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The HFSC stayed at the Mountain Haus, centrally located in Vail Village. The HFSC 40th anniversary logo was prominently displayed at the check-in desk. Good job, Frank.
We had a clear weather travel day, and everyone arrived in time for Rob’s most excellent Thai seafood curry.
Sam returned for the first time since the 2004 HFSC Reloaded trip to Vail. Sam arrived in style…an Uber Wheelchair met him in the lobby and rolled him to the HFSC HQ suite where he was warmly greeted by everyone. It was good to have Lowell back after being out on injured reserve. Everyone missed Lee, Bill and Dan not being there.
Mark once again came to the rescue for Chris’s rib night.
After dinner, there were lots of old guy, back in the day stories….there was lots of wine consumed as well. The wine helped make the stories more interesting. Thanks to Richard for bringing a case of excellent wine.
Jon topped off the evening with the premier of the 2017 HFSC Steamboat video which included highlights from the 40 year history of the HFSC. Well done, Jon!
Clear day, no new snow, high of 43 degrees forecast for the Village
Distributed the HFSC 40th Anniversary Pullovers at breakfast.
Skied mostly groomed runs. Kevin recorded the HFSC skiing on his helmet mounted GoPro camera. Unfortunately, Blue Sky Basin was closed. Big dog vertical was 33,600 feet for the day with 25 runs; coming close to the all-time record of 34, 600 set at Beaver Creek in 2010…without using a helicopter.
Unfortunately, Frank was not able to ski any of the days due to a knee injury he suffered skiing just days before the 40th. Hope your knee heals quickly, Frank.
Sam established an HFSC record for skiing at the age of 80. That record will be hard to break. When asked how it felt to ski at age 80, “Sam said he had a 7 hour lift ticket, but only 3 hour legs!”
There were three Half Fasters, Sam, Lowell and Richard, who were required to be re-initiated due to missing a trip….in Sam’s case, 13 consecutive trips! The re-initiation required rolling in the snow, but there was no snow around the hot tub. Negotiations followed involving re-initiation by jumping in nearby Gore Creek. The negotiations stalled after several beers.
Jon Rottier prepared beef stew for dinner, and Frank’s wife made homemade bread for us. Both were delicious. For dessert, we had the traditional Dove Bars.
After dinner The Half Fast All Star Band provided a lively performance. Band members include Rob “Maestro” Adams on keyboard; Peter “Ozzie” Smith on lead guitar; Kevin “Fingers” Bogle on rhythm guitar, and Jonny C on guitar, kazoo, and vocals. Featured vocalists were Chris “Big Dog” Reid and Frankie “Who Needs a New Ski Outfit?” Rottier.
Clear day, no new snow, forecast high of 52 degrees in the Village.
Skied mostly groomed runs again. It became quite windy by mid-morning and continued through the afternoon.
The Crain Unit led us to the Inner Mongolia run which required poling into the wind, riding a Poma lift, and merging with 1000 other skiers at the bottom to catch the only lift out because Blue Sky Basin was once again closed. The skiing on Inner Mongolia was good and almost made the poling and waiting worth it.
Mark felt the need for speed and was clocked at 56.9 mph!
Sam received an award from a female liftie on Chair 4, for having the best ski hat ever.
Big Dog vertical was 29, 978 with 22 runs. Chris, Kevin and Mark were leading the pack all day with speeds approaching terminal velocity.
In the hot tub, Old Dogs, Don and Frank, reluctantly agreed to Sam, Richard and Lowell re-qualifying by rolling in ¼ inch of snow and ice next to the hot tub. Frank had to rake the snow off the roof with his cane. All three re-qualifiers rolled in the snow, with Sam providing the most enthusiastic performance. Later, at dinner, Don and Frank were severely censured by the other Half Fasters for agreeing to such a pitiful re-initiation. Ed was quiet during the censuring discussion.
