Vail ski season is under way
Aspen, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colo. ” “Now when I wake up, I won’t have wonder what I’m going to do with my day,” a skier said as he ascended Colorado’s Vail Mountain on Chair 8 on Friday.
Many others, itching to get on the slopes, had similar sentiments as Vail’s opening day kicked off a few minutes early at 8:55 a.m. Friday. The temperature was warm and the sun was shining through the clouds as Born Free lift rumbled to a start, and the crowd lined up at Lionshead Village headed up the mountain.
The mountain opened for its 46th season with Born Free, accessible by Chair 8, and beginner terrain at Eagle’s Nest, accessible by the Eagle Bahn Gondola and Chair 15.
Vail resident Rick Bell was one of the many locals headed up for his first run of the day.
“You have to get up opening day,” he said. “Plus, you get to see people you haven’t seen all summer.”
Moments later, Joe Edelmann came riding across the bridge and headed straight back to the lift line.
“It was beautiful,” he said. “Corduroy from wall to wall.”
Eric Lee, of Vail, managed to snag fifth chair, and said he was pleased with the snow.
“It’s hard packed, but not icy. You can still get into it and carve,” he said.
Brian Lewis, of Denver, said he hasn’t missed a Vail opening day for quite a few years, and he wasn’t planning on missing this one. Like many on the slopes, he expressed a common wish ” more snow.
“It was fast snow. It feels pretty icy, but that’s typical for opening day,” Lewis said. “Hopefully we’ll have lots of snow this season. Bring the snow!”
Edwards resident Nathan Schroepfer agreed, saying he only planned to take “a couple runs” on Friday.
“I’ll wait for the real snow before I really start having fun,” he said.
Having skied surrounding mountains for the past few weeks and now Vail, Avon resident Kyle Jones said he’s ready for winter to come.
“I’m ready for it to dump four or five feet,” he said.
However, others, like Vail resident Ryan Roony, said he was happy with the limited terrain and was just out to enjoy the day.
“It feels great to be out,” he said. “It’s a fun little run. You’ve got a little burn in the legs, but it’s nice, and the sun is shining.”
Some, such as Vail resident Joanna Kuznik, had big plans for the season.
This is her second ski season, and she said she’s eager to get beyond “beginner” status.
“I’m going to ski a lot so I can get better. I really like it, it’s so fun. And Vail is the best place to learn,” she said.
Lee said his goal was to get in as many days this season as possible.
“I’ve been jonesing to ski since April,” he said “Last season was such an awesome season.”
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Local fire officials in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are heightening their fire concerns, and starting this week Stage 1 fire restrictions will be enacted. Stage 1 means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.