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NEMS Article - 2015 Geezer Ski Bum Tour – EpicSki #2

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2015 Geezer Ski Bum Tour – EpicSki #2

By: Jamesj
Posted 2/9/15  Last updated 2/9/15  764 views  2 comments

2015 Geezer Ski Bum Tour – EpicSki #2


First Week Highlights and Lessons Learned, February 9, 2015

By Jim Kenney


a.       I had a few waves of emotion on the two day drive from Virginia to Colorado as I reflected on my life and recent retirement.  The key word seems to be GRATITUDE. I arrived in Colorado on February 1. The long drive helped me work on the huge attitude adjustment necessary for successful ski bumhood.  Spending a night in Denver seemed to help with altitude adjustment.


b.      I was totally solo my first couple days in ski country and I made use of a free mountain tour at Vail.  The tours usually start between 10 and 11AM at Vail and Beaver Creek.  Just ask any info office or ski school counter for details.  This is a great deal if you don’t know the mountain, you’re visiting for a number of days, and particularly if you are alone.


c.       Within a couple of days I made very useful connections through EpicSki members.  SkiNEwhere, a Colorado resident, guided me for a great day among some of Beaver Creek’s most renowned advanced terrain including Stone Creek Chutes, Royal Elk Glade, and long bump runs served by the Rose Bowl Chair. Epicski member Fatbob, on a ski sabbatical from England, showed me how to be a good fan at the World Championships while he rang his cowbell during the Men’s Downhill Final. I learned not to expect favorites or big names to just walk away with easy titles.  All these guys and gals are good.  The next day Fatbob gave me a great, guided tour on my first ever visit to Vail’s Blue Sky Basin.


e.      The life of a geezer ski bum has a certain rhythm, at least for me.  I’m taking very little caffeine, no TV, eating simple meals made in a motel room, not even imbibing much alcohol.  I’m high on life right now!  I check the weather reports often to decide when/where to ski.  I email or text potential ski partners for the next days.  I've skied six out of seven days here so far, but some of my days are half days.  I took time on Sunday to go to a local church in Minturn (see first paragraph above).  I miss my wife Kathy and can't wait for her to join me out here on March 2.


f.        The low budget, but reasonably clean motel I’m staying at in Minturn seems to host a lot of semi-permanent dwellers.  One family in a ground floor apartment has a cute little dog that keeps getting lost.  They cuss like sailors all through the neighborhood at least twice a day chasing after ‘Rocco’.  I won a dog leash at an après ski party in Avon and anonymously hung it on their door knob.


g.        I’m trying to look for local events, such as the skijouring competition I watched at Minturn or the Après Avon party with a live band held each evening during the World Championships.  Fatbob the incredibly resourceful and intrepid English traveler is especially adept at this.  Tonight I might go see the Barenaked Ladies in Vail.  The world championships sponsors are offering free concerts nightly after the medal ceremonies at Solaris Plaza.


h.      There is no doubt that skiing Vail and Beaver Creek on a day-visitor basis is a hassle compared to my eastern experience of converging on a giant parking lot close to the base of the slopes.  Since I’m staying about five miles from both resorts I have to plan early for free parking and/or mass transit.  As a retiree with a season pass and two months of skiing ahead of me I’m learning to drop the weekend warrior mentality and be patient.


H    Here are some images from the first week of my Geezer Ski Bum Tour, all photos by Jim Kenney


       I received an outstanding mountain tour from Vail Ambassador Rich Tarmey


EpicSki member SkiNEwhere in the Arrowhead trail pod at Beaver Creek


Got my pit zips open at the base of Stone Creek Chutes at Beaver Creek


The jam packed Redtail Finish Stadium at Beaver Creek for the Men's Super G final (get well Bode:()



Spectating at the Men's Downhill alongside Beaver Creek's Birds of Prey race course


Skijouring competition in Minturn



 The Mother Hips band at Apres Avon


Fatbob cutting loose on a gorgeous afternoon in Vail's Blue Sky Basin (I think he needs a new user name:  Dancing BearThumbs Up)



Scoping out Lover's Leap by the Skyline lift in Blue Sky Basin


Moi in the back bowls of Vail, where life is good 




Comments (2)

You Sir are living the dream!  It gives me hope as I plan on doing the same in a few years when I pull the pin.  Please keep us up to date on your adventures, as well as, the great pics.  Hope to make a few turns, and bend an elbow with you somewhere down the road.  Cheers, Jim 

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