Colorado Series: Day 3 – VAIL

This fall I received an open invite out to Breckenridge, Colorado during ski season.  Obviously my only move here was to book a flight. I arrived January 5th and stayed a full week.  What  transpired in summit country was nothing short of phenomenal;  Colorado set the bar very high for my first visit.

Vail is a monster.  From the expansive slope side village metropolis to the multiple lift accessible peaks and back sides it appears to never end.  I started the day off with a few firsts, paying for parking and parking in a garage.  Already I preferred the rugged casualness of the previous days’ locales, but who can complain riding lifts for free(overlooking the parking) on a perfect bluebird day.

We headed straight to the back bowls and quickly discovered that the snow had turned into a hazardous mess off bulletproof crud overnight.  So off to the groomers for a while to let the sun do its magic.

Looks like someone used to race on them there skis.

Even yours truly was captured enjoying the corduroy, but I was not here to ski groomers all day.

The sun did it’s work and Vail’s wide open bowls softened up nicely.  It hadn’t snowed for a few days so the vast expanses of snow were cruddy and bumped up to the chagrin of others.  However, if I’m not skiing powder I happen to enjoy the sight of bumps.

For a third day in a row a little effort yielded fresh tracks.  We hiked from the lift to the base of a tiny cliff band running along the top of the ridge for these first tracks.  The cliff band looked like a great launching pad for me.  Anywhere from a 5′ to 15′ drop depending on where I jumped, but after reaching the base of the cliffs I was sucking wind.  So I quickly neglected the notion of hiking for hucks.

The snow was interesting to say the least.  Very wet and cohesive, but was not sticky or holding us up even on this low angled slope.

As per usual, the views from the top were spectacular.

Towards the end of the day we headed to the back, back bowl, blue sky basin, and were treated to a corniced entry into double ejection city on this steep face, which required some extra care to navigate through.  Also, note there’s some weather blowing in 🙂

Below the amateur hour we were treated to some fluffy glades and super soft bumps, which I destroyed because I was obviously the best skier on the mountain. (G.N.A.R. reference, I’m not really that vain)

I have no idea how we ended back at the base area, but it was one of the most dangerous descents I have ever made.  Wall to wall pizza slices sliding erratically.

A couple more photo’s that did not fit into the narrative.

I was absolutely enamored with these giant dead tree trunks puncturing the trails like medieval defense weapons.

A storm is brewing and it’s targeting my home, away from home, base of Breckenridge!

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One Response to Colorado Series: Day 3 – VAIL

  1. Christina says:

    You’re rad and all, but I am definitely the best skier on the mountain. 😛

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