VIDEO: Beaver Creek kicks off the 2021-22 season on a mild Monday

WATCH: Reporter John LaConte finds former Vail Daily colleague Ross Leonhart on the slopes of Beaver Creek on Opening Day 2021-22.

The Beaver Creek Resort experienced a relaxed opening day on Monday with uncrowded slopes and lift mazes welcoming skiers and snowboarders.

A DJ played music while the revelers ate beaver tail treats and drank free coffee and hot cocoa from Beaver Creek staff. The beaver tail pastry is the trademark of Sweet Beaver Treats, which also opened on Monday.

Beaver Creek Village also has restaurants and galleries open during the season. Horton Fine Art showed a heavy texture oil painting of a bison by Estes Park-based artist Dawn Normali in the village, where Beaver Creek created new art installations in 2020-21 that are designed to offer a “whimsical, magical forest experience,” as described in a current video from the resort.

Dawn Normali’s “Tatanka Sunset” was on view in front of an art gallery in Beaver Creek on Wednesday during the resort’s first opening day for the 2021-22 season.
John LaConte / Vail Daily

Helmut Fricker played his alphorn for the 41st Simone Larese.

Restaurants at the Beaver Creek Holiday Village also began serving guests for the season on Monday. Blue Moose Pizza workers Sophie Hammond, Hayden Johnson and Sean Tracy camped at the base of the mountain the night before to have the honor of being the first on Beaver Creek Mountain for the new ski season.

Hammond carried on a tradition she had long enjoyed with her father, the EagleVail resident “First Chair Fred” Hammond. Fred and Sophie rode dozens of early chairs over the years.

Sophie said her father arrived at Beaver Creek Base around 10 p.m. on Sunday to claim his first place in line. Sophie got there with her friends about an hour later. She said it wasn’t too cold and she could get some sleep in the public toilet.

“I have half an hour in the public bathroom at 6 a.m.,” she said.

Opening day was a quiet Monday in Beaver Creek. The resort will open up more terrain as Mother Nature allows.
Chris Dillmann / Vail Daily

Johnson said the overnight temperatures weren’t too bad.

“It was all night in the 30s. It really wasn’t terrible, ”he said.

As he exited the elevator, Fred Hammond left his business card – a fist-sized indentation in the opening day banner that touches the banner but doesn’t destroy it.

Once on the slopes, the crew was greeted by a freshly groomed surface on the Gold Dust and Latigo slopes, with unkempt stashes next to the slopes.

The runs were not overcrowded in the morning and remained so until the afternoon. Sunny skies moistened the man-made snow into a grippy surface that could be aggressively driven during the day.

The Haymeadow gondola was in operation, offering beginners their own ski area and lift.

Ski patrols, including Director Addy McCord, reminded avid snowmobilers to take it slow.

While Beaver Creek Ski Patrol has added both skiers and snowboarders to their ranks over the years, McCord is neither and hits the slopes with a Sno-Go brand Skibike, better known as a ski trike; It uses two skis in the rear to achieve the brand’s “synchronized lateral articulation technology” that mimics the movements of a parallel skier.

Beaver Creek Ski Patrol Director Addy McCord with her Sno-Go Skibike.
John LaConte / Vail Daily

But other interesting equipment variants were also on display. Snowskater Jon Scharfencamp said he had numerous questions about the binding device he was riding and handed out the discount code “skatecamp” for Hovland Snowskates” Marquee product.

Telemark skier Charlie Vogel from Gypsum was up at the lift at 1:30 p.m. after using the free parking spaces that started at 1:00 p.m. on the plots in the valley floor.

“I’m a local so I’ll wait in the free parking lot,” he said with a smile.

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