Two weeks ago Vail Mountain opened with impressive early season snow totals and the promise of tremendous November ski conditions. Like every season, I was anxious to get up for a few runs. After attending a mandatory meeting at the firehouse, I geared up and made the short walk towards the Vista Bahn Express lift and my first turns of the season. I opted for the snowboard with the hope of finding some fresh snow stashed somewhere within accessible terrain. It was a nice day, not lonely but not crowded. The snow looked to be as promised and in great condition. I took the Vista Bahn straight to Chair 4 and then to Northwoods. My first run of the season was an easy cruiser to the bottom of Chair 11. It felt great to be back out on the hill again. Though I felt a bit rusty, I opted to try out Game Creek Bowl with the hope of finding that fresh snow experience I craved. I found it, however, while navigating my way across the slope, I dove the nose of my board into a soft spot and stopped immediately. The result was a non-traumatic and unimpressive meniscus tear and ACL strain. I was able to slowly ride back to the base of the mountain but could tell by the growing swelling in my knee that a visit to the doctor was imminent. News that my injury was minor and would only cost me a couple of weeks was good to hear. It would have been tough to lose the entire season having not even scratched the surface of an optimistic snow year. That said, I would need to find something to occupy the next couple of weeks while I applied copious amounts of rehab, ice and ibuprofen to my injured limb. As it turns out, two kids virtually eliminates the problem of finding something to do. That and Thanksgiving feasts with friends in Vail and again with my Family in Denver made for a rather painless recovery. I have done (most of) my time and am ready to get back on the horse. This time I’ll take it a bit easy for a run or two before I head off to deeper stashes. I have learned my lesson and recommend to anyone heading up for his or her first turns to do the same. It’s a long season and promises to be a good one so take your time and be there until the sunny spring ending!
I will be writing a weekly (or more) blog for Vail Resorts chronicling the season and providing inside tips to enjoying the Vail Valley. Check out all the Vail Insider posts at Snow.com