Here you will find the sports programs and activities for the 2015-16 winter season, organized into one convenient place. The at-a-glance summary is first, followed by detailed descriptions when you scroll down.

Winter Sports Coordinator
Burt Merical   612-810-2588

If you click on an event name in the summary, it will jump you right to the full description. 

Liability and Guest Policy
The sports programs are for Vail Club 50 members. A member is welcome to bring a guest, but the guest must sign a Liability Waiver at the beginning of the event. Event leaders will have the Liability Waivers with them. We limit non-member participations to one sporting event for the season. Click here for the Guest Liability Form.

Winter Sports and ActivitiesDay(s)
Alpine SkiingTuesday, Thursday (Vail)
Saturday (Beaver Creek)
SnowshoeingWednesday, Saturday
Backcountry Ski TouringFriday (and occasional Monday)
Uphill SkinningSaturday
Non-Club Activities

Winter Sports Kickoff / Winter Leader Sign-Up / New Members’ Welcome

Tuesday, December 1, 3:30-6:00 pm

Location: Eagle-Vail Pavilion, 538 Eagle Drive

Price: Members $5; Guests $10
New this year: advance online registration required for all participants. If you don’t register online and pay at the door, the charge is $10.

Deadline for Payment/Sign-up: Sunday, November 22
CLICK HERE for online registration

Contact:  Melanie Richmond   Email is preferred contact method.  Cell phone: 303-901-5189.

Start the winter season with our traditional Winter Meet and Greet party at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion. Mingle with your friends and meet new members.  If you are new to Vail Club 50, this is a great way to get to know those in the Valley who have similar interests.

Expect to be warmed from the inside out with appetizers, chili, wine, beer and soft drinks.

Parking is convenient, plentiful, and free!  Whether your day included skiing, snow-shoeing, cross country skiing, or just “hanging out” in the beautiful Vail Valley, this is a great way to end the day and get revved up for the season’s sporting activities with like-minded folks.


A great success of last year’s event was getting both new and “old” volunteers for the various winter sports activities.  Please bring your calendars and be prepared to sign up to lead a ski, a snow shoe, or a cross country ski. Can’t make the party, but want to lead an activity?  Contact the winter activity chairmen directly before December 1 to claim your favorite days and places. Contact information is available in the newsletter.

Join the fun and learn what Vail Club 50 has planned for the 2015-2016 Winter Season!

Remember this club functions by the generosity of YOU volunteering to lead activities. 


Downhill Skiing

John Kelleher   806-679-5557
Wil Brown  205-937-9898

Click here to volunteer to be a ski leader, or to see a report of who has already volunteered.

“Ski-season’s greetings” to all past and future VC 50 ski leaders. The snow is starting to fly and it is time to consider volunteering to lead this fun group!

There will be the usual 5 ski groups (as described below):
Double Black, Single Black, Blue-Black Bumpers, Blue-Black Cruisers and Blue. That means we need A LOT of leaders… 5 groups twice a week = 10 leaders per week for 16 weeks = 160! So please do attend and sign up to lead at the 2015-16 Leaders Sign-up Party and Winter Kickoff.

Meeting times and places

Meet at 9:00 in Look Ma restaurant at Mid-Vail on Tuesdays & Thursdays. We depart promptly at 9:30 AM. Meet in the large side room to the right of the entrance. The first day of organized skiing at Vail will be updated here once we know it. There will be no organized skiing on these holiday dates: 12/24, 12/26, 12/31 and 1/1.

Apres Ski: we will gather around 2:30 and later for Happy Hour at Sarah’s bar at The Christiana Hotel in Vail Village.

Beaver Creek

There is a more informal group meeting on Saturdays at Beaver Creek. They meet at Broken Arrow and select their own leaders. The first day of organized skiing at Beaver Creek will be updated here once we know it.

If you have any questions please contact John…. Thanks and see you on the slopes!

VC50 Alpine Skiing Guidelines

1. Show up promptly, listen to leaders instructions and segregate into groups.

2. Realistically evaluate your ski abilities and choose a compatible group:
Double black diamond: expert skiers, all terrain fast, trees, deep powder.
Black diamond: expert and advanced skiers, similar terrain to above but somewhat slower.
Blue/black bumpers: Intermediate and advanced skiers, moguls, powder optional depending on conditions and leader.
Blue/black cruisers: Intermediate skiers, no moguls, no deep powder.
Blue: Intermediate and advanced beginners, blue and some green runs, mostly groomers.

