Skiing Triple Digits: Opening Days, 1-5

My skiing triple digits quest started on November 17, 2013, a week before Vail Mountain opened for the season. We had a big dump of snow, so the quest began:

Day 1: Skin and Ski Vail Mountain
I met my friend Tammy early in the morning at one of our secret parking places in Vail, and we suited up. In our lightweight-Dynafit-geek-race gear, we set off from Lionshead to skin up to Eagle’s Nest on Vail Mountain. We had to weave in and out of snow-making machines, and it was really crappy weather. Hence, no photographs. The ski down from Eagle’s Nest was also pretty crappy: breakable, variable snow. But that was it: Day 1. Gear sorted, legs warmed up.

Day 2:Downhill Ski Vail Mountain Opening Day

Day 2

On Day 2, I joined the masses and skied opening day at Vail Mountain. Low visibility, icy groomers, and not much snow. But…hey, sliding down snow slopes is fun, or I wouldn’t be doing it. I rode the gondola to warm up…check out the weeds!

Day 3: Double Duty, Backcountry Skin up Paulie’s and Downhill Ski at Vail

Day 3-1

Paulie’s Plunge is one of my favorite trails in the area. In the summer, it’s a nice mountain biking trail, and in the winter, it’s possible to skin up it and pop out on Cinch, a groomed ski trail at Beaver Creek. Paulie’s has become one of my comfort, go-to trails. It’s super quiet and beautiful, a forest full of aspen and pine trees.

Day 3-Tammy

Backcountry gal pal Tammy, above, joined me along the skin up Paulie’s, along with my dog Kai, a boxer-lab mix. Once we reached Cinch, we realized that things up high had been groomed, so we continued to the top of Beaver Creek’s Centennial lift and skied by ourselves down wide-open groomed trails, Kai running behind. Beaver Creek wasn’t open yet, so we had the mountain to ourselves.

Day 3 Blue Sky Vail

After a quick hot chocolate in Beaver Creek village, Tammy and I drove over to Vail and skied groomers for the afternoon. Superstar Vail blue-sky day.

Day 4: Downhill Skiing Vail Mountain w/ my man Antony

On Triple Digits Day 4, Antony and I went out for some downhill ski action on Vail Mountain.

Day 4 w Antony McCoy

Antony tore his ACL in March, and this day was his first back on skis. We skied some easy groomers, and he carved his first turns on that new, bomber cadaver tendon of his.

Day 5: Downhill Skiing Vail Mountain

On Day 5, I got up early and did all of my writing work for the day so that I could take off and ski in the late afternoon. It was basically a groomers day…no recent snow, dirt showing on the opposite side of the valley. I managed to cruise around on all of the Chair 2 groomers and came home from dinner, feeling happy, a bit more balanced with five days in my ski boots!

Day 5 Vail

Want more backstory? Read about the quest here:
Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest


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