Skiing is Rad; Skiing Powder at Vail on May First is Radder

Those of you who work with me are familiar with my love of slang that is ten years past it’s prime, for any of you who don’t, that title is a great introduction.

Anyway, if you’ve reading this blog at all you know that Vail has gotten a pretty silly amount of snow the past week. And you also probably know that the lifts haven’t been spinning in Eagle County for about 2 weeks now. However, there are other ways up the mountain. Last Saturday Amy graciously agreed to let me come in a little late, and I slapped my skins on my new A/T setup and went up Born Free. I stopped halfway to have a little picnic and take some pictures, then continued on my way up. The only other people I saw the whole way up were four lift ops guys doing maintenance on a tower. Once I hit Simba I tossed my skins in my pack and skied 10 inches of soft, slushy spring powder. One of the best runs I’ve taken all year. There are some pictures and afterthoughts below; they don’t do justice to how sunny it really was.

Skin tracks going up.

The view from a Born Free picnic lunch.

My tracks coming down, with bonus foreground picture of how a foot of snow can turn road construction into an even bigger mess than it already was.

Some interesting facts that I learned from the skin:
1. Just because its cloudy in Edwards does not mean its going to be cloudy in Vail. Lesson learned: Wear sunscreen. I look like a damn lobster.
2. I am approximately 11 times slower going up the mountain than the Born Free Express lift. (8 mins vs 1 hr 45 mins)
3. Check your trail maps, and beware catwalks. They plow ’em when the season’s done.
4. When skinning up, follow a snowmobile track. Its easier than breaking your own trail, wide enough for fat skis, and the runners pack down the snow enough that your poles don’t sink in up to your wrists.
5. The Lift Maintenance guys don’t think its funny when you stick you thumb out and ask for a lift as they cruise by on their snowmobiles, even if you think its hilarious.

– Gray

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One Comment

  1. Hello Gray, Thanks for sharing the tips. I’ll make sure I carry a sunscreen the next time I am planning a skiing trip to the area.

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