I haven’t often been FIRST at anything (other than some seriously age-handicapped events), so I thought I’d go for LAST. And I succeeded. On the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, I found myself above Eagles Nest with only a few minutes before 3:30 lift closure time. It was the last day of my Vail vacation, and I just wasn’t ready to embark on the final run to the bottom of the mountain (and the welcoming fireplace in The Antlers). So, I blasted (and that is a very relative term) down Simba hoping to get to the Pride Express lift for one more trip to the top and, then, El Ultimo run. The lift line corrals were completely empty when I got to the bottom of the chairlift and, when I cruised through the “singles” lane, I found that the rope was tied across the entry to the lift with the dreaded “closed” sign. But I went into a tuck, stood up on the other side of the rope and looked beseechingly at the lift operator, saying “dude, it’s the last run of my vacay…” And, he compassionately replied, “you’ve overwhelmed me.” And, thus, I gained passage to the lift and became THE LAST SKIER OF 2012 TO RIDE UP THE PRIDE EXPRESS LIFT!
Epilogue … Wayne Skigen happily sitting in front of the Antlers at Vail lobby fireplace