Thank You Mother Nature

With another storm moving in and the current snowpack still looking good, it’s time to get out there and get after it for one last frozen adventure. Here are some tips to capitalize on the gifts of snow and sunshine that mother nature has graciously provided us this spring:

  1. Be sure to get a good spring tune on your skis or snowboard before you head up the hill. This will greatly improve speed and mobility in the sticky spring conditions. Head over to Charter Sports  to get on the fast track to smooth turns.
  2. Slather up with sunscreen! The sun is shining and that means sunburns! The reflection off the snow intensifies the suns rays so be sure to protect yourself with at least SPF 30
  3. BBQ on mountain! Bring your brats and dogs to the on mountain grills and you are sure to have a sizzling spring experience.
  4. Get decked out in the craziest costume you can find. From banana costumes to vintage onesies closing day dawns a sight to see!
  5. And of course be safe on your last run down. 

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For me, my favorite part of closing day is the last run down. This usually occurs long after the lifts have stopped spinning.The mountain takes on the lawless persona of a ghost town, and those last few turns remind us all good things must come to an end. Fear not, the lifts will turn again and that frozen freedom we long for all summer will return.

Hope on a Slope and How to Cope

The days are growing longer, and crystalline snow capped peaks give way to mountains of mud.  While some of us handle this transition with grace and hope for new adventures, others simply crumble like corn snow.

We focus on the renewed feelings of spring in an effort to embrace the grace of mother nature, yet our thirst for fresh powder turns, and the sense of freedom found on the slopes cannot be quenched.

Closing Day here in Vail brings about a slippery slope of  melancholy. Glorious pow stashes that free our souls all season long, endless blue skies, and the love of winter that brings us all together in this special place, these are my favorite things and thinking about them ending for a few months gets me choked up every time.

For the most part I cope with the end of the season with sheer hope. Hope that next year will bring more pow and endless adventure, as it always does. The same hope that I carry around all season and dedicate my snow dances to. Hope is a powerful feeling and a necessity on the path of life. Ernst Bloch proclaims that human hope is an “utopian hunger” in his work “Principle of Hope.”

Then there are all of the end of season festivities to get excited about!  Pond Skimming Championships, FREE Live Music  and silly costumes are highlights of the celebration. Don’t miss it!

Now get out there and embrace what time we have left in our winter wonderland, while holding hope that next season will be filled with endless adventures, blue skies, deep powder, and freedom found.

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Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all. ~Emily Dickinson

 

Photo credit:
Cassandra MacUmber

Time to Winterize

When the rest of the country thinks about getting ready for winter they think about collecting fire wood, switching to snow tires, putting the snow brush back in the car and getting out boots and sweaters. That dreadful feeling returns because the rest of the country hates winter (from what I see on Facebook). I mean, I do empathize with these people because I grew up in western New York where winter is bone chilling and gray for 6 months of the year. Calm

Up here in the high country we do all of these things too, except hate winter. We treasure winter, and if you don’t, then you should probably move to Florida as my Mother has..

 To valley locals, and winter lovers alike, winter preparedness means something completely different. It means waking up a bit earlier to start conditioning your body, to awaken naturally for those early morning first tracks. It’s squats while you brush your teeth and wall sits while you watch TV. It’s making pow day playlists because there are no friends on a pow day. My roommate is even taking a ski conditioning class at a local yoga facility and completed a 3 day fruit cleanse. Ski movies replace your latest binge watching indulgence on Netflix. Long runs in the cold weather are forced in the name of conditioning and desensitizing the body to the cold. Training goes hand in hand with injury prevention. We Coloradans stay pretty active in the summer. However, skiing and snowboarding utilize a whole different set of muscles. There are all kinds of classes and trainers across the valley offering up the opportunity to achieve elite performance this winter. Wikipedia even has an article on how to work out for snowboarding.

So get out there and get your body winterized!

Photo credit: Cassandra MacUmber

Photo credit: Cassandra MacUmber

Let’s face it when the first snowflakes cover the valley floor, winter lovers feel  relaxed and at peace, our winter wonderland has returned and captured our souls like a silent thief in the night. I try my best not to get too excited until those lifts start turning, but who am I kidding? I have been excited since closing day of Vail.

Vail Terrain Conditions for Opening Day!

As everyone in the valley knows that Vail Mountain opens tomorrow and everyone is excited! This morning we got a couple inches of fresh powder for everyone to enjoy! The mountain’s operation crew was proud to announce today that both Vail Village and Lionshead Village base areas will be opened thanks to the cold temperatures and the most recent snow fall.

This is what Vail had to say regarding the terrain for tomorrow:

The majority of skiing and riding will be available on Born Free with connecting routes from the top of Gondola One and the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola. Beginner terrain will be available at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola around Little Eagle Lift (#15). We are very close to opening much more terrain on natural snow, we just need a little more snow and, more importantly, cold temperatures for our snowmakers and groomers to fill in the few gaps and ditches to connect everything together safely. Ski Patrol is evaluating trails every day and once a run is safe and skiable, we will drop ropes immediately. 

Here’s what Vail’s COO, Chris Jarnot, had to say about openings: “We are very close to being able to open up much more additional terrain on mostly natural snow, and just need a bit more snow and, most importantly, cold temperatures to allow our snowmakers and groomers to fill in a few ditches, holes and gaps to connect everything together safely.  Ski Patrol will be evaluating trails every day, and we will open up as much additional terrain as we can, as soon as we can open it safely for all of our guests.  Keep your fingers crossed for continued snow and for cold temperatures, and we’ll get there soon.” 

Skiing and riding will be offered from Gondola One, Born Free Express Lift (#8), the Eagle Bahn Gondola and Little Eagle Lift (#15) beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, November 22nd. Until more terrain opens, all of Vail Mountain is considered a slow zone. Please me in control and considerate of others.

Bud Light Street Beat Concert Series

Bud Light Street Beat

Come visit Vail over a Street Beat free concert weekend! The Bud Light Street Beat Concert Series presented by the Vail Valley Foundation has already kicked off for the season. The lineup for this winter is incredible. Concerts are on various Thursday nights throughout the season, so be sure to plan your Vail vacation to include one of these great free concerts!

Thursday, January 19th at 6:30pm- WhiteWater Ramble @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thursday, February 16th at 6:30pm- Leroy Justice @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thursday, March 8th at 6:30pm- Less Than Jake @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thurday, March 15th at 6:30pm- Lez Zeppelin @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thursday, March 22nd at 6:30pm TBA @ Golden Peak, Vail Mountain

Thursday, March 29th at 6:30pm- Rootz Underground @ Solaris in Vail Village

Thursday, April 5th at 6:30pm- Kinky @ The Arrabelle at Vail Square in Lionshead Village

Thursday, April 12th at 6:30- Funkiphino followed by the Volvo Giveaway @ Solaris in Vail Village

Take a look at all the great events Vail Valley Foundation has to offer at www.vvf.og to help plan your winter vacation!