Jane and I took off Friday evening for our drive to Dillon and the condo we are renting on weekends for the 2012 ski season. We planned to arrive at the condo around 7:30 and eat a light dinner. Dan and friends Devon, Brady and Kara were driving up later and crashing at the condo for Friday night and then skiing at Vail on Saturday.
Unfortunately we hit heavy bumper to bumper traffic between Georgetown and the Eisenhower Tunnel so didn’t arrive until 8:00PM. We grabbed a quick dinner at Chipotle in Silverthorne, and the rest of the crew arrived at around 10:30.
Saturday morning brought virtually no new snow, but we all decided to drive to Vail for the day. I had skied Vail the previous Friday with John Broadbent, so I was curious to see how the conditions had changed. After we parked and walked through Vail Village to the lift area, we discovered Dan waiting for the girls even though they had left the condo 45 minutes before us. They parked at the free parking in East Vail and took the shuttle bus. We agreed to meet as a group at Two Elks Lodge at 12:30 as the younger members of our group wanted to ski the recently opened back bowls and Blue Sky Basin.
The conditions had improved somewhat from the previous week, but remained very thin on the trails that did not benefit from snowmaking. Jane and I remained on the front side of Vail for the morning and worked our way to Two Elks by noon and snagged a large table. Within ten minutes Dan and the rest of the gang arrived and we all relaxed and had lunch together.
After lunch Jane and I took a run down China Bowl and planned to return to the top on the Teacup lift. However, as we approached Teacup lift we noticed that the lift line to Blue Sky Basin was very short so we hopped on and enjoyed a run on Cloud Nine. After one run in Blue Sky we returned on the Teacup Express and then worked our way to the Lionshead Gondola. By this time it had begun snowing fairly heavily so we appreciated the shelter of the gondola. Our final run was on Born Free, and when we reached the base, we decided to call it a day. Jane contacted Dan, and they were on their way down as well so we waited for them. We offered them a ride to the free parking lot, but a shuttle bus arrived as we neared the parking garage, so they jumped on the bus.
We invited Karen and David Gaige to join us for Saturday evening, so when we returned to the condo we contacted them, and they arrived by around 4:30PM along with the kids. Brady’s parents, Dougie and Fred, were also at their condo in Dillon waiting for the forecasted snowstorm, so we called them and invited them over and had a great impromptu spaghetti feast at the condo. Everyone pitched in with food preparation and clean up. Karen and David stayed with us on Saturday night.
On Sunday morning we had a great breadfast, and Karen and Dave departed for snowshoeing while Jane and I cleaned up the condo, packed and loaded the car. We left Frisco after returning the key by 10AM and returned to Denver before noon.