By David O. Williams
Best snow of the season: too bad Vail's lifts are shut down
April 24, 2010 —
The only thing more wasted than a massive powder dump after the mountain has closed is a first-round draft pick on a college quarterback who likely won’t even be able to play the position in the pros.
Yes, the ruination of the Denver Broncos courtesy of Josh McDaniels is nearly complete with the selection of Tim Tebow, who will join a long and not-so-illustrious list of Heisman Trophy busts. But on the upside he’s a tentative skier whose family used to vacation at nearby Breck.
So when Tebow flames out at QB, he’ll be able to hit the slopes. Even this late in the season.
The lifts shut down at Vail last weekend with yet another spectacular Spring Back to Vail celebration, complete with a killer free concert Saturday night with Wyclef Jean at Ford Park. Highline Sports and Entertainment continues to outdo its own promotional prowess.
Closing day, Sunday, April 18, was spectacular and sunny, with the longtime locals chilling on Wildwood deck and the amateurs congregating at the top of Chairs, 4, 5 and 11. People kept diving into the super-slushy Back Bowls for that final run on the old triple Chair 5, which will be replaced for next season with a high-speed quad.
I wasn’t among that group. Not only will I not miss the interminable lines caused by the old, creaky lift, but I wanted my last memory of the old Chair 5 to be the unbelievable ski day on Wednesday, April 7, when more than 30 inches of new snow fell on Vail over the course of two days. By far the best skiing of what was largely a mediocre season (see video evidence below).
And for more photographic proof (since Vail is no longer producing a ski report) of what the latest storm delivered all day Friday, April 23, check out the accompanying pic from my West Vail deck cam, where at least two feet of heavy spring snow piled up by this morning (Saturday, April 24).
A Basin, Aspen, Echo Mountain and Loveland are still open (and reporting 11, 12, 4 and 9 new, respectively), but I’m done for the season. If Vail had Aspen’s flexibility to open up for select weekends, conditions permitting, that might motivate to me to keep the skis out a couple more weeks.
But I guess cranking up a couple of lifts for a handful of locals doesn’t rate with our local skico. Hey, I’ve even offered to volunteer lift op, but whatever, apparently it’s golf season in the Vail Valley.
Anyway, the Boys of Summer are in full swing already, and likely our only local pro team to still be in action by the end of the month (Nuggs are pathetic, Avs overachieving). I’m heading to the Rockies game in Denver Sunday, where it better not be snowing and no one better say, “Well, we really needed the moisture.”
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