Ski Butlers Blog - Matt Bodenchuk
Closing Weekend at Vail
Vail certainly knows how to end the season on a high note. They are throwing quite the party - bidding farewell to the 2011/2012 ski season.
The final two weekends have been highly anticipated and will certainly soften the blow from a mediocre winter. Although the snowfall wasn’t anything special this year, Vail still has a lot to offer. Taste of Vail and Spring Back to Vail are the two signature Spring events.
Taste of Vail – April 5-7, 2012
In its 22nd year, the Taste of Vail is one of the nation's premier spring food and wine festivals. During the annual three-day event, upwards of 5,000 people will enjoy all that Vail has to offer. Participants at the Taste of Vail will experience Vail Valley's world-class restaurants, fine wines from top wineries around the globe - poured by winemakers and winery owners, along with interactive seminars, auction and dance, the Colorado Lamb Cook Off, apres ski tasting and the popular mountain top picnic sensory extravaganza at the top of Vail Mountain.
For more info visit: www.tasteofvail.com.
Spring Back to Vail – April 9-15, 2012
Closing Weekend at Vail takes a different approach. Rather than fine wines and eloquent dining, Spring Back to Vail is more of a party. It is the epitome of Spring Skiing at its finest. Board shorts, bikinis and the World Pond Skimming Championships are just some of the fun that goes on. This year Vail has outdone itself by offering 4 consecutive days of unbelievable music – and it’s all free!
Vail Back Bowls - Hallelujah!
A Summer of Cycling in the Rockies
A Summer of Cycling in the Rockies
It’s hard to beat summer in the Rockies. It seems as if the last month has been sunny and 75 every day - pretty perfect for a bike ride.
The Vail Valley is proud to host two stages of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Vail is proud to host stage 3, Thursday, August 25 – the only time trial event of the race which starts in the heart of Vail Village and ends at the top of Vail Pass. On Friday, August 26, riders will depart from downtown Avon on their way to Steamboat Springs. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is expected to be the largest spectator event in Colorado history, and one of the largest sporting events to ever take place in the United States. 128 of the top riders in the world will compete for seven consecutive days, covering a distance of 518 miles through the rugged Rocky Mountains.
Stage 1 (Aug. 23) consists of a circuit through the town of Salida, followed by a 102 mile trek to Mt. Crested Butte. Stage 1 will certainly give cyclists their first taste of the lung-grabbing, oxygen deprived Rocky Mountain air. Riders will gain 3250 feet in elevation over 13 miles, to the top of Monarch Pass. After the descent, riders will close out the day on an uphill climb from the lower area of Crested Butte, to the finish line on the top of Mt. Crested Butte – the USA Pro Cycling Challenges only mountain top finish.
Stage 2 (Aug. 24) from Gunnison to Aspen will prove to be the most difficult. This section of the race will summit two 12,000 foot peaks! Riders will leave the town of Gunnison and travel through the Gunnison National Forest. They will then ascend 2740 feet over 13.7 miles to the top of Cottonwood Pass (12,126 feet above sea level). After a quick descent, riders will battle the second pass of the day. Independence Pass (12,095 ft.), arguably one of the most spectacular passes in Colorado, consists of a 6.5% gradient with numerous switchbacks. After 131 miles, the grueling second stage comes to an end in picturesque downtown Aspen.
Stage 3 (Aug. 25) is the Vail Time Trial. Starting the heart of Vail Village, riders will ride uphill, 10 miles to the top of Vail Pass.
Stage 4 (Aug. 26) from Avon to Steamboat Springs, should prove to be an easier day. Without significant climbs or high speed descents, cyclists have numerous opportunities to break away. The 86 mile trek starts in Avon, passes through Wolcott and ends in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Stage 5 (Aug. 27) consists of a 109 mile race starting in Steamboat and ending in Breckenridge. Stage 5 should prove to be another stage which will provide ample opportunities for aggressive riding and breakaways. Riders will summit Rabbit Ears Pass, before descending through Kremmling, passing Green Mountain Reservoir and finishing in downtown Breckenridge.
Stage 6 (Aug. 28) from Golden to Denver certainly won’t be a cake walk. Riders will leave Golden, climb and descend the treacherous 6.1% gradient Lookout Mountain. After an exhausting 1300 feet of elevation gain over 4.8 miles, riders make their way back down the hill and pass through Golden one more time before heading to the Mile High City. Riders will then make six laps of a five-mile circuit along Speer Boulevard before reaching the finish line in front of Denver’s State Capitol Building, where the winner will be crowned.
I hope all of you reading this will get a chance to view the race yourself. It is truly an event for the record books. Thank you, as always, from Vail. Ski Season is just around the corner!