I purchased the boots does not plane soles.) While in the shop, I meet a Bear, real name Rolando. He was getting foamed into a new pair of Technica plug boots, and despite his obvious discomfort, was more than personable. His wife was much happier looking at the time as she was playing with an insufferably cute Spaniel puppy. Thanks to you both for sharing some of the delightful adult beverage that you had on hand.

Third day found The Kid sleeping in for a bit. Both of us take a while to acclimate to altitude, and neither one of us sleeps well. As a long time insomniac, I’m used to this, so am at the lifts when they open. I hook up with SkiNebraski and his posse at around 10:00; the first of several Epic Bears that I’d made tentative plans to meet. Initial impression is that this young dude sure knows how to dress well. A chair-lift ride later I find out that he can ski well too. Unfortunately, I walk out of my binding during my first run with Ski and his mob, so am glad to catch up with them before they abandon me. Alas, The Kid calls me on my cell; so I only get the chance to make a few runs with Ski, point him in the general direction of Genghis Kahn, and then head off to the front side to be Daddy. More soft snow and heroic displays of athleticism ensue. Raw fish for dinner.

Day 4. Powder day. The Kid gets involuntary ski school. I get face shots. The Kid has a blast, hucks small cliffs, and asks politely to return the following day. I acquiesce.

Day 5. Bad stuff: Santa leaves a lump of coal in The Kid’s stocking. He awakes with a toothache. Decides to take the day off and see what develops. More evil to come.

Good Stuff: Bear Invasion. Hook up with CoSkiGirl, Stroller, Mr. Stroller, and the elder Strollerette. Continued wonderfulness. Solid skiers all. Delightful companions too. More hero snow. Great turns in bumps, bowls, trees, crud, and powder stashes. Mrs. Bazzer arrives from Denver. Share Jameson’s and wine with CoSkiGirl.

The Kid’s face starts to swell. Dose with Advil, and Ambisol.

Day 6. The Kid is swelling worse. Call to local friend yields saint of a dentist who accepts our emergency call and Mrs. B. takes The Kid for a visit. Powder day for Daddy. Epic skiing. I leave the hill early to relieve Mrs. B. I hang out with The Kid and Mrs. B. takes a long walk and hits the gym for a few hours. Chicken soup made by Daddy Bazzer in the lodge for dinner. Oh yeah, add some Jamison’s.

The Kid is given serious meds that eliminate all hill time. Pain dulled by meds, but chief concern is to reduce swelling prior to root canal procedure. Worst-case scenario is infection spreading to his brain but fast response to initial signs/symptoms should prevent this. Do Not add any Jamison’s.

Day 7. More Bears roaming. Hooked up with DonDenver and Betsy. Superb skiers, (bordering on bullet-proof,) wonderful people, and delightful company. Day of great skiing only improves when we were joined by CoSkiGirl during lunch break at Two Elk. Overcast day offered us a glimpse of late afternoon sunshine so we dropped into China Bowl for a few laps. I choose a particularly inopportune moment to walk out of my binding again while straight-lining through heavy snow upon reaching the flats at the bottom of the bowl. DonDenver caught the incident on his camera, and even though I managed to stay upright on one ski, I’m glad that he did not post the shot in his TR. That was not one of my stellar moments.

Back to the lodge a bit early to relieve Mrs. B. She’s off to dodge traffic and make her way to the gym again, then get a massage by some guy with an umlaut somewhere in his surname. The Kid’s swelling has stabilized, and he’s doped to the gills. Fuel up on affordable and tasty Tex-Mex in Avon. The Kid chews on the left side.

Day 8. My aforementioned friend Dave is booked for a private lesson, so he sent his 18 year-year-old son I__ out to ski with me. I__ and I take the grand tour, and the little SOB skis sweet lines switch better than I do forwards. If he were not so pleasant, kind, considerate, encouraging, and in all ways cool, I’d hate him. Another grand day.

Après finds us in the company of a young Argentine student named Gabriel, who’s the dearest cousin of an uncle of one of Mrs. B.’s best friends from the past 8 months. He’s just finished his second shift of the season as a valet in the Golden Peak lot, is cold, hungry, tired, and open to the concept of a free meal and the sounds of home. Mrs. B. yelling at him in NYC Spanish that he should call his mother, and a serving of chicken wings and rare beef seem to cure his ills, so we then we carted him off to his housing unit before returning to our lodge, drinking a bit of Jamison’s with the South Africans, and passing out.

Day 9. Mrs. B. pulled the duty last time, so I take The Kid to an 8:00 AM appointment with a saintly endodontist in Edwards. Dr. _____ gives The Kid an okay to fly, suggests that The Kid would be best served by being treated at home, and sends us on our way. WFC.

Drop The Kid at the lodge, and head off to the hill.

10:00 AM at the base of Lionshead. Now I understand what everyone is talking about when they complain about the crowds at Vail. Never been down at the base at this hour. Guess that there’s some truth to the old sayings; “You snooze, you lose”, and “The early bird catches the worm.” Ditto the name of one of the “Expert” runs at Snowmass, AMF. Eventually make my way to the lift, get to the top, and proceed to have another day of stellar conditions, hero snow, and major league turns.

