Is there anything better than skiing with your three closest ski buds and getting dumped on for three days? Maybe being at Vail and having all that apres-ski activity and free concerts just adds to the collective experience. If you have been there you know what I'm talking about.
I had moved south to Florida back in '03, so this was the first meeting of all the Hog Squad charter members since '03.....I had been stoked about this trip for several weeks and had been praying for freshies, I had been shutout in January with one of the other members!
While the first couple of days are a bit of a blur from too much fun, we had sun, some snow, not much and more sun. Then when we woke up on Wednesday morning we see on the Denver weather that they are forecasting some kind of major system shaping up to our south. SWWEEETTT!!!!!
Well, it didn't start quite as predicted, it was taking its time. Though the storm watch was for 9AM that morning, it didn't start coming down until 9PM. Okay, the storm didn't know!
So Vail reports 4" Thursday morning so I decide to try out my old Volkl Snow Rangers, I just had Troy's mount up some Railflex II plates on them as the original 1995 Markers were just plain old. What a great time for these skis, I hadn't been on them since '03. They outskied everything on the mountain that day, as the new snow covered up some rather firm snow underneath.
By now you prolly had seen on the national news that the foothills west of Denver were getting slammed, while it was just snowing in Vail. Yeah, we were starting to get worried that we were TOO FAR WEST?
Friday morning Vail reports 5", but places to our east already have 1-2 feet of the white stuff and it is just starting to really blow. Conditions were sweet though, Vail always seems to make conservative reports and today was no different. I did some solo skiing as my bros were 'slow' to respond, no one ruins my karma on a powder morning! Prolly hucked over 10k of vertical before my cell started going off. Blue Sky Basin was the call, so by 10:30 or so the crew arrived for some tree skiing and powder lines. Quite a day, including Steep & Deep, Lover's Leap and spots I really don't know the names of. Seems my buddy Pete likes this part of the mountain, maybe it has something to do with the name of the lift over there. LOL
Friday night was the REAL party in town. Chris Isaacs was on the card, it was quite a show. Even managed to smoke my first cigar of the week during the show. We cruised off to Vendettas and it was jumping as usual, even got three bar stools at the bar. WOW!!! My recently divorced bud Pete scored his next date. Good for him, he had just survived prostate surgery back in December and was in good form. God bless him! I think '09 is HIS year.
I failed to mention that when we came off the mountain 80 miles of I-70 were closed between Vail and Evergreen. Yeah baby!!! Now we're talking.
Saturday is the day!!! I-70 is still closed, though Vail is saying only 2" of fresh, it is really coming down.
I'm suppose to catch a 11AM CME shuttle for a 2:30 flight, but I'm thinking NOT!!! Call Continental and sit on hold for 15 minutes while the coffee is brewing. I get documented about the weather, but with United cancelling everything there are NO flights until Monday. SWEET!!! Pete is keeping my condo for an extra day so that is covered. CME can't leave or guarantee anything, and who wants to do a death march to miss a flight. I'm skiing all day!!!
THE BEST 2" I'VE EVER SKIED!!!!!!!! First run down Powerline is over my knees in places, and it is coming down at about 2" an hour. Back up to Forever to the trees behind two patrollers. SWEET!!! Down WOW to Windows where my buddy Joe has the crash of the millenium. He hit a waterbar or ditch and came out in a layed-out position, kinda like laying on your sofa with your head on your elbow, but 5 feet in the air. A real Xplosion!
He is just a bit tweaked, but laughing his ass off. Only wish Warren Miller had been there. He did slow down a bit after that. My turn came after jumping the cliff band in Scree Field and nailling hit. But the third or fourth turn found me wishboning into a fine tumble. I did get I good applause from onlookers. Thanks guys! Also hiked Dragon's Teeth for freshies, but it was kinda like brail skiing at the drop. Clean lines down below though. The mountain stayed in the clouds all day and with I-70 closed 'til 10AM, only a lucky few thousand had freshies ALL DAY LONG!
Vail closed on a bluebird day. We hiked freshies in the morning with friends from Denver. I rebooked on a 6am monday flight, so I got to stick around for the Crash Kings, but didn't have time for OAR. I didn't win an EPIC Pass, so I'll have to shell out this summer.....again!
Peace & Love,