get a RUSH with a QUIRKY emerging SPORT

You might have noticed something different on the slopes in Vail last year. Out of the corner of your eye, you saw someone zip up to the lift line, hop off, pick up his board and walk to the chair. Only later that day, while sipping a beer at The Red Lion, did it hit you that the guy didn’t have any bindings, and his board was a really funny looking double-decker thing. What was it exactly, and how did it work? You are not alone with your questions. Bi-deck snowskates have been around for several decades – from Burton’s early budget-model Junkyard “snow deck” to the high-end boards produced by snowskate-specific companies today – but they have only recently been gaining popularity and widespread acceptance at resorts. The name “snowskate” itself has long been a source of confusion: in the past it has applied to everything from single-deck “trays” […]

ACTIVITIES, Healthy Living

Up & Out: Lots to do in the Vail Valley

ALPINE SKIING & SNOWBOARDING VAIL Vail is a world-renowned destination for skiers and snowboarders. Once you experience its vast reaches of light Rocky Mountain powder, 300 inches of average annual snowfall and wide-open groomed terrain, you’ll know why. From the seemingly endless and legendary Back Bowls to the user-friendly cruiser runs of Golden Peak and Lionshead, Vail can satisfy or challenge every level of skier. With 5,289 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical rise of 3,450 feet, Vail is the largest single ski mountain in North America. Lift Information: Most lifts open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 3:30 p.m., with the exception of the Back Bowls and Blue Sky, which close at 3 p.m. Vail Snowsports School: Vail Mountain is home of the finest snowsports school in the world. With a tradition of excellence, it is committed to staying at the forefront of its profession by investing in technology, […]


Kids Just Wanna Have Fun… Teens Too!

Kids Just Wanna Have Fun… Teens Too! I was talking to a friend the other day who told me quite bluntly that teenagers are a nightmare. I think she meant they can be challenging and surly and sometimes a parent just does not know what to do with them to fill up the hours. I know there have been several times when I‘ve wanted to scream, “We are going to have FUN. NOW.” And I don’t even have teenagers yet. Vail and Beaver Creek are renowned for acres of fluffy powder. We spend hours on the slopes as a family… but what happens when the kids refuse to put on their ski boots another day? Luckily here in Eagle County, there as many non-skiing options as there are acres of powder. Take it from some teens and find amazing things to do this winter—both on and off the slopes. “It felt like […]

ACTIVITIES, Culture in the Vail Valley

Christmas Bird Count

  An array of Christmas holiday perennials has ruled for more than two centuries:  the dreaded fruitcake, leafy mistletoe, fig pudding, cookies for Santa, a line of stockings hung by the fireplace and, the most obvious, the Christmas tree – which, by the way, originated with German Lutherans who brought it to Pennsylvania in the 1820s when they began to immigrate to the United States. At the turn of the century, another Christmas holiday custom began. At the time, many scientists observed declining bird populations. So, in 1900, on Christmas Day, ornithologist, Frank Chapman, an officer of the nascent Audubon Society, suggested a new observance – the “Christmas Bird Census.” As the story goes, Chapman proposed the census, or count, to squelch the traditional Christmas “Side Hunt,” in which those who brought in the biggest pile of “feathered friends,” were given a prize. And so began the Christmas Bird Count (CBC). […]


The Thrill is On

The closest most people get to being injured by ice is simply a brain freeze from a frosty drink. For others getting close means hanging flat against a frozen waterfall. Adventure junkies, searching for the next adrenaline rush, look forward to the thrill of scaling a slick, dangerous iceface. Then ere are those who think that scaling a high, unforgiving sheet of ice is absolutely insane! Ice Climbing evolved out of rock climbing, and dates back to the early 1900s, when a climber named Oscar Edkenstein designed tooth claws, called crampons, that fit into the bottom of his boot. They allowed climbers to gain traction on slippery ice, and ice climbing was born! In the 1930s, sharp fangs that jutted out in front of the crampons were introduced and allowed climbers to navigate steeper ice.  Then in the 1960s, Yvon Chouinard, who eventually created the Patagonia clothing line, revolutionized the […]


“What are those things?” SUPPORT…to keep you skiing longer.

