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.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


What a great week of skiing at one of the highest resorts in the US. We arrived on MLK weekend and as expected the crowd from the front range had arrived. We caught the early lift and had most of the mountain to ourselves until around 11:30. When the slopes started being covered by rental wearing  people lying on the ground, we called it a day.
Happy legs at this point.

We skied in the clouds at the top and could hear the crunching of the snow under our feet.

Love the corduroy.

Fresh powder on  Centennial early in the day.

This one is for Krista. Chair number 1. We were #2.

She always wanted to ride chair #1 but how do you know if you in #1 are unless you know how many chairs there are.

We were in and out of the clouds with little or no lift lines.

First tracks in the Imperial Bowl in the clouds. This is the highest lift in the US.

A good way to rest the legs at the end of the day.
Good thing we packed the biofreeze, ibuprofen and heating pad.
No people here.
Or here

Great grooming never gets old
A day of laundry, grocery shopping and leg resting were due after 3 days of skiing. While heading to Silverthorne, my stomach started to grumble as we arrived in Frisco. Eggs Butterhorn and a sticky bun were calling. We did share.

A person can't grocery shop on an empty stomach.

On the ceiling

Another blue bird day.
We met with some friends from Colorado Springs. I skied with the boys until we met Renee for lunch. The boys wanted to hit some chutes. My legs were shot so the girls headed out for a nice run of our own. My last run of a fun day with nice people.
We got out early for our last day skiing with friends and were headed to Peak 10's expert runs. We had just gotten off the lift on a green run enjoying the newly groomed snow when Mike hit a divot made by the snowcats and blew out and hit that tree with his shoulder and neck. We find you relax more on the easy runs which gives you less of a chance to recover from an unseen obstacle. I was close by and was able to get to him right away and asked our friends to call the ski patrol which is right around the corner from us.  Until I could get next to him, I wasn't sure if he was unconscious or dead. We got his skis off and released his arms that were held down by the wrist loops of his poles that were under his back and released his helmet that was choking him before the patrolman arrived. After giving Mike a good head to toe assessment, he gave Mike his options for treatment. One that was to refuse treatment. I immediately said that was not an option because of the thoracic pain he was having. He opted to take the toboggan to the clinic at the bottom of the mountain for xrays. He was released with contusions after some good quick care by all.
The Ibuprofen, Biofreeze and massage have helped him quite a bit. But will be a few more days before we get back out on the slopes again. Now, we are enjoying just chilling out and having some quiet time. As I always say, "Life can change in a blink of an eye".

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Gone skiing

We had been watching the weather before our return to Colorado hoping to avoid some of the wind and ice that had been hitting the country and lucked out. The day before leaving our beautiful campsite and great mountain biking in McDowell, the roads in Flagstaff had black ice but the sun was shining. I mentioned to Mike that I would be perfectly happy staying there riding my bike. We missed skiing last year so he just smiled and said that it was all paid for and we should get ready to be on our way. The wind was to our back, roads clear and driving 75 mph without our trailer, PRICELESS.

We had to drop the trailer off for recall work and get the wheel bearings repacked  which took care of the storage issue for 3 weeks. Then we ran by our storage unit to leave our bikes and pick up our ski equipment before our 2 day, 900 mile journey to Denver.
Spending a couple of days with the grandkids playing Mexican Train and finding a couple of geocaches was very nice. They had plenty of energy at 5 and 8 years old but let us each have a nap in the afternoon. Not at the same time. We had to be responsible since their parents were at work.
Driving I-70 to Summit County on the weekend is not an endeavor for the faint of heart on any Saturday. We managed to arrive on a holiday weekend. The drive wasn't as bad as expected as we left a bit later than most people.

 Eisenhower Tunnel

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