Drive back to Denver on a blue-sky day. Other than the fact that radio reception is sketchy, all else is fine. The Kid’s facial swelling has started to recede, so the TSA folk will recognize his likeness on his learner’s permit, and allow him to board his flight home.

The Bazzer clan made a final stop at the commodious abode of a pair of old friends who reside in Golden. My buddy Dan, El Queso Grande of said abode, decided that we might like to pay a visit to a legendary tourist trap that The Kid and I had only dreamed of. As long time South Park fans, The Kid and I had of course heard of the mystical place known as Casa Bonita, but could not in our wildest dreams hope that such a place could in fact exist.

Woe be unto ye of little faith. There is in fact such a place. It is indeed, as so eloquently stated by Eric Cartman, truly, “The Disney World Of Mexican Restaurants.” If you do not know of this place of which I speak, then don’t bother to pay a visit. However, if you seek the most elaborate, overblown, Fat-Elvis, pseudo-Vegas extravaganza of cheesy kid-friendly entertainment, really, really bad clowns, mediocre Tex-Mex food, and something that you’ll remember for the rest of your days, then you owe it to yourself to stop by this gargantuan clip joint on Colfax Avenue in Denver. Aside from what I paid for my wife’s wedding band 22 years ago, the $12.95 that I spent for a meal at Casa Bonita may well have been the wisest investment that I’ve ever made. Of course, I could be wrong about that.

Cheers, and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year to all,
Bazzer.

Postscript:
The Kid paid a visit to a local endodontist on the day we returned home. He was pain free, and regained his normal facial appearance in time to head out for our local New Years Bacchanalia. Yesterday he was granted his clearance to begin playing lacrosse for his first season on the varsity team. He will of course wear a mouth guard.

Crowd at the bus stop
http://i470.photobucket.com/albums/r...-12-26-001.jpg

Betsy in BSB
http://i470.photobucket.com/albums/r...-12-26-003.jpg

http://i470.photobucket.com/albums/r...-12-26-004.jpg

DonDenver in BSB
http://i470.photobucket.com/albums/r...-12-26-005.jpg
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Dang. Botched adding the photos. I'll try again later.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Crowd at the bus stop


Betsy in BSB


http://i470.photobucket.com/albums/r...-12-26-004.jpg

DonDenver in BSB
post #4 of 11
Tell your boy he is not alone!! I have a tooth that goes nuts everytime I come to Colorado. I just started bringing meds and pain killers pre-emptively. Even a few weeks ago.... slight pain, amox + vicoden = hucking big gaps on blacks I would usually not do.... maybe I will knock the tooth out!!

Good report but post more pics.
post #5 of 11
Nice trip!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Good report but post more pics.[/quote]

Sorry about the scarcity of photos, but I was having too much fun skiing to stop and shoot. I don’t get that many ski-days each year, and am loath to miss out on any hill time. It takes a bit of time and planning to make ski images that I’m proud of, along with the cooperation of my subjects/companions. Unless I head out to the hill with the goal of making photographs, I’d rather just spend my day making turns. Now that I’m posting here on Epic, I’ll try and make more images on future trips as I know how much the Bears enjoy trip reports with photos. Following are another pair of shots made of some friends making their emphatic entrances to Sundown Bowl’s Seldom run via a small cornice on Ptarmigan Ridge.



post #7 of 11
In reference of Brazzer quoting my dress style, he might be confusing me with my riding buddy, who looks like a giant candy cane.

(before hiking the windows at breck) Me on the left, the rest are the Nebraska crew that I ride with. Might I add that he wears that stupid American bandanna flag print quite often.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey SkiNebraski.
I was not being facetious when I wrote about your dress stylin'. Gray attire did in fact look slick, warm, & comfortable. Buddy in the candy cane togs makes it easy to find y'all on the hill.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazzer View Post
Hey SkiNebraski.
I was not being facetious when I wrote about your dress stylin'. Gray attire did in fact look slick, warm, & comfortable. Buddy in the candy cane togs makes it easy to find y'all on the hill.
I didn't take your comment to be facetious, its just any chance to show off my buddies ridiculous costume that he calls his ski outfit I have to take.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiNebraski View Post
In reference of Brazzer quoting my dress style, he might be confusing me with my riding buddy, who looks like a giant candy cane.

(before hiking the windows at breck) Me on the left, the rest are the Nebraska crew that I ride with. Might I add that he wears that stupid American bandanna flag print quite often.

I’m thinking Candy Cane rocks Seriously. That’s some confident fustylun. I’ve also got a sense that your crew skis with the pins pulled from their pocket grenades. PM me when you guys are back in and see if we can meet up [unless Bazzer posts back I’m crazy in doing so]. If anything I’ve got to ditch my brown look further above and have Mr. Cane give me a makeover
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey DonDenver.
You most certainly do want to hook up with SkiNebraski and his crew when they get back to the Rockies. Only got a few runs and lift rides in with the gang, but all were good company and solid skiers/riders. You'll have a blast together. Don't know about about sking with the grenade pins pulled, but they probably do cut their own fuses.
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