The Chattanooga Ski Club Vail 2017 trip commenced on January 14, 2017. The lift tickets were good for Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapaho Basin for a total of over 14650 acres and 651 trails. No way to take advantage of all this in a week. May want to consider a two-week trip with this much to offer. Most folks would ski Vail alone however, some went to Beaver Creek for a day.
The conditions at Vail/ Beaver Creek were outstanding. Within a week and half of our arrival they received around 48” of fresh powder. This set us up for an outstanding week of skiing. Our first day we woke up to about an inch with an additional two inches on day two. Did not add a lot to the base but made for some nice ski conditions. The high temperatures remained in the mid 30’s to lower 40’s for the first two days. The balance of the week the high temperatures remained in the low to mid 30’s. The snow base was maintained throughout the week. We had three blue bird days in a row mid-week. I see now why they call it “Blue Sky Basin”. If you go, be sure to check out Cloud 9, Grand Review and The Star but my all-time favorite was Big Rock Park run. This was a glade run with patches of trees that made for what would seem like endless runs down the mountain. Needless to say, the conditions were exceptional. The last day we got 3” overnight with an additional 2” snow during the day for a total of 8” all week. The last day Rich Wilson and I dropped into China Bowl with it snowing and near white out conditions. Had to “feel” our way down the mountain. We felt like the back bowls and Blue Sky would have to wait for another day under those conditions.
This year we stayed at Vail Spa Condos. The accommodations were exceptional, conveniently located in the Lionshead section of Vail with a short five min walk to the Eagle Bahn Gondola or the Born Free Express Quad lift. The condo has hot tubs, indoor/ outdoor pools, sauna, and massage rooms. I took full advantage of the outdoor hot tub. Great way to cap off a full day of skiing with an adult beverage and friends. They also include a conference room which we used for our Tuesday night get together.
Some folks rented their gear from Charter Sports. We received 35% discount. They are knowledgeable and conducted business in a professional way. Even the folks who had their own skis/boots could store there gear overnight.
About two months prior to the trip I read in the paper where Moes Original BBQ from Vail Co was coming to town here in Chattanooga. Thinking this would be a great opportunity to reach out and get an advanced taste test on the new restaurant and perhaps a good deal. On Tuesday the 19th Moes Original BBQ catered pulled pork, smoked turkey, mac and cheese, baked beans, slaw, corn bread and desert. I got some real complements on the food. Moes will be opening up the week of February 27th and will be located at 221 Market Street. Ask for Laura Ryan and tell her you are with the Chattanooga Ski Club.
While most folks skied some decided to discover Vail, Minturn Co. (who knew – oh Faith), The 10th mountain museum or even go snow shoeing. From what hear Dave Flower is quite the ladies man and lead his “harem” on a snow shoe adventure. Go Dave!! I did not realize but the 10th mountain division trained near Vail during WWII. Our dough boys trained for mountain combat. Mullenix took a group to the 10th mountain restaurant near Mid Vail where they enjoyed culinary delights such as soda crackers and grits while perched upon a snow stump. J/K Apparently, they had a five-course meal at ski resort prices. Mid-week Jerry Hicks and I spent the day at Beaver Creek. We ate at the Ritz-Carrolton in Bachelors Gulch. Think $15 is pricy for a burger? Try $25. Well I settled for a loaded spud with bison chili which was actually very good and filling.
Overall this was a great trip. The weather cooperated, Vail Spa is an exceptional destination resort, Vail mountain and Beaver Creek has a challenge for most any skier skill level but most of all, the folks we went with were a lot of fun to be around – just a great group of people!