Take a hike!, a short one along Gore Creek outside the Antlers

If you are taking a day off from skiing but still need to get out for a few minutes into the fresh air, just go for a quick stroll along Vail’s Gore Creek just outside the Antlers.  The path goes for about a 1/2 mile to the west towards the Cascade Hotel.  We didn’t get any pictures but you can usually count 4-10 ducks that spend the winter in the creek.  Sure looks cold to me.

How To Not Look Like a Gaper

Gaper [gey-per] noun:
1. A skier or snowboarder who is completely clueless.
2. An acronym meaning Guaranteed Accident Prone on Every Run.
(courtesy urbandictionary.com)

This evening, ladies and gentlemen, I offer a few pointers from a local which should not only make you more fashionable on the slopes, but also improve your overall skiing experience when you stay at The Antlers. Without further ado, Gray’s helpful hints:

Rule #1: No Jeans. Ever. I know Shaun White and the U.S. Snowboarding team just wore denim styled snowboard pants at the Olympics, but the jury is still out on these. If for some reason you must wear your Levi’s on the slope, at the very least, please do not tuck them into your boots.

Rule #2: Use courtesy when putting down the bar on the lifts. We understand that not everyone is comfortable riding without the safety bar down, but it makes for an awkward ride up when you crack the guy sitting next to you on the helmet before the chair has even left the lifthouse. Give everyone a few seconds to settle in and then ask, “Hey, do you mind if we put the bar down?”

Rule #3: When you tuck on a catwalk, be conscious of where poles are. If they’re in your armpits, chances are they’re pointing straight up to the sky and signaling to the entire mountain that you don’t know what you’re doing. This is known as a “texas tuck,” and it is not good form. Instead, cross your hands behind your back and your poles will remain in a neutral, ground-pointing direction. See the second gentleman in this photo for an example:

Rule #4: Mind your “Gaper Gap.” Good: You’re wearing a helmet. Bad: You’re feeling a draft across your forehead. Problem: You’ve got a gaper gap; a significant gap between your helmet (or hat) and goggles. Exposing your forehead to the elements can leave you both chilly and with a ridiculous sunburn. Solution: Wear a headband or hat under your helmet, pull you helmet down or push your goggles up, or bring your helmet when you buy a new pair of goggles to make sure they sync up well and vice-versa.

Classic Gaper Gap (image courtesy backcountry.com)

Rule #5: Surprisingly, one-pieces and neon colors are in. Leave the cowboy hat and Starter jackets at home and break out the green and pink jacket with the purple pants. If anyone questions you tell them you’re being “ironic” and you should be in the clear.

Rule #6: Most importantly, have fun. Break every one of these rules, if you feel like it. If you wanna ski in jeans a cowboy hat, do it. This takes precedence over every other rule. Except rule #2. Please, please, please give me a heads up before you drop the safety bar on my leg.


Where Does All That Stuff Go

 We here at the Antlers do a pretty, darn good job when it comes to recycling stuff and we were wondering what happens to it after it’s picked up. We decided to find out and organized a good old fashion field trip to investigate.
Some of the gang in “class”
The Eagle County Land Fill is now home to one of the newest, most advanced recycle facilities in Colorado. In operation since January 12 of this year, Jesse Masten, our host for the tour, explained that the facility is operating no where near its capacity. “Most recycle materials are still being trucked to Denver because of existing contracts. We hope to gather and process more materials as time goes on”. He gave us some figures on what they process now and it is still staggering. Some of the numbers? How about 48,000 lbs of aluminum and tin, 90,000 lbs of card board, 40,000 lbs of plastic, 46,000 lbs of newspaper and all this in one week on average. All of this from curbside pick-ups and a few drop centers in Eagle and Pitkin Counties. 
…It starts here…

…And ends here.  

I was most impressed with the machine that does all the work. It’s not a lot of machines and equipment, but just one, great, big machine with ramps and belts and pumps and blowers and crushers and pokers and magnets. Everything, except for cardboard and newspaper, is pushed onto the belt and comes out separated and bailed and ready to ship to whomever is buying the material.     

