Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Vail was so amazing that writing about it might do it injustice. I will try to be worthy of it.
The first effect of it was that I had no interest in skiing the next day as I did not want to spoil the memory. I wanted to keep it pure as long as I could. Apparently everyone else felt the same way, so we took the day off and explored. We went over to A-basin, over Loveland pass, saw Red Rocks outside of Denver (have always wanted to see a show there . . . it looks amazing), then went out to dinner by the hotel that night before leaving the next morning.
The thing about Vail was we had hooked up with a guide named Birdman that Scott knew. Birdman told us that Vail would be the place to ski that day. He said the way the weather was shaping up, Vail would get dumped on overnight and then the clouds would break the next day and we'd get sun. He was exactly right. Breckenridge hardly got any snow while Vail got plenty.
The only wild card would be getting through the pass. No problem; it was open and we made it through. We got to Vail by 8 am, met up with Birdman, and got on the gondola. He was our guide for the rest of the day and made it an almost unbelievable experience. He knew where to take us and for exactly what purpose and for whatever weather was currently taking place. When we went inside, he was by far the most consummate Table Hawk I'd ever seen. He'd spy a group of people merely pondering the idea of getting up to leave and he'd pounce on them, scoring six seats in seconds. Amazing.
I've been lucky to ski all over Europe, but nothing compares to our day at Vail. The conditions, the terrain, the views, the facilities, the skiing, the town, everything was the best I've experienced anywhere. It was a once-in-a-lifetime day. Skiing over the bridge into Lionshead Village at the end of the day was one of the most surreal moments ever. Time seemed to slow down, and I tried to savor every bit of it. It was an experience I'll remember for a long, long time.