With no snow, Vail workers pick up trash
November 19, 2007
VAIL They might be staring at the sky in hopes of snow, but their hands were busy.With still no skiers and little natural snow, Vail Mountain workers picked up trash around town on Monday.”We’re doing something good,” said Nikki Pickman, who works as a Yellow Jacket on the mountain, as she walked along the frontage road.Vail was supposed to open Friday, but because of warm weather, the opening had been pushed back to Wednesday.In the village, workers picked up garbage alongside visitors who quizzically studied trail maps, sans skis. People wore shorts in the 50-degree weather.Sharon Santacroce of Trenton, N.J., was going to ski Breckenridge, but the snow there looked too skimpy, she said.”We’re on Plan B,” said Santacroce, and that meant visiting Vail and Leadville.Despite the warm weather, a cold front was on its way, with a high of 23 degrees expected for Wednesday, said Joe Ramey of the National Weather Service. The cold front was supposed to bring two to four inches of snow late Tuesday and Wednesday, he said.With the slopes closed Monday, Vail Resorts had about 70 employees picking up trash around town, from Gore Creek to Timber Ridge.”It’s nice to pick up the trash before it snows on it and it sits there till next year,” said Logan Park, a snowplow driver from Vancouver, Wash., who is starting his second season working at Vail.Park was walking along the frontage road with about 10 trash-bag-toting fellow employees. His most interesting discovery was about 80 discarded CDs at Timber Ridge – but there was no salvageable music among them, he said.”There were all scratched and stuff,” he said.The trash-picker-uppers included ski patrollers, Yellow Jackets, ticket sellers, snowcat drivers, security guards and lift operators.Pickman said she was glad to do a little extra to help the community. As for snow, she was hoping Vail would get hit with the storm that’s supposed to come Tuesday. One way or another, the snow will come, she said.”It’s going to happen,” she said. “We’re going to get snow. It’s going to be an awesome season.”By 10:30 a.m. Monday, Vail’s environmental coordinator Luke Cartin already had five full bags of trash in his pickup – plus a “Stop Home Rule” sign from last spring’s election.Alex Gentry, who works for Vail Resorts in base area operations and organized Monday’s cleanup, was working with a crew of five picking up trash at Golden Peak.”We always do the mountain cleanup, so it’s good to do a town cleanup as well,” he said.