fresh tracks

First tracks on a freshly groomed President Ford’s at Beaver Creek

Image: Jack Affleck

Vail’s most iconic collectible may be a 14-karat Golden Bear pendant (thegoldenbear.com), followed by a pendant of the Vail Resorts logoed sewer covers found on streets around Vail Village that once were the target of souvenir-hunting thieves—so much so that the town made replicas for sale (now available as a sterling or gold Vail Coin pendant at Lionshead Jewelers; lionsheadjewelers.com). Beaver Creek? Other than an ethereal melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookie, there really isn’t one.

So here’s a suggestion for VR’s marketing team: Beaver-Creek logoed corduroy trousers, or BC-branded Corduroy teddy bears with green corduroy overalls, referencing the resort’s celebrated commitment to assiduously groomed trails, from the mountain’s signature blue/green trail (Gold Dust, also equipped with a “powder refresh” snowmaking system) to President Ford’s, a .78-mile-long black diamond trail skier’s right of Lift 12 in Strawberry Park, a favorite of the 38th president of the United States, who wintered in a Strawberry Park ski chalet. On most weekends, Beaver Creek’s groomers even tame Golden Eagle, the vertiginous double-black Birds of Prey World Cup racecourse, making it possible for mere mortals to ski like Bode or Lindsey.

For its part, Vail’s most lappable groomer might be Avanti (a blue/black perfectly canted and tamed on skier’s left of Chair 20, named after another famous 10th Mountain Division battle), but thanks to Vail’s vaunted five-star grooming program, even some catwalks—like Timberline Face, a corduroy-paved superhighway dropping steeply from the mountain’s summit that serves as a gateway to the mogul fields of Northwoods Bowl and frontside glades like Snag Park—provide unforgettable carving fun.

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