Keystone, Vail and Denver Colorado
December 2006

This is the annual ski trip to the Keystone ski area.  This year we had five attendees: Tommy Trest, Holger Piprek, Karl Ebert and his nephew Travis Otter along with myself.  On the first day, Tommy, Holger, and I skied with Travis snow boarding at Keystone.  The second day the same four of us skied / snow boarded at Vail.  The third day, Tommy, Holger and I skied back at Keystone while Karl and Travis went snow mobiling.

The skiing was excellent this year as most of the lifts and runs were open at the two mountains.  Keystone had a 36 hours of straight skiing running from Friday morning at 9:00am until 9:00pm on Saturday night.  We planned on taking advantage of it but found it too cold at night this time. 

This year like many other trips, there is the possibility of the occasional skiing collision.  Most of the time it always seems to be with Snow Boarders, who tend to be young and careless and always at Keystone on a weekend.  This year was the worst we have ever experienced, which did not ruin the trip, and strangely they occurred with skiers at Keystone.

On the last day, I was standing on the side of a blue run and a Snow Boarder came crashing into me, luckily at a slow speed; but later on a diamond blue run while I was standing and about to start down the final phase of the run when I was hit by a Skier who hit me so hard it knocked the breath out of me.  The skier was a man about my age and he apologized over and over, explaining he lost control on the steep reclining run on some ice. I accepted the apology and went on.  Unfortunately, a worse experience, later that day, came along.

While on a nice easy Green run near a "Slow" sign, Tommy was over taken and hit from behind by a skier.  After this skier hit Tommy, two more skiers, apparently associated with the first collided also and made a cloud of snow powder according to Holger who was the closest and saw it unfolding.  Holger started to reprimand the skiers who all totally ignored him to the point Holger asked if they spoke English.  These skier were evidentially racing which is forbidden.  I skied down a little bit to look for a Keystone Marshall down the hill when Holger flagged one down shortly after I left.  After the Marshall arrived the skier who hit Tommy finally started to talk a little while his two friends left the scene.  Fortunately Tommy was not hurt, but one of Tommy's skies had a broken clip.  Tommy asked the skier if he was going to pay for his broken ski and the skier said no.  I eventually climbed back up the hill after Holger skied down to let me know how things were progressing.  I confronted the skier and got inches from his face and yelled at him.  Mountain Marshalls asked me to back away twice, which I eventually did while the skier did not say a word to me.  The event concluded with nothing but a report taken by the Marshalls while a Keystone Maintenance Technician arrived and jerry rigged Tommy's ski so that he could use it.  We moved on and had a bunch of good runs.

Accommodations

1 View to left of Keystone mountain
2 View to right of Keystone mountain
3 View of Keystone mountain in the afternoon.
4 Similar view of Keystone mountain in the afternoon.
5 Another beautiful view with snow on a tree.

Friday, December 1st - Keystone
A very over cast, cold, windy and snowy day

1 Walking up to lifts.  Keith in blue jacket and Tommy in green.
2 Keith & Tommy at drop off of Ruby Express
3 Eating at Chicago Italian Restaraunt.  Holger, Keith, Tommy and Karl

Saturday, December 2nd - Vail
A beautiful bright day, no wind.

1 View of the lowest part of the mountain from our parking early in the morning.
2 Similar view right after lunch.
3 Tommy, Keith and Holger changing into our ski boots.
4 View of one of the mid mountain gondolas leading up to several runs including Lost Boy
5 View of the basin at the top of mountain off of Lost Boy run.
6 View to the right of the basin.
7 Keith at the end of the Lost Boy trail, about to go down the run to the bottom, waiting on Travis who is coming in the distance.
8 View of the many wide runs at Vail
9 Beautiful view of a cross run area with the city of Vail showing very small at the bottom
10 Near the bottom of the mountain with a view of the city of Vail
11 After lunch, at the drop off of one of the Gondolas, half way up the mountain.  Tommy, Keith, Travis & Holger.

Sunday, December 3rd - Keystone
Another beautiful day with no wind in the morning and a little in the afternoon

1 Holger at the top of the mountain
2 Holger and Tommy at the top with Lake Dillon in the back ground
3 Keith and Tommy, same view.
4 Keith at the same place with Breckenridge Mountains in the background
5 View from one of the gondolas looking down at a run
6 On the gondola, Keith and Tommy.  It usually a little cold with the wind coming into your face.
7 View from one of the gondolas looking back down the mountain.
8 View of the back side of the mountain, North Peak, a blue run
9 Holger coming down one of the runs from the top.  Holger skies in perfect form.
10 Tommy and Keith on one of the runs.
11 Same location as #10, Keith snapping photo of Tommy on one of the runs.
12 Same location as #10, photo of Holger
13 Keith coming down one of the long green runs.  Notice the unconventional skiing stance?
14 Another view from another part of the mountain with Lake Dillon in the background.
15 About half way down the mountain and a view of city of Keystone at the bottom.
16 View of a beautiful stream that runs between Keystone and the mountain.
17 Travis on one of the snow mobiles

Monday, December 4th - Road back
No skiing.  Took a trip over Loveland Pass into Denver

  The roads up to and down from Loveland Pass were very icy.  We drove around 20 to 30 mph.
1 The road up to Loveland Pass
2 Keith at the Continental Divide
3 Tommy and Holger at the Continental Divide
4 Looking to the right of #2.  A view up the mountain at the Divide.  There are Snow Boarders walking towards the top, but they are very small because of the distance from us.  Unfortunately the camera does not show them with the camera resolution.
5 View coming down from the Divide where the road meets up with I70 to Denver.
  On one of evening we were watching Food Network and saw a place called Hammonds, located in Denver so we went and took a tour along with bringing back candies for our wives and kids.  All the candy is hand made and shipped all over.
6 Front of the Factory with the marquee delivery truck.
7 Two ladies making chocolate turtles.
8 Same view but showing the long conveyer belt sending the turtles down to another area for q/a and packaging.