Epic Day on the slopes…March 31?

Yeehaw! What a day. No one would have guessed we’d have this much snow on March 31st…and it’s still dumping! Today was truly an epic day filled with face shots and perma-grin (and no lift lines). Life is good!

March 31, powder day, special Vail ski update

Bikes covered in the a.m.

March 31 Oh baby! 13 inches of snow today and 16 inches in the Back Bowls. We were all a bit surprised by it. And it was dead on the mountain. The Easter Break vacationers are gone and things are a bit quiet. We did laps on Chair 5 and there were no lift lines, can you believe it? Usually, we do just one run there in the morning on a powder day and get the heck out. Not today. Check out the Video of Kati from Group Sales and Randi our Controller.

Locals Jeff, Rick and Alan(last time I hooked up with these guys, it was early Dec)
Click on this one for full size

Vail’s Epic Pass

Everyone is asking “is it true”, “are they nuts”? Well, who cares if they are. For the 2008-2009 Ski Season, the EPIC Season Pass from Vail Resorts offers unrestricted and unlimited access to five of the best resorts in the world: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly. Unrestricted (no blackout dates) and Unlimited (where you want, when you want). Visit Epicpass.com to learn more and to purchase. $579 for adults, $279 for children. If you are planning on coming to Vail more than once next winter, get it now before they change their minds! Us locals are in shock. This is cheaper than the “local passes” have been in perhaps 20 years. And now anyone can get them. Some have said you just have to put $49 down now and pay the rest later. Check it out.

JUST ANOTHER……DAY IN PARADISE

I reported awhile back about skiing again and mentioned that I look forward to going out with my kids as long as they put on my boots and make sure I’m warm enough (01/13/08 post). Well Lauren, my youngest, is home on school break and offered to do just that. We skied together for the first time in 10 years and what a blast on Vail Mountain. THIS IS YOUR VAIL SKI REPORT MARCH 19.The sky was brilliant blue. The temperature was 37 degrees. The sun was much warmer than that. The snow was soft and easy to ski. In spite of spring break, the crowds were minimal. What a wonderful day on the mountain.For anyone keeping stats, I took my first major spill under Chair 7 in Game Creek and put on quite a display for all that were fortunate enough to witness it from the chair. Without exaggeration, 300 hundred yards on my back doing whirlybirds. No problem though. Not even my ego was damaged.Spring skiing is here and you have to come and enjoy this before it’s done.

Katie Schwabe

YOU’RE KIDDING……..SAY IT AIN’T SOSad news from the AntlersKatie Schwabe, employed as our Conference Services Manager since April of 2005, has decided to pursue a new career. She will be leaving us for San Jose, California as soon as the ski season ends.Originally from Wisconsin. she arrived in Vail in 2001. Her original plan was to be here sooner but it took 2 years for her to recover from the devastating Bronco win over her beloved Packers in Super Bowl 32. With the recent retirement of Brett Favre announced, we feel she is not thinking rationally. She has decided to enroll at the Palmer College of Chiropractic in California.Katie is already an established Massage Therapist and she simply considers this newest endeavor to be an extension of her own goals. She will study in San Jose for 3 years; will not be joining a rugby team; wants nothing to do with a sorority; may try surfing; and loves to play volleyball. OK, maybe she is thinking rationally.Best of luck to you Katie and know we will miss you. Consider opening up your new office and practice back in Vail?

Who'da thunkit?

I had the best meal I’ve ever had in Vail tonight.Where? Kelly Liken? Sweet Basil? Larkspur? Those are the best and it could have been any of them, but it wasn’t … it was next door at the MARRIOTT! You gotta be kiddin’ me … Nope. Chef Mercer put on a show like you wouldn’t believe. The lineup was thus:Brie soup with truffle oil … puts the “rich” in richie rich. Paired with the ZMor Gewurztraminer (thanks chef) it was a total tounguegasm.An awesome tomato soup with marshmallows … don’t knock it till you’ve tried it … trust me, you’ll be back for more.Oysters Rockefeller … Chef says, “you probably haven’t had these in about 100 years.” He was right, but I promise it won’t be two weeks before we’re doin’ that again … Evelyn and I practically came to blows over the last one.White Pizza … more truffle oil (can’t GET too much of that stuff), some fun crispy greens (arugula maybe?) and about a dozen other wonderful flavors on top of a crispy crisp.At this point we’re already saying, “it’s too good not too finish, but we know there’s lots more coming.”Next … a sea bass to die for with some kind of super light, crispy coating … in lobster sauce!Then came the single best lamb chop I have ever had. Period. I’m 52. I LOVE lamb. I eat it a LOT. This was the pinnacle … and by more than a small margin.Ok, I think I can force down some of this seared tuna, wrapped around a super thin daikon radish and rolled in a tempura kind of coating. Take me now lord … it can’t get any better than this. But wait … it does …A dessert medley with a cinnamon phyllo apple wrap thing paired with an eiswine (sp?) that’s just too good to be true. Next to that was a soft, warm sinful chocolate cookie and vanilla ice cream, accompanied by some Baileys concoction that they ought to require a pilot’s license to drive.Unbelievable. All of it was just unbelievable. Too good to be true. Any one of those courses was as good as it gets. All together? I gotta be dreaming.If I live another 52, I hope someday I have another meal as good as that one at Ocotillo. I also hope I can return the favor to Mercer sometime, but it ain’t gonna be easy.Rob

