*I probably should have split this up into a couple posts. But whatever. Go big or go home, right?*
Hey guys, so I guess it's time to dust off my proverbial keyboard and write some stuff down again, huh? I've been using the excuse lately that I don't have a lot to talk about. All my life is right now is running, working and snowboarding on the weekends. But that never stopped me before. So suck it up, Whit.
I do have a lot to share about our weekend to Vail. It was Landon's Valentine's gift to me this year. He wouldn't tell me where we were going, it was going to be a big surprise that I wouldn't know until we got there, but a few weeks before we left he accidentally spilled the beans. Typical Landon. I can count on two hands the number of time he has actually surprised me because I usually end up finding out. And it IS NOT because I snoop. Because I don't.
Anyway, I couldn't have been more excited to spend the weekend in Colorado to snowboard. In case you haven't heard, Utah has been suffering this winter. As in- we've barely had one. It's sucked. This whole week is supposed to be nearing 70 degrees. As was the end of January and first couple weeks of February. And I knew Colorado had been getting dumped on, so when I found out that's where we were headed I was beyond stoked.
The drive was almost exactly six hours from Midway to Vail with only a couple bathroom breaks along the way. So we got there at noon on Thursday just in time to park and catch the second half of the day. And I gotta tell ya- I was impressed with that place immediately. Living in Utah completely surrounded by ski resorts and having the reputation for the "best snow on Earth" it hasn't really crossed my mind that there could be other places worth visiting. So I was just really blown away as soon as we got on the gondola. Those mountains are HUGE. And the runs are so much longer than the ones in Park City. So we spent a lot more time actually snowboarding than we are generally used to. We left the resort each day absolutely and completely spent. The other thing that was different was they had cleared most of the trees from the runs. It isn't like that at Canyons of Park City. The runs a lot of times funnel you all together because the trees get so thick. But the runs at Vail were so wide open I felt like I was the only one on the mountain. It was spectacular.
They got over two feet of snow at Vail the week before we came, and the sun finally showed its face the day we got in town. So not only did we have powder past our knees, but we had blue bird skies overhead the whole weekend. Now I know I've been boarding for four years now and I skied for about 18 years before that, but despite all my time on the mountains, I've always been a little intimidated by black diamonds. If you're not familiar with the difficulty rating for ski runs green circles are beginner, blue squares are intermediate, and black diamonds and double black diamonds are expert only. Most of it is psychological, I'm good enough that I can do black diamonds, but looking over the edge before I go down always freaks me out. Well, I don't know if it was the adrenaline of being somewhere knew or the confidence I got from two feet of powder, but Landon and I stuck pretty religiously to black diamonds. And it was extraordinary. The moguls were massive, but Landon taught me how to ride those bad boys like they were nothing. It was hands down the best time I've ever had snowboarding. We'd get to the bottom and I would look back up what we just came down and be like, "How did I not have a panic attack coming down that?!"
Now, the biggest reason we were even able to do this trip was because of our Epic Passes we have. This winter Vail bought Park City Mountain Resort, and they already owned Canyons resort ten minutes down the road plus all those other resorts in Colorado and whatnot. So if you buy their Epic Season Pass, that bad boy works at all the resorts. Which is really good because the day we left the day passes were $159. You read me right. AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY PAY THAT. It blows my mind. Three and a half day passes cost the same as what I paid for my season pass. Ski resort day passes and the price of concessions at movie theaters are robbery, I tell you. But I digress, the other awesome part about being in on the Epic Mix is that they have this whole app that records information about you and your day. There are these sensors that you go through at every lift and it will log on your pass how many vertical feet you went up, and you can earn pins for certain accomplishments like riding all the lifts in the Back Bowls, or logging 10,000 vertical feet in one day. And they have photographers placed around the mountain who will take as many photos as you want them to and all of this gets uploaded to your profile at the end of the day.
I loved getting to see all the things we did. And the pictures were the best, especially because they don't have those annoying watermarks that cover up the whole photo if you don't plan on buying them. These were my favorites:
The photographers were a lot of fun and were down for any weird poses we wanted to do and even helped with awesome ideas like that reflection one in Landon's goggles. It was like I had my own personal photographers following us around which is only my dream come true. Except, in my dream the photographer will let me know when I need to do a better job at rubbing in my sunscreen so I don't look like a sickly albino who has never seen a single ray of sunshine I her life.
HOW EMBARRASSING. And sad for the sick goggle line I was working on. I got a free sample of the stuff at the tents down at the Burton U-S Open, and I knew I got a lot, but Landon failed to explain just how pasty I had become. So now I only have a faint tan line; that SPF 50 really did its job.
We didn't know that the U-S Open was going on that weekend, but that was an awesome surprise! We got to watch some of the Men's Halfpipe Finals and take advantage of all the free swag being given away in the village. Saturday morning I did spend about 30 minutes doing an Instagram scavenger hunt at the Mountain Dew tent so that I could win this really cute Burton beanie that would be way to expensive for me in real life. And if you follow me on Instagram, I really am sorry for all the posts. I know how annoying that is, I took them all down after I got the beanie. And what I'm really just blown away by is the fact that said beanie is made of recycled Mountain Dew bottles. I've been meaning to google how they did that because I never would have guessed. Like, it feels like normal hat material.
So later that night, after shredding all day long we got all cleaned up and went back to the Village to party it up with all the people in town for the Open. They had concerts and food stands, dancing and so many flashing lights, like- that's the biggest party scene I've been on in a couple years! I loved it.
It was also our chance to walk around town and see all the fun little shops and bridges and fountains. It was magical, really. Landon got some ice cream, I got a red velvet cupcake and he bought me a shirt with black diamonds on it since I totally proved myself worthy.
I look legit don't I? ITS BECAUSE I AM, OKAY?!
Sunday morning, we were kind of back and forth on if we were going to try to catch a couple hours on the mountain. But with how drained we were from boarding three days in a row and taking into account our night on the town AND Day Light Savings thrown in there, we took the opportunity to sleep in and catch the tail end of the (best) continental breakfast (I've ever been a part of) before we packed up and said our last goodbyes to Vail. I was not ready to be done there, but Landon and I have decided to make this an annual thing so that made it easier to say goodbye for a season.