Keystone, Beaver Creek and Vail… OH MY.

Posted By: The Ski Channel on December 7, 2011 12:07 am

“Yeah, I’m headed up to Keystone on Friday. Then driving up to Beaver Creek to check out the Birds Of Prey World Cup on Saturday. I might even hit Vail on Sunday… you know, since they are expecting snow and all.”

I hear myself and laugh at how amazing that weekend sounds. To a lot of my east coast friends, the statement above is frustrating, and relatively evil to say the least. Cold weather will be there soon. Stay strong, grasshoppers.

But seriously, I feel like I’m living a permanent vacation.

I went up to Keystone on Friday. Keystone is such a fun mountain – such a mellow vibe. I had most of my fun on Flying Dutchman to Jackwhacker. Both were completely empty, and there’s nothing like having a trail all to yourself.  The A-51 terrain park looks incredible. There, you’ll find a solid jump line and rail garden littered with boxes, rails, tubes and tanks.

On Saturday, I shot up to Beaver Creek resort where the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup was taking place. The Birds Of Prey course is regarded as one of the most difficult courses on the World Cup circuit. Racers were FLYING down the mountain – I had never seen anything like it. The event drew a huge crowd and I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure USA had the loudest, most passionate fans in attendance.

I wrapped up my weekend to envy at Vail. Reports showed 9” of new snow, so a few of us grabbed a quick breakfast and hopped on the Vista Bahn Express. That “quick” breakfast actually lasted a bit longer than I would’ve liked. Next time, I’m opting for the Instant Oats. Oven top oatmeal is overrated.


We lapped the Northwoods Express, Wildwood Express and Mountain Top Express lifts for most of the morning. Even though most of the snow was already tracked, it was super fun. My back leg was on fire by the end of the day. I guess I have some conditioning to do. Then again, a back-to-back marathon of Burn Notice could also do the trick.


Such a fun weekend – can’t wait to do it all again.

– Halley O’Brien

Halley O’Brien is a freelance videographer, marketer and storyteller based in Boulder, Colorado. She loves sharing her enthusiasm for snowboarding, traveling and new experiences. Get to know her at: and find her on Twitter: @halleyobrien