Vail Juggles Epic Experience & Birds of Prey, Aspen Expansion gets a Green Light

That noise you hear coast to coast is the grumbling from some Epic® Pass holders, pissed off about the number of Vail Resorts properties that are epically delaying opening day. From California’s Heavenly and Northstar to Colorado’s Beaver Creek (now open) to New England’s Attitash, the number of ski areas delayed or yet to open is unusually high. Vail does provide alternatives in virtually all of these markets, but they do seem to constantly find new ways to make the “customer experience” frustrating. Rumor is going around that they’re dropping printed trail maps, but that seems a bit farfetched…back to Beaver Creek, yes they are running a couple of lifts and it’s partly because they did have to turn all of their snowmaking power on the Birds of Prey course, currently hosting a couple of mens FIS World Cup speed events. Super G today saw Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt edge Austrian Matthias Mayer by 78-hundredths of a second for his first victory. Canadian Broderick Thompson was a surprise third, first podium of his career. Top dog of the domestic skiers again was Ryan Cochran-Siegle with a respectable 19th…other World Cup news, looks like the women will get to race in St. Moritz Switzerland next weekend despite not adhering to that nation’s 10-day quarantine whatever. It’s a developing story, so we’ll wait and see…West Mountain NY is calling for a December 18 opening…Local Pitkin County CO authorities gave Aspen Mountain the go-ahead to add 150 acres of upper-mountain glade skiing. The new section was initially turned down by county commissioners after USFS approval, but is now full speed ahead and should be open next season…sad to report the first fatalities of this still young ski season; on Tuesday Eldora Ski Area in Boulder County Colorado reported a collision between a skier and a snowboarder on the Windmill run. The 72-year-old male skier, a Boulder resident, was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene at 11:43 a.m. The victim’s identity is being withheld at this time pending notification of his next of kin. The snowboarder, a male resident of Wellington, CO, was interviewed at the scene by deputies and detectives with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, following treatment for injuries that he had sustained from the collision. No criminal charges have been filed at this time and the investigation is ongoing. Earlier fatality occurred Saturday at Sipapu in New Mexico, 28-year-old snowboarder Jario Hernandez of Rio Rancho NM was found unresponsive after impacting a tree on an intermediate run.

Photo courtesy the Vail Valley Foundation