For Vail locals, skiing is a way of life. It is an activity they simply do not want to give up. And they don’t. Despite the same aches and pains which trouble the rest of the population, locals keep skiing and many enjoy the sport into their eighties.  But, people who live in Vail have a couple of arrows in their quiver that visitors may not know about.  If you have not heard about CADS or Opedix knee support tights, read on.  They could help you ski like a local and enjoy Vail even more than you do already. Walter Dandy was an East Coast businessman and an avid holiday skier.  But, he got to the point where he dreaded the third day on the slopes.  That was when his legs got tired and the pain set in, spoiling the remainder of the vacation he had so looked forward to. […]


Overcoming the FEAR of gliding down the hill

The first time Bella Auricchio of Chicago arrived at Vail Ski School she froze stiff. She clung tight to her nana’s leg and refused to go. “A long time ago when I first went skiing, I got really scared. I saw the high mountains and at that time I was only 5, and I still liked being close to my mom,” Bella says, who is now 8 and skis every winter. “Later, when I did go to ski school, I thought the instructors were really nice. I had no idea why I was so sad to leave my mom, I had no idea why I didn’t want to ski because it is soooo fun.” Skiing can be intimidating for kids, especially for those who are from a different part of the world. It’s a brand new environment — the looming mountains, the cold, the snow and the altitude. Throw in […]


Dog Mushers Don’t Shout “Mush”

Oh no, that’s far too soft-sounding a word for the dogs to think you seriously want them to run at full speed. The command is something akin to a guttural “Ahhhhhhh,” “Let’s gooooo,” “Ready Hike!” and “Gooood Dogs.” And the dogs love that. It’s like a shot of straight adrenaline. It’s adrenaline for Wally and Denise Glass as well. They opened Mountain Musher dog sledding business 22 years ago when they had 22 dogs and one sled. “At first, the dogs didn’t know anything; and we didn’t know anything,” laughs Wally, who discovered that the dogs are like people, some shy, others gregarious; some agile, and others clumsy; some bright, others not quite so. Now the Glasses own 82 dogs, four sleds and they run two trips a day throughout the winter from the Lazy J Ranch in Wolcott. “Now the dogs are better than ever, but Bill and I […]


McCoy Park~ a little piece of paradise

Herb Eaton, who grew up fishing, hunting and tending cattle in the Beaver Creek area, worked as the manager of slopes and trails when the Beaver Creek Resort development began in 1980. “What really excites me about the place was to see how well we could put it together and made it all fit,” Eaton was quoted as saying in the book, Beaver Creek, The First Hundred Years. Eaton most likely didn’t envision a Nordic center on top of the mountain. But, Jean Naumann, former manager of the Nordic Center, and mountain planner Mike Larsen did. After scouting other Nordic centers they realized the best location was not on the golf course but, rather, on top of the mountain. McCoy Park, nestled between Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch, is a must for visitors and locals, as well. This snowshoe and cross-country area offers never-ending, breathtaking views at the Gore Range, […]


referred to as “America’s Race”

The inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge took place for seven consecutive days and featured 136 of the world’s top athletes. They raced across 518 miles through some of the most beautiful cenery in the Riockies, including Aspen, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs and Vail. The winner? Team Radio Shack’s, Levi Leipheimer, with a time of 20:00.24. The hope is that the race will, once again, speed through the Vail Valley in 2012. “This race comes with its own special energy,” says John Dakin, Vice-President of Communications for the Vail Valley Foundation. “It’s like nothing else.” According to Dakin, over 25,000 people were in Vail for teh start of its leg of the race. More than 5,000 showed up in Avon for the next day’s start. “It was a tremendous success for the first year out of the gate,” Dakin says. “Watching the television pictures, you could have easily mistaken it for Europe. […]