Despite growing up in the heart of Colorado Ski Country I had never paid a visit to Beaver Creek, a world class resort a mere 40 minutes away. With my Epic Pass in hand I was determined to remedy the situation over the long President's Day weekend.
The UpsAfter studying the trail map, looking up some pins to capture on EpicMix, and getting a good night's rest, I was ready to tackle a new mountain. To my delight I awoke to seven inches of new powder that cut like butter all day long.
Starting early, I was lucky enough to get some fresh tracks for a couple of hours before things picked up. Even then, the mainstream runs off Cinch and Centennial lifts all had enough snow to enjoy making turns and floating through the pow.
The DownsAfter lunch I headed over to the Birds of Prey for a little challenge. Over the years I had heard a lot about the steep runs and challenging moguls and was excited to see for myself. With one run under my belt I was feeling great, but tragically on my second run I broke a toe binding a good quarter of the way down the mountain, right under the lift of course.
So after attempting my best to do some single ski action, I ended up hoisting the gear and treking down to Red Tail Camp. Realizing that a simple screwdriver wasn't going to fix my busted base plate screws, I was stranded. Not to fear, with some helpful advice from one of Beaver Creek's many ski instructors I walked over to Larkspur lift and the operator called in a non-emergency transit down the hill.
More UpsOh boy, this is where things got fun as a few minutes later I was treated to a toboggan ride down a ski patrol crash cart...without the fear and pain of an injury. With the help of two other ski patrollers we zipped down the catwalk with grace and speed, passing gawking on-lookers as we went. (For more check out the video here)
Once at Beaver Creek Village the helpful staff at Beaver Creek Sports made quick work of the repairs and got my bindings as good as new. So, despite a major setback in my ski day, I was still on the mountain after a brief, two or three hour hiatus.
On the Whole...So while I didn't attain all my Epic goals or vertical feet for the day, I truly got to experience Beaver Creek. Between the wonderful snow pack, the long and seemingly never ending runs, and some of the best customer service I had ever seen on the mountain, it was a day like no other.
I am already looking forward to returning to Beaver Creek this weekend for the 2012 Talons Challenge, a grueling test of ski endurance. Beyond that, I am always excited to continue exploring the mountain with fellow Snow Squad member Kirsten covering Beaver Creek.
-- Chris Yonushewski