3. All guests must sign liability waiver! Guest are asked to complete the waiver before arriving to save time. You can  CLICK HERE to complete a waiver.

4. If a particular group is larger than 12 skiers, attempt to choose a second leader and start a new group.

5. Try to stay behind the leader or the designated person to go first.

6. Try to stay in single file or at least far apart from other skiers. Multiple aggressive skiers using the whole slope tend to ski into each other on open slopes.

7. Try to get the leader’s cell phone number (we will see if it is possible to publish). If you decide to go your own way send him/her a text/call before you leave the group.

8. Understand that you are out there for enjoyment and safety. First one down is not the winner.

Downhill Skiing Chairmen — John and Wil

Vail Late Start aka “Latte” Skiers 

Contact: Cathy Conroy    216-272-3325

Don’t want to face the cold mornings, looking for a laid back group, or just saving yourselves for the evening? Join the Latte Skiers. The group will meet in the upper level of Look Ma, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 am; out the door at 11:15 am. We will break into groups based on the turnout on any given day. The intention is to form three groups: Black, Blue-Black and Blue-Green. Breaking for lunch will be optional and up to the leader/ group on any given day.

After skiing, the group will head to Aprés Ski at Sarah’s Lounge and meet with the early bird skiers. Join or lead a group by contacting Cathy.

NEW this year! Uphill skinning

Contact: Burt Merical    612-810-2588

Opening Day: To be determined; watch this page for details


We all love to go downhill on our skis. Now it is time to go UPHILL on our skis. The goal is to explore the fun and effort that is required to go up a ski run on skis. This is a new discipline that you will come to love. The plan is to use in-bound ski runs not back country.

skinning2We will meet every Saturday (or perhaps every other Saturday) around 7:30-8:00am (prior to the lifts opening) at Arrowhead. We will skin up and once we have reached the top of the lift, we can either ski down or ride the lift down.

Special equipment is required (skins for the bottom of skis, heel releasable bindings) which can be rented. We will have a meeting prior to the first outing to explain the discipline, the equipment options and other aspects.




Contacts: Paul Chapman     203-856-9825
Co-Coordinator: A volunteer for Co-Coordinator is needed!!     

Opening Day: Monday, November 30 (Tennessee Pass Cookhouse Lunch Event)

Click here for the current schedule (Excel spreadsheet).


Get away from the crowds. Climb a steep snowy slope. Commune with nature. Admire the gorgeous views. Share the day with the VC50 snowshoers!

The snowshoe group is looking forward to making all of the above and more happen for you with another active season again this winter. We plan to have outings from the beginning of December to mid-April, and  hope to have enough volunteer leaders to offer an outing every Wednesday and Saturday of the season plus some “pop-up” extra  outings  during January, February, and March.




TO VOLUNTEER as a Leader (some still needed): Please contact Paul Chapman, co-ordinator.

TO SIGN UP for a snowshoe: Wait for the email notice of snowshoe events for the coming month.
Use the “Sign me up” response button after the trail description (or contact leader if you have questions).

Our “special” snowshoe events include:

  • Nov 30 – Tennessee Pass Cookhouse – lunch (sign up on Social Events page)
  • Jan 1 – New Year’s Brunch (sign up on Social Events page)
  • Jan 20 – Game Creek Club – lunch (wait for monthly email notice)
  • Feb 1 – Tennessee Pass Cookhouse – lunch (sign up on Social Events page)
  • Feb 20 – Moonlight Snowshoe -10th to Dinner at Bistro 14 – (wait for monthly email notice)
  • Mar 22 – Moonlight Snowshoe -10th to Dinner at Bistro 14 – (wait for monthly email notice)
  • Member sponsored lunches (Zachs, Game Creek Club, Arrowhead Yurt, etc) – (wait for monthly email notice)

NOT Getting the email notices for snowshoe?  Click here and follow the instructions to update your email list preferences.

IF you are a NEW member or recent renewal, the email lists are updated periodically.  Meanwhile, contact Paul Chapman for a direct notice.

