April 25, 2006

Vail. There's no comparison.

So we had a great time. A blast. My first time skiing out west… it was amazing.

The first night we stayed at a little motel by Breckenridge and then skiied there all day Thursday. It was sortof a throw-away day for me since the altitude sickness really, really slowed me down. After every few runs I had to sit down and chug Gatorade or the dizzy would get me. I did however, get to ski above the treeline. That’s a freaky experience! Especially when you have to take a T-bar to get there… I do not get along with any form of tow-rope type thing. Bad. The first trip up I kindof gave up and fell off the t-bar… and then had to do the t-bar walk of shame which is this little run that you can only get to if you fall off. Very embarassing. But the second try I made it up…. here’s some shots from the top– over 12,000 ft.

Another great moment from the first day was on the second lift – Matt turns to me, eyes wide, and says "my skis are really fast. No. I mean they’re REALLY fast." So I guess I did well in choosing his new skis! He also later learned that they are also great for tree skiing, mogul skiing, and skiing through terrain parks. Plus the very same skis that he has were on display in many of the ski shops there – as the latest thing. Very cool.

Then we drove to Vail and checked into the condo which btw was AWESOME. 4 bedrooms for 9 people is not so shabby – plus we had a balcony with a view, a huge common room, and a hooked up kitchen. Nice. Here’s some shots of the drive:

I love that there are these amazing views just from I-70. Anyways the next three days we skied Vail. The altitude sickness got better and better as the weekend went on and I got some real good skiing in.

Here we are at the top of Belle’s Camp (11,480ft.) before we skied down into Blue Sky Basin

Conditions were good… although the bottom of the hill had "spring conditions" meaning muddy slush the top of the mountain was great. There was fresh snow on Wed and the groomed areas were really nice. And even w/o being able to ski the bottom we hardly put a dent in what we could ski – it’s that big. I totally understand why their slogan is "Vail. There’s no comparison."

The back bowls are amazing. The groomed parts of them are my ideal skiing – big, open, steep, fast, and long. Perfect. Although I think my fav. place to ski there was in Pete’s Bowl in the Blue Sky basin. That’s this area that’s waaay far away from everything – and these really nice, well groomed runs through the woods that dipped and wove through pretty pine forests with a view of the mountains. Definitely made for some fun skiing! Here's Blue Sky Basin from Pete's Express lift - the ridge in the photo is called "Lover's Leap" and I did not go off of it (Matt did!)

Skiing in the spring is nuts – especially on the last weekend. Everyone was in such a party mood. People were in crazy costumes and even some were shirtless or in a bikini. That to me seems like a bad plan because if you fall the snow is like sandpaper on your skin… but whatever. And I’m used to eastern (aka freezing cold, can’t feel your fingers toes or nose) skiing – So skiing in sunny, warm weather was wild… here's some shots of Vail Village on the last day of the season:

I did have one scary experience on the third day. Were skiing into the back bowls in search of some steep groomed niceness… and ended up in an area that may or may not have been closed. We were the only 2 people there… and we were surrounded by the steepest slopes I’ve ever been on… that were covered in moguls. I don’t ski moguls. I avoid them like the plague. They scare me. But there was no way out. No where to go but down through the giant mogul field. So I got a crash course on mogul skiing…there may or may not have been a few tears involved… but we made it out ok (I didn’t even fall although if we’re telling the truth I did slide down part of the really steep part)…. And overall the experience made me a much more confidant skiier. If I could handle that I could handle anything. Which made the rest of the day really really fun.

Matt also got to play in the terrain park… back a few months ago during the x-games he was talking about how he wanted to try sking rails… so when we saw them at Vail I kindof convinced him to do it. Well there were three rails lined up… and he did ok on the first one… made it down part of the second one.. and then was approaching the third one thinking "hmmm that’s real steep I wonder if I need to do anything differ…" YARDSALE. I was above him and all I saw was him go over the hill and then one of his skis and a pole fly. In retrospect, it was hilarious but at the time I felt real bad he wiped out on something I convinced him to do! I didn’t get a picture of him on the rails (he was too fast for me) but here’s our friends in the terrain park:

Jay railin'

Heather Flying

All in all I’d say it was a really good vacation.

Oh and as always there are more photos on the photoblog… and I’ll be adding more as I get the pictures from the other people who were on the trip with us.


  1. looks gorgeous & sounds like u had an awesome time! can't wait to see what u knit while u were away :)

  2. Cheri1:38 PM

    Hi Jeanne,
    Matt has been an "adventuresome" skier since he was about 5 years old, which is also about the time he passed me up! I'm glad you had a good time. I talked to Michele that weekend and she said it was 80 degrees in Denver! They were busy with Little League baseball and couldn't believe you guys were skiing. Sounds like fun..I love spring skiing.


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