The 2011-12 ski season has opened! I got my opening day pin from EpicMix when I joined long-time guest Bernie King, his son Dave and son-in-law Mike Dorey for a few runs on Friday. We have had some decent snow but they have been holding off on opening too much terrain too early. I got a few runs in on Bear Tree and Born Free with Born Free being the run of choice. It was fun to just be on the slopes again. More lifts are expected to open this weekend. If you are an Epic Pass holder and haven’t checked out EpicMix you need to sign up. It tracks your vertical feet, lift rides, and awards pins for various feats. Here’s how it works – Your ski pass has an RF chip in it. Over the past couple of years, Vail Resorts has installed RF readers at the base of each lift. As you pass under the reader, it logs your ride. All of the data is cumulated onto a very well laid out website that lets you see your accomplishments for the day. It also totals for the season and lifetime. Vail Resorts has installed the RF readers at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, Heavenly and Northstar so you can track your days at each resort separately or together.
What else is great is they have tied it in to the whole social media world. You can “share” your day with all of your friends on Facebook (though, I would caution using this if your boss is a “friend” – you’ll get caught on those “sick days”!) They have also come up with an elaborate reward system where they give pins for various accomplishments during the season – skiing on special days, covering so many vertical feet, etc. This year, Vail Resorts has introduced photo sharing on the website. They have replace the Sharpshooter crew you used to see at the tops of lifts that would always pester you for a photo that you could buy at the end of the day for an exorbitant amount of money. Now there is a new crew in bright green outfits wandering the entire mountain that pester you for a photo, but it is free! You can get your picture taken and link it to your EpicMix site.
EpicMix is a great addition to Vail Resorts’ offering. It makes it a lasting experience that you can share with your friends and family. Once you get started on it, you will find it addicting! I earned 4 pins on opening day and skied 5,183 feet.
The Sitzmark family would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving this weekend. The Fritch clan will be gathering in Vail for the holiday. Bob and Helen will be joined by all three daughters with spouses – Nancy from Boulder, Leslie and Mike from Idaho, and Jeanne and Ella from Golden/Vail. Nephew Bruce Fritch from Charlotte and two grandsons, Ryan and Chris Chapman will also be flying in. We are very grateful to have the family together this holiday and wish the best for you and yours throughout the holiday season. I’d like to share our Pumpkin Pie recipe from the Fritch Family Cookbook in celebration of the holiday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
1 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin
2 TBL. dark molasses
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 oz. sherry or 1 oz. bourbon (if used, pour into milk and decrease milk)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBL. flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 TBL. butter, melted
9” unbaked pie shell
For fresh pumpkin split pumpkin and scoop out seeds. Place halves on a baking sheet upside down in 1/2 inch of water. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until soft. Scoop out meat into blender. Puree until smooth.
Combine all ingredients. Pour custard into pie after crust has heated on oven shelf. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake 10 minutes at 450º, then 45 minutes at 350º or until knife inserted comes out clean.Recipe from Eugenia Short, Inverness, IL.