March Vail ski conditions

March 30 Great spring skiing today, although it was quite cloudy. I met up with some buddies (the Stoffel twins) from my College days today. (picture taken with phone camera) We went to St. John’s in Minnesota back in the late 80s. We did mainly cruisers off of chair 10 and 11. Remember, ride Chair 10 for a long-long cruisers. From the top of 10 you go all the way down Flap Jack and then you take a short cat-walk to the right of Chair 11 to lower Highline (groomed). Later we did soft bump laps off of Chair 3, Kangaroo cornices and Look Ma, again and again. Nice and soft everywhere. 2 inches of new snow. Chris R.March 29 We’ll admit it. Us locals have been a bit spoiled this winter with all the great snow. Many of us haven’t been up in the past week. We have been resting. Last few days have been a bit cloudy with flat light, although the sun will poke through for an hour here or there. What this means is that it is quite crusty early in the morning and you have to stick to the groomed runs. Without the sun, it can take till 2pm or 3pm before the runs soften up. Ouch. Light snow this morning. We need a 3 or 4 inches to freshen up the slopes, but don’t fret. There is a ton of base up on the mountain and they are calling for snow this Sunday night. We’d be skiing till May if they weren’t closing the lifts April 13th! Oh man.March 23 Holy smokes. It is still cold out there. I went up super late (2pm) and I figured it was going to be warm. Sun was shining and down in Lionshead it felt like spring. NOT. Glad I had my warm gloves, hat, neck gator, etc. High was around 32 or 33F and windy. When is Spring coming? Conditions were a bit icy. Not East Coast type of ice mind you, but the bumps were hard. Chris R.

March 18 The family (brother, sister and nephews) were in town and we had a wonderful day on the hill. We even took the brother out to Blue Sky Basin. I didn’t realize that he had never skied in the back bowls in all the times he had visited Vail. Crazy. They all slept in our employee housing unit at the Antlers. The floor was pretty packed! Chris R.March 17 They reported 4 inches of snow. Sunny skies today. None of us from the front desk could get out but guests were saying, “one of the best days ever”. You know, we’ve been hearing that a lot this winter. Chris R.March 16 Light snow showers in the afternoon. The front side was crowded with many Spring Breakers. The bowls were quiet. Amazing how even on the south facing back bowls the snow is still light and dry. It isn’t set up from melting too much. I skied by the fuel pumps for the groomers at the top of the mountain near Buffalo’s. You can really see how much snow we have by how low to the ground the pumps are. It will be late June before all that snow is gone.Chris R.Today I snowboarded at Beaver Creek for the day before I had to get to work. Unfortunately, I rode alone, which I do not prefer but I just had to get out. The ten inches we got from Thursday and Friday was still good in most sections of the mountain. The only bad part is that the sun melted the snow, which made it hard, icy, and rugged. I had a great time but I’ve been having problems with my left big toe. The front of my toe rams into my boot and I have bruises underneath my toenail. (Everyone I guess can relate to this) On my way to work the snow started coming down pretty hard and I knew that tomorrow was going to be a powder day. I wasn’t going to let a little bruise toe ruin my powder day. And neither should you! J. CoghillMarch 14 Powder day! 10 inches of new snow. I took Snowitch’s suggestion and skied the front side (even the lower half) of the mountain today and I had my own tracks till 11am. Snowing hard throughout the day and more snow predicted for the week. It will be great skiing for those here on the Easter Holiday. Usually in March the North side of Interstate 70 is looking brown and the grass is showing due to the slopes facing directly into the sun. Not this year. Some back-country skiers are even hiking up and making tracks down these south facing slopes. In MARCH! Wow. Chris R.March 9 Sunny day! Sort of like mid-winter conditions still. I over dressed and I’m glad I did. If you were on North facing slopes it was a bit cold. I saw Hank Frazier (super long-time ski instructor) and he said he has overdressed every day since December and hasn’t regretted it. When will spring arrive? There was a light dusting of snow. They groomed Bolshoi Ballet the day before and I headed over for the poma lift. Nobody around and the groomed slopes were buffed. Any north facing slopes had light and dry snow, southern slopes corned up a bit with the sun. Chris R.March 8 Some college buddies of mine had come to visit me for the weekend in Vail. I have not seen them in about 2 years, but growing up we always would go on snowboarding trips. We all were pretty good riders and have been to Vail in the past. The conditions our first day out were great with a solid 2-3 inches from the night before. We all decided it would be best to get out early and make our way straight back to Blue Sky Basin. It was wonderful back there because the chair lift lines were to a minimal for a Saturday and it was not “skied-out” as much as the front side of the mountain. We all had a blast especially my two buddies that have never traveled back to Blue Sky Basin before. Overall it was a great day with it not being too cold out and the chair lift lines moving fast. J. CoghillMarch 7 Well, it is good now. Great skiing. Sunny today with 3-4 inches of powder at the top of the mountain (only an inch down low). Cold still. We can’t believe how cold it has been the last week. We are in March, aren’t we? Great groomers, no ice, and sun. However, a bit of some lines at the lifts. Nobody at Chair 3 but Chair 4 West maze was PACKED. I made runs on Chair 3 while the rest were waiting. It must be getting late in the season because the groomers were having fun. I saw a bunch of them all split up underneath the gondola doing their own thing. They sure weren’t working as a team today. One went down Minnie’ mile (just one mind you) then another was under the gondola where the lift cuts through the trees, which isn’t a ski run. But the groomer was smoothing it out nicely. Sort of fun to watch. Chris R.March 6 Snowy, cold, and difficult to see. Glad I wasn’t up today but then again, some were coming down and saying it was wonderful. High of 19 degrees all day at the bottom of the mountain. Not sure how cold it was up on top.