"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Vail, CO

A veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, Pete Seibert, returned to Colorado after the war to return to skiing. Pete and Earl Eaton began looking to develop ski area in the Rocky Mountain region. 

Earl Eaton grew up in Colorado and began skiing at a young age. By 1940, Eaton was working for the CCC in Glenwood Springs and ski racing in Aspen where he met Pete Seibert. Seibert and Eaton first climbed Vail Mountain during the winter of 1957. Both agreed that this would be the perfect ski area! To get the ski area rolling, Seibert and Eaton needed something that neither of them had, money. Seibert proved to be adept at securing investors, which was a good thing because in order to obtain a permit from the USFS Vail needed to have $1,000,000 in the bank. Initial investors paid $10,000 for a condo and lifetime season pass!
Vail’s opening day was set for December 15, 1962.

 The first year, ticket prices were set at five dollars for a skiing experience that consisted of one gondola, two chairs, eight ski instructors, and nine ski runs. They averaged 7 tickets sold a day.

During the 1960’s, Vail Village grew at an incredible rate. President Gerald Ford traveled to Vail and was so impressed that he began to make annual trips, purchasing property at Vail.

Bridge over Gore Creek

Ice bar sculptures 

Mike injured his leg and back in an accident in Breckenridge and needed more time off the slopes. We spent several days walking through the Village and along Gore Creek. No sense rushing things. Usually, we head to the gondola so we can get down to the business of skiing.


Cool bird houses

It is fun to watch the kids in ski school. 
The temperature was 6 degrees as we headed out the door. It was snowing pretty heavy and wind blowing causing blizzard like conditions that made it difficult to tell how fast we were moving as we traversed the top of Mid Vail.  I felt like I am standing still but when I put my pole into the ground to give a little push, it snapped back. I was moving along at a pretty good pace. The flat light can give a person vertigo. I find focusing on a person or tree helps until we can get into the treed area which helps dramatically.
Mike skied a few blue intermediate runs after several days of rest. But his right leg started hurting from compensating for his injured left leg.
Plenty of fur blankets to keep a person warm while waiting for lunch.

We haven't tried it, but I found myself breathing hard at times.

Pepi's was one of the first businesses when Vail was developed. He was a Austrian ski instructor when he and his wife arrived and decided to stay.  

10th Mountain Division sculpture
When World War II began, the United States Army created a training
center south of the Gore Valley called Camp Hale.  The 10th
Mountain Division trained for alpine combat here.  The 10th Mountain
troops fought in northern Italy and upon return, they became major
players in the quickly growing ski industry.

The bells were chiming at noon as we walked by.

Alpine Rose has great goulash and apple strudel.

Walking along Gore Creek is so peaceful. We stayed out of the back country for our hiking since the avalanche danger is significantly higher due to the amount of snow falling in the high country.

The Special Olympic athletes were practicing for their competition next month in Glenwood Springs.  

Yeow! We have a season pass. In my mind, it is a ploy to encourage people to purchase the season pass and avoid going to other resorts that do not participate with Vail Resorts, keeping the hotel and dining dollars here. It seems to be working.


  1. One of our favorite days of skiing was wearing out the African named runs on the right side of the mountain. The snow was great and we had them pretty much to ourselves.

    1. Simba and Bwana are great long runs. It was cold enough to keep the snow soft and just right. It sounds like the day you had. Just right.

  2. Wow, that looks COLD! Fun to see you two lounging on the ice sculpture furnishings. Hope Mike is continuing to improve —can't believe he's already back to skiing. You guys are tough!

    1. It was very cold but the sculptures had cushions to keep our tails warm. Mike tried the skiing but didn't turn out so well after all. I am glad he got some sense and called it a season and return to the warmth of AZ.

  3. We visited the area a fews ago, but during the summer. ;-) Keep warm and safe travels!

    1. Summers are beautiful in the Vail Valley. Thank you and safe travels to you too.