As end of season festivities whirl through the Resorts, so too did snow. Naturally, just as we were cashing in chips, breaking out shorts and putting away ski boots; Ullr came through. Snow started coming down on Saturday and by Monday had accumulated over a foot; by Tuesday it has percolated. But for 1 last weekend, we got to ride.
Keystone closed weekend before last. Vail, Breckenridge, and Copper held out until this past week; though Breck will ‘open’ for the next 2 weekends
to make up the 7.4% profit loss this year to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. As the music and weather swept across the Resorts, I followed, gathering a picture of the ‘types’ who frequent different hills.
Thievery Corporation played Vail on Friday night. Despite the “lounge aesthetic” to their multiethnic electrofunk sound, by the end of their set the guitarist was striking Vrksasana atop a speaker, wearing only skivvies. Meanwhile the audience milled with a fascinating array of individuals. A 300 lb man with a Visa Black Card in his sweaty fist and jean shorts trundled past my observation station several times; so much money, so little company. So too did a petite mami chula. Her barbed boot heels clicked, leather encasing legs up to the knee. A chic fitted down jacket, lined with fur rode high on her waist and a massive cigar occupied her hand. As a matter of fact, there were a lot of big wealth cigars being wielded. Simultaneously, a tiny girl in rainbow tights and a tutu danced madly from Daddy’s shoulder-tops, as he attempted to maintain balance in ski boots with the mass of squirming glee wadding his Spyder jacket around his face.
Saturday night delivered a respectable dump so Cody, Phil, & I broke from our Vail Resorts circuit and visited Copper where, as the snow-report dry erase board stated, “8 inches never felt so good.” And it kept coming down, intermittently, throughout the day, keeping tracks fresh. We rode with a vengeance.
Vengeance, for a low-ball season with less than 50% average historical snow-pack across the state. (For our area, I’ve heard estimates as low as 38%). Vengeance for a season spent hearing about how great LAST year was. Vengeance, for not getting to try back-country, as there was not much avalanche safe back-country to be tried. Vengeance for having to take breaks every 3 powder runs because my legs DID NOT get to adjust to shredding the deep stuff on the reg. Vengeance for being so excited there was actually snow to ride, that I did not think to stop and take pictures of ourselves riding said snow. So, you get the point, all around, lots of vengeance to be vindicated… got it.
After riding, we stuck around to hear Pato Banton bring Caribbean rhythm to our elevation. The crowd seemed to be the older (23-42) steezy bros. Not to be confused with ‘a steezer‘. While 13-17 year old hopeful park rats frequent various Vail Mountain hills (one pass gets you into about 7 different resorts across the country with some world class rated parks to ride), these older bras, for reasons of being asked to leave or perhaps due to personal conviction, eschew the corporate slopes, instead choosing to populate Copper.
Everything about these guys is lounge heavy; sagging pants, exceedingly long ski jackets, duct tape. These boys probably know every esoteric brand of gear and appear to pride themselves on speaking in so much jargon that I couldn’t make it out, or just not speaking at all; communicating instead by guttural invocations and beerepathy. I’m not actually sure if I’m allowed to call them steezy, or if it’s like the N-word, and only they can use it amoung themselves in casual jest, whereas, come from a non-steezy, it’s just offensive. Oops. But they are fun to observe; even more so when actually up on the slopes, which is clearly their natural habitat.
My point is this, there have been world class artists playing everywhere up here for several weeks. I’d list them but you’ve probably never heard of ’em… which is how you know they’re really good. And if not for the music, even just the people watching is fun.