...It starts here... One Big Machine

One question from the group, “What is the worst (or most mis-understood) material to be recycled”?  Without hesitation, Jesse said “The plastic grocery bags. They are not recyclable and need to be hand picked off the conveyor belt”. He also asked if we could “please wash out the barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, and ragu from the empty bottles. It really starts to smell when the glass is crushed”.      

So that’s what happens to that stuff. I’m now curios to know what happens after it arrives in Oklahoma, China, Arizona and Texas after it’s purchased. I see another field trip in our future.      

Thanks to our tour guide and everyone from the Antlers at Vail condos that took some time away from their busy day to join us. (And thanks for the photos Kate)      


My Ski Day

My name is Rob and I want to apologize to the youngsters that saw me after a face plant under chair 5.

Their wide eyes said it all and then they asked “Are you all right mister”?

Just a little dazed, I replied “I love right where I am”.

They skied on and so did I.

If you need to unexpectedly shorten your ski day, best you do it half way down Forever.


Colorado Destination Weddings- 5 Most Asked Questions

Mountain and Meadows Wedding

JoAnn Moore-Mountain and Meadows Wedding

Destination Weddings- 5 Most Asked Questions


JoAnn Moore, CWC from Mountains and Meadows Weddings is a very good friend of the Antlers at Vail.  She wrote this article about destination weddings, we would love to share it with you!  We hope this information helps you with your wedding plans.

” Couples are choosing Destination Weddings for the reason of wanting a spectacular location, but also a different location than their hometown, to minimize their guest list and to give their family and friends an adventure – not just a wedding. As a Certified Professional Wedding Consultant I am often asked:

1. Is it more expensive to have a destination wedding?

Destination weddings can help couples decrease their overall cost through a subsequent reduction in the guest list Up to two-thirds of their guests won’t be able to travel for various reasons. A lower guest count can reflect a decrease in cost. Destination resort areas such as the Colorado Mountains have an array of venues to choose from, including spectacular outside ceremony locations and beautiful banquet facilities for the reception. Having such a huge selection of venues means you can shop around for a location that fits both your vision and budget.

2. Should I hire local vendors or bring my vendors with me to a destination location?

Definitely hire local vendors. They are wise to the changes in weather and they know secret locations for both venues and photo opportunities. They have experience working with the other vendors in the area, making for a great team. Local vendors also save you money by requiring little or no travel or accommodation fees.

3. Outside ceremonies, do I really need a back up plan?

Yes you do! The Colorado weather is very unpredictable and can change within minutes. You need to be able to take care of your guests in the event of lightning; having a back up plan is a must. You will be glad you didn’t scramble at the last minute to make a decision of where to go. Your back up plan location should be easily accessible from the original ceremony site and be ready to walk into for as little of a delay in your ceremony time line as possible.

4. Colorado Marriage Licenses, what do I need to know?

It’s not difficult to obtain a marriage license in Colorado. You may obtain the license from most County offices in Colorado. You will both need to be present with photo identifications; both of you will need to sign the license. You must be at lease eighteen years of age and if either of you have been married previously, you will need to provide the county with a copy of the divorce decree with the date and county court the divorce was finalized. Any ordained minister, judge or rabbi may perform your ceremony. A couple may choose to solemnize their vows without an officiant, but no other person may perform the ceremony and sign the marriage license. Once the license is obtained, your marriage must occur within 30 days of issue. There is a fee which various from county to county ranging from $30 to $80. Following the wedding the license must be mailed back to the county where it was obtained to be recorded. A blood test is not required.

5. Should I hire a Wedding Planner?

Absolutely! You will appreciate a wedding planner familiar with the venues and their expertise in finding the best vendors for you and your budget.  A local wedding planner is also experienced dealing with the Colorado weather and is someone who takes the stress off of you so that your special day runs smoothly, allowing you to enjoy every moment. Your wedding planner is your destination point person when you can’t be at your venues. Your wedding planner can assist you with your budget and negotiate fees with vendors and venues. Your wedding planner works behind the scenes as the team leader to give all vendors their timeline and troubleshoots any and all problems that may come up. Your wedding planner is the go to person that resolves any last minute changes and vendor issues. They oversee set up and break down of the venues, keep track of all your personal items you brought, pack up your gifts and cards and assist the guests with any thing they may need. Wedding Planners are detailed, multi-taskers, creative and resourceful. You absolutely will want the assistance of a professional Wedding Planner with any destination wedding!”

