Celebrate Vail’s legacy with skiing, hikes
This Presidents Day weekend, join Vail Mountain in commemorating the legacy of its founders and the 10th Mountain Division at Vail Legacy Days. The four-day celebration will honor Vail’s unique history and pioneering spirit, as well as recognize today’s service members and veterans.
Festivities will include this season’s third 10th Mountain Legacy Parade, an ’89 World Alpine Ski Championships Throwback Party, the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge, a recreation of the Vail founders’ first hike and numerous other opportunities for guests to engage with Vail’s culture of legacy and innovation.
“The 10th Mountain Legacy Parades, in partnership with the town of Vail, have been a huge success thus far,” said Doug Lovell, chief operating officer at Vail Resorts. “We are excited to have an entire weekend dedicated to the legacy of our founders and those who have served our country and impacted Vail.”
In conjunction with Legacy Days weekend, infantry members of the Colorado National Guard will be doing on-mountain training and outreach. The Vail community hopes to enhance mountain infantry skills and honor the military heritage of skiing in Colorado. There will also be informational military displays located at the base of Gondola One and at Mid-Vail on Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s the schedule for Vail Legacy Days:
Friday, Feb. 15:
◆ 10th Mountain
Skiers dressed as traditional 10th Mountain Division Ski Troopers will perform a Torchlight Ski Down to the base of Gondola One, followed by a parade of military veterans, also in traditional uniform, marching from Gondola One down Bridge Street, across the Covered Bridge and finishing at the 10th Mountain statue.
Vail’s newly renovated Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum will stay open until 8 p.m. after the parade for guests to visit and learn more about Colorado’s ski history through the new 10th Mountain Division exhibit and a showing of the film “Climb to Glory.”
Saturday, Feb. 16:
◆ ‘89 World Alpine Ski Championships Throwback Party
It’s time to party like its 1989. Celebrate Vail’s legacy in style with an ‘80s throwback party in tribute to the FIS World Alpine Ski Championships, which took place in Vail in 1989. Come dressed how you would to watch the races in ‘89 — neon onesies and home country flag apparel. Boogie to local ’80s cover band Rewind at Mid-Vail Restaurant from noon to 3 p.m.
◆ Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum: Through the Lens with Chris Anthony
The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum will host Hall of Fame member and Warren Miller filmmaker Chris Anthony for an encore presentation of “Alpine Journeys — Through the Lens” on Saturday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Anthony’s extensive research and passion for the 10th Mountain Division has uncovered new and untold post-World War II stories, which he will share with the audience. Beer, wine and appetizers are included with a ticket. Visit SkiMuseum.net for more information and to purchase tickets.
Sunday, Feb. 17:
◆ Black Hawk
A Black Hawk helicopter, the Army’s premiere frontline helicopter and workhorse from the post-Vietnam era through today, is scheduled to land at the top of Avanti Express Lift on Sunday, Feb. 17, weather permitting.
Monday, Feb. 18:
◆ The First Hike
In March of 1957, Earl Eaton and Pete Seibert first climbed Vail Mountain to the point now known as Ptarmigan Ridge. As they looked down at the boundless views of the future Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin, they agreed that this would be the place for their premiere ski resort. Sixty-two years later, celebrate this fateful first exploration with a hike up Ptarmigan Ridge from Wildwood Express Lift, where guides dressed in traditional 10th Mountain apparel will greet guests and signage along the hike will feature the history of Vail’s founders and a map of the full First Hike route. Upon reaching the top, hike participants can enjoy light refreshments and then ski down Sun Down Bowl together.
◆ 74th anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge
On Monday, Feb. 18, 1945, the 10th Mountain Division had one of their most memorable World War II victories: they overtook the steep, snowy mountain of Riva Ridge in a stealthy nighttime operation. 74 years later, Vail will commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Riva Ridge to honor the soldiers who fought bravely and many of whom later returned to form the foundations of the American ski industry. Skiers are invited to meet at the top of Mountain Top Express Lift for a ski down Riva Ridge to close out the Legacy Days weekend.
Additional Weekend Activities
◆ Helly Hansen LifaLoft Takeover of Sarge’s Shelter
On Saturday and Sunday, Sarge’s Shelter at Mid-Vail will be transformed with an interactive Helly Hansen takeover to feature the outdoor apparel brand’s new and innovative LifaLoft technology. Stop in warm up, try on the new Helly Hansen gear and experience the LifaLoft innovation for yourself.
◆ Historic Mountain Tours
Ever wonder about the story behind a trail name at Vail? Like how Riva Ridge is named after a key battle that the 10th Mountain Division won during World War II, or how Vail founders Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton dropped into Sun Up Bowl for the first time and after commenting that it took forever to hike back up the mountain, decided to later name that trail Forever? To pay homage to Vail’s legacy, historical signs have been placed across the mountain, allowing guests to embark on a self-guided historical tour of the mountain.
These informational signs are located in key areas that showcase the history of Vail, and provide insights into the naming of certain trails. From Friday through Sunday during Legacy Days weekend, join a complimentary guided on-mountain historical tour to ski through Vail’s history. Space is limited. More information regarding this tour and other guided tours can be found at Vail.com.
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