Keystone Resort opens with 25+ jib features and top-to-bottom skiing
Last night when we were cruising down I-70 en route to Keystone Resort, I said to the group, "If they don't have some damn fighter jets flying overhead to kick off opening day, I'm going to be pissed."
This morning when we arrived at the resort, we weren't greeted with fighter jets, but we did encounter a throng of ski and snowboard fans, eager to ascend the mountain for their first Key-turns of the year. We also found donuts, lots and lots of free donuts—which were almost as good as fighter jets—and made me happy enough to forget about them for a while.
At 9:00 am sharp the proverbial ribbon was cut, and the hordes piled into the gondola cabins. One of those cabins was wrapped in large portraits of Max and Edna Dercum, the founders of Keystone and Arapahoe Basin. Max passed away this fall, Edna in 2008, and the gondola serves as a tribute to the duo that dedicated themselves to the sport of skiing, and to Summit County.
Once at the top, you could either shred T2B (top-to-bottom) hot laps, or make your way to the backside of the mountain where a jib park is currently erected. Featuring 25+ jibs of various shapes, sizes, colors, nationalities, etc, the park was teeming from open 'til close. The Ranger lift conveniently services the park area making for fast laps and an enjoyable ride, as you can watch others get their grind on.
We cruised in the park for the morning whilst the sun was shining bright. A handful of pros were on hand, including Bobby Brown, Grant Savidge, Spencer Milbocker and Pat Goodnough. 'Tis only day 1, and we witnessed a great deal of technical trickery. No time to waste, I suppose.
Some weather moved in later in the day, and we retreated to the 9280' Tap House for a little après action. While munching a meatball sub, my ears perked up. Off in the distance I heard… no, it couldn't be… but yes, it was! I heard the roar of fighter jet engines. We scoured the sky. They came so close, yet remained out of sight. And just as I was about to throw down my sub in a fit of rage, they emerged from behind the peak of Keystone: five glorious F16s. Not even kidding. Coincidence? Unlikely. I'm sure someone at Keystone arranged the fly-by just for me. Thanks, team! The perfect end to a killer day.
Check out the full photo gallery: Click on the link in the upper left hand corner.
Grant Savidge and Bobby Brown show off the jibs on Keystone's opening day.
Test: Open the photo gallery
About the author:
Henrik Lampert loves hot dogs, the Boston Bruins and Norway. He's the Online Editor here at Freeskier.