I dragged myself out of bed this morning realizing full well how tired my legs were from skiing at Vail but I knew I was on a quest. I wolfed down a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts and dried fruit, slurped down my blueberry/Pomegranate juice and was off to slopes.
I got to the lifts about quarter to 9:00 am and headed up to Game Creek Bowl. The snow was great on the groomers -- the cat operations really are quite remarkable for skiing at Vail Mountain. I know one of their monikers is that they groom the most slopes on the planet including runs such as Lost Boy, Dealer's Choice and Ouzo which were fun, fast and furious on day two of my Vail quest.
After sliding down those runs I headed over to Lionshead for a few groomers including Simba and Bwana and then headed back up to finish Sun Down Bowl with Never and O.S. from Sun Down Bowl still waiting for me to complete from the day before. Unfortunately, I hit those runs about an hour late -- they ended up being more like mashed potatoes with not enough butter than like the silk they were at 10:30 am.
I then enjoyed lunch over at Mid Vail with an old high school friend
and enjoyed some of the best fish tacos in the Vail Valley!
I finished up the afternoon skiing at Vail by wrapping up the rest of Game Creek Bowl and then headed back over to Lionshead for a few runs before the slopes closed for the evening. As I was heading down I slid by Pride Practice Park and watched a couple middle-school-aged kids from England trying their skills on the easy park features as their parents watched with as much glee as their boys were having.
I was tempted to call it a day since it was less than 5 minutes before closing time but I decided to rush off to the Gondola for one last ride.
I boarded the car with a 15 year-old and an older gentleman. It was another blast-from-the past as we rode the gondola. The boy was intrigued with the other person's one piece suit. It was fun hearing him share his tales of how he searched all about town for his one-piece until he found his Descent ski suit. I told him he reminded me of "Rocket Man." He said he'd been compared to many characters over the years not the least of whom was George Jetson....
As we were leaving the gondola, Rocket Man turned to the boy and me and said, "thanks for sharing the ride -- it is my birthday today!." I chuckled and then asked him how old he was and he said "61"-how neat is that? We had three generations of strangers riding up the mountain celebrating the glory of skiing at Vail together.
As I slid away I could only think how wonderful and delighted I was as I slid down Born Free realizing how blessed all of us really are to be able to enjoy this mountain in the way each of us so chooses.....
Favorite Run: Coyote GulleyBest Snow: Deuces Wild# of Vertical: 38,601 feet. A bit low due to sticky slushy spring conditions.....
Great day in our little slice of mountain paradise!
-- Robert Schilling
Click here to read about skiing at Vail on Day 1, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, and Day 8.