If you are interested in snow shoeing, but have questions about gear, how to start, where to try it out, give me a call ! (see phone/email above)

—Paul Chapman, Snowshoeing Chairman

Backcountry Ski Touring

Contact: Nancy Young      970-331-4399

Opening Day: Friday, January 8, 2016

Click here for the current schedule (PDF file).

With the high peaks soon to be covered in snow, thoughts of gliding through quiet forests on fresh snow are taking hold. Under the leadership of experienced skiers, backcountry participants can look forward to exploring nearby trails and roads in Summit, Lake and Eagle Counties that provide a winter experience in our beautiful mountain environment.  While most outings will take place on Fridays and continue through mid-March, watch for occasional Monday trips too. For novice participants, opportunities to increase your cross country ski skills and confidence will also be offered at local Nordic ski areas.

We’ll start the season on Friday, January 8. The full schedule with leaders, locations and level of difficulty will be posted here once it is complete.

During the season, specifics of each trip will be emailed regularly to interested members with contact information to sign-up for the outing. The emails will describe the trip, degree of difficulty and approximate distance. Please review trip descriptions carefully and assess your ability to participate.

Be aware that backcountry ski outings require good physical conditioning (similar to conditioning needed for Marmot and sometimes Hare level hiking), the right kind of equipment, and some XC ski experience. While the trails are usually packed out, conditions vary with the weather, thus trails may be icy and hard packed or covered in fresh powder requiring breaking trail. The terrain is better suited to wider cross-country skis with metal edges and not the narrower skis appropriate for “track” skiing at Nordic Centers. Telemark and all-terrain skis can also be used.

Leaders are needed for each outing. An opportunity to sign-up to lead a trip will be available at the Winter Kickoff Party on the evening of December 1 at the EagleVail Pavilion (see above for full description). Or contact Nancy directly with your availability to lead.

If you are not receiving emails with trip dates and detailed information once the season is underway and/or you would like to be added to the list, please contact Nancy (see above).

I look forward to seeing you on the trail this winter! 

Backcountry Ski Touring Chairman — Nancy Young

Non-Club Activities

The following activities are not officially sponsored by Vail Club 50 or limited to Vail Club 50 members.  If you would like to list another non-club activity, please contact Only social or sports activities open to new participants will be included.

If you are willing to coordinate a new Vail Club 50 winter activity, contact the Winter Sports coordinators Burt Merical at

Town of Avon Adult Sports and Senior Programs
The Town of Avon offers a number of adult sports and senior programs including Pickleball, H20 Cardio + Yoga, Aquacise, Tai Chi, etc.  Click here for more information about the adult sports programs.  Click here for more information about the senior programs.

Adopt-A-Trail Campaign
Looking forward to next summer, we are thinking about a new VC50 hiking program focused on helping out with Vail Valley trail maintenance.  This would be a scheduled event (or events) during the summer and we would partner with groups such as the U.S Forest Service and/or Walking Mountains Science Center to make sure we “do it right”!

At this time we wanted to point you to an important related press release about a current effort to fund a new forest ranger who would work with us on this Adopt-a-Trail opportunity.  Please send your feedback and any questions to Robin Wagner at


Movie at Vail Film Festival
YEAR BY THE SEA is a baby boomer coming-of-age story based upon the NYT best-selling memoir by Joan Anderson. At the heart of our film is the belief it’s never too late to reclaim your life. And while YEAR BY THE SEA is a celebration of change, it’s also a gentle tale about the evolution of self and relationships. We feel YEAR BY THE SEA will resonate with audiences of every age and stage in life, but, most particularly, those over 50. Our logline:


Hoping to reclaim who she was before marriage and children, an empty nester retreats to Cape Cod where she embarks upon a quest to set herself free.

Featuring a Golden Globe, Emmy, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize award-winning cast — Karen Allen, Yannick Bisson, S. Epatha Merkerson, Michael Cristofer, and Celia Imrie — we’re thrilled to a part of the 13th annual Vail Film Festival and very much look forward to our World Premiere.We’ve two screenings scheduled:

Sat 4/9 @ 3:30p (270-seat Vail Cascade Theater)
Sun 4/10 @ 2:30p (63-seat CineBistro at Solaris)

And we hope to have additional events during the festival, including book signings with author Joan Anderson and talks with Karen Allen and writer/director Alexander Janko.
Laura Goodenow