Friday night is traditionally Ribs by Reid night, and Chris once again grilled pork ribs to perfection. Chris uses Big Dog Reid’s Dry Rub to achieve the excellent flavor. The Mountian Haus does not have gas or charcoal grills, so Mark brought a grill on his SUV bike rack.
The grilling venue was the top floor of the Vail Transportation Hub parking lot, across the street from the Mountain Haus. Several people walking by approached the group asking to buy some ribs. Sam set a high selling price, asking $50 for ribs. He closed zero orders.
One guy walked by, and said in amazement, “I’ve been coming to Vail for 20 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this!”
After dinner and more wine, the HFSC Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Smith, continued his multi-trip lecture on the value of the HFSC brand….”It’s all about the brand!” Finally, operational action was undertaken by Jon. Within 5 minutes, Jon secured two domain names for the HFSC: HalfFastSkiClub.com and BestSkiClub.com. Now the plan is to build out the HalfFastSkiClub.com site to be the repository for all things Half Fast.
Another clear day, no new snow, skied groomed and packed powder.
The HFSC got an early start and was in the gondola line by 8:15. Chris was finally happy that we were all together for an early start, and we caught the 3rd gondola going up the mountain. Once again, the pace of skiing was brisk, but Mark only hit 48.7 mph for his high speed.
The early start led to an early lunch at Belle’s Camp, and then the run down the back bowl to Blue Sky Basin. Today, it was open with many good runs. We made several runs on Grand Revue, which was the run that Lee left everyone behind on the 35th Anniversary trip.
By 2:30, Chris and Don headed down, but Kevin, Mark, Rob Crain and Peter headed over Roger’s and Highline for some Black Diamond bump runs.
The Big Dog vertical for the day was 31,578 with 23 runs.
After some hot tub time, Chris, Lowell, Sam and Don walked over to the Sonnenalp for a beer and rich people watching. We were all wearing our 40th Anniversary pullovers. A couple in their late 50’s walked by….the woman stopped and looked at the logo on Chris’s shirt. Then she said, “ I just love the name of your ski group.” This led to the usual discussion about where we are from, etc. She enthusiastically turned to her husband and said, “Honey, you need to join this ski club.” Peter was right…it’s all about the brand.
As the four of us entered the Mountain Haus, we ran into John, the owner of the 8150 Ski Rental Shop. He was also impressed with the HFSC logo, and when we told him about the new HalfFastSkiClub.com website, he immediately offered to be a paid sponsor. Peter was right again.
Mark, Kevin, Rob Crain and Peter met up with Rob Adams and Jon for apres ski at Pepi’s near the base of the gondola. Kevin said they watched many skiers fall and slide while trying to navigate the lower part of the run to the base.
After apres ski time, our group walked over to Elway’s Steak House for our traditional Saturday night celebration dinner. We all wore our 40th Anniversary pullovers to the restaurant, so we were very conspicuous as we entered.
Frank and Jon had pre-ordered delicious appetizers for the table. Ed and Richard collaborated on the wine selections, and the entrees were excellent.
After dinner, Frank led the discussion to select the ski location for 2019. After minimal discussion, Revelstoke was again selected. Chris will be the trip leader. The travel logistics remain a concern, however Chris will ski Revelstoke in 2 weeks, so he will check it out for us.
The weather forecast called for 3 to 6 inches of new snow, starting in early afternoon.
Mark, Kevin and Don were the first to depart, with the mission to return the grill to Frisco before continuing to DIA.
Everyone left Vail before the snow started, except for Sam. He experienced weather delays at Eagle Vail and didn’t get home to Scottsdale until 10:00pm.
Before departing Vail, Chris received word that his home in Toronto was burglarized the night before. After arriving home, Chris discovered that the thieves had made quite a mess looking for cash and jewelry. Chris lost some jewelry, however the thieves left his computer, A/V equipment, art, and most importantly his 68 bottle collection of Brunello wine.
Another great HFSC is now in the history book.