Contributor: JoAnn Moore, CWC

JoAnn Moore, CWC is the owner and founder of Mountains and Meadows Weddings based in Vail, Colorado. JoAnn’s 30 years in the Vail Valley gives her an unsurpassed knowledge of the local landscape which brings her clients a wide range of design options for either indoor or outdoor venues. JoAnn is currently the only Certified Professional Wedding Consultant in the state of Colorado, a member of ACPWC and ABC. To find out more about JoAnn and her work, visit www.mmvail.com.

Vail snow report and ski conditions from the Antlers at Vail condominiums

Here is today’s Vail ski conditions from the Antlers at Vail condominiums.  4 more inches.  27 inches in the last week.  It isn’t letting up so everyone is are making up for lost powder time.  People around here are getting tired from skiing day after day in the powder.  Lots of moaning going on around the building about “my legs”….”my legs”.  Check out the Vail cam for a live shot of the weather.

Eagle Bahn gondola

Pride Ski run

Mountain top express, Vail Colorado

Vail ski conditions from the Antlers at Vail condos, February 19

Here is the Vail ski condition report from the Antlers at Vail condos for February 19th.  The skiing is GREAT!  Although we had been short on snow for the early ski season, the last two weeks have been really good.  Another 5 inches of snow reported today.  As I was heading up the Born Free Express lift I was having my doubts on the 5 inches, as it only looked like 3 inches down here in Lionshead.  Well, there was plenty up high.  Most of my runs were done in Game Creek Bowl ( see the Vail ski area map ).  It started snowing pretty good again around 3pm this Friday afternoon.  Chris R.

Some powder in Game Creek Bowl

More storm clouds rolling in from the West

A look back at some powder turns

Vail ski report from the Antlers at Vail hotel

Here is your vail ski report from the Antlers at Vail hotel for February 17th.  Another 2 inches of snow with light snow throughout today.  Here I am with Carol MacGillis from Madison Wisconsin.  What is it about those Wisconsin skiers ?  They are all so good !  The picture below is on the ridge over at Blue Sky Basin at Vail.  70% chance of snow for tonight and tomorrow with 2-4 more inches predicted.  Even though it is President’s week in Vail, it isn’t too busy today.  Chris R.

Blue Sky Vail

Greg’s Delayed Ski Report

It’s Sunday, February 14th, Valentines Day.

Myself, Randi, Rob, Danny, and Lisa along with 4 friends from Ohio, 4 friends from Denver, Rob’s brother-in-law and nephew, and a couple thousand strangers went out to see what all the buzz was about on Vail Mountain.

Snow, and lots of it. The superlatives can not adequately describe how much fun this place can be after 3 days of dumping. Suffice to say, one of the best ski days of the year.

A few quotes from the gang:

Randi, with a huge smile and a gleam in her eyes said “The Forever run was the best of the season. I could have made it top to bottom, but I stopped to wait for all the other old people”.

Tim (Ohio buddy) said “I’m a lousy skier and Blue Ox was easy. I’m re-naming it Little Calf”.

Dave (Denver buddy) said “If it wasn’t for Vail, I’d be at home shopping for an inappropriate Valentines card. I love this place”.

As we stared down knee deep powder, Lisa said to me (for the 4the time) “Just let it go”. (This time I was determined to fall on purpose and make her wait).

Rob remarked “Has anyone seen my brother-in-law”?

The 2 o’clock picnic beside chair 5 was the ideal ending to a glorious day. The back-packs came out from under the trees and were undressed on the table. The typical ingredients were laid out for a mountain top picnic. Something to eat; hot dogs, chips, grapes, cheese. Something to drink; wine, sambuca, champagne, beer, brandy, and melted snow for hydration. Then Rob opened his pack and started grilling a couple of racks of lamb, garnished with goat cheese (I could make this stuff up but I’m not).

One more Forever run before the Bowls close and then in for the day. What a Happy Valentines Day. I hope everyone’s night was just as exhilarating. Personally, I called everyone I knew and left messages begging for a return call. I didn’t want to fall asleep on the couch at 7:15. I made it to 7:45.

That’s your Hallmark Holiday Ski Report.

Greg Z