100,000 Vertical Feet in One Day

More than five years ago, three Winter Warriors decided to set a goal of skiing 100,000 vertical feet in one day. On March 4 of this year, Ted Yard, Chris Maitland and Bruce Bell successfully completed that feat here at Blue and they shared how they accomplished it with us.

For most of us, the closest we get to setting any ski records is how quickly we can find a table in the sun for après. But for Ted, Chris and Bruce, they put in the time and carefully planned out all of the details to actually check a 100,000 vertical feet ski day off their bucket list.

The three friends each live close to the area and all name Blue Mountain as their favourite place to ski.

“We have skied for a long time at many different places and Blue has an unbeatable value for skiers like us who want full days on the hill with great quality terrain,” said Bruce.

The three avid skiers, admit that when they first talked about the goal of skiing 100,000 vertical feet in one day most of their friends and family thought they were crazy. To give some perspective, that distance is equal to over 33 American football fields or nearly 670 Olympic sized swimming pools end-to-end.

The task was not taken lightly and the planning was thorough.

“We did test runs and a lot of research to make sure it was really possible to not only complete but complete safely,” noted Chris.

The three skiers are long-time passholders at Blue and are very familiar with the terrain. They timed runs and lift rides and they took into account skier or boarder traffic to be able to map out the most feasible way meet the goal.

The trail they chose was the Happy Valley run via the Century chairlift as it was optimal for distance, timing and level of difficulty. The weather was just right on Wednesday, March 4th and at 8:30 a.m. that morning, the three men were first in line at the lift to embark on what would be a marathon day on snow which didn’t end until after 8:00 p.m. that evening.

“We packed a backpack with portable food and drinks so we wouldn’t need to stop to eat. We had layers and additional lenses on hand for when the lighting changed on the hill,” said Ted who also noted that safety was a top priority along with speed and efficiency. “A big part of taking on this endeavor was being able to trust that each of us was able to keep up but also agreeing that we would be as safe as possible,” Ted says.

The three agreed that they would only be doing safe, carving turns to complete each run and in true ‘Three Muskateers’ fashion, that if one of them could not complete the day, none of them would.

Fortunately, that was not the case and just after 8:00 p.m. that evening, Ted, Chris and Bruce finished their last run to achieve 100,000 vertical feet in one day. After receiving congratulations from the lift operators who had been routing for them all day, the men peeled off their ski boots and enjoy a well-deserved dinner at Jozo’s.

Not surprisingly, each skier took the following day off as a rest day. And who could blame them? Imagine just sitting on the chairlift for nearly 12 hours let alone loading, unloading, skiing, and poling for that long!

For the rest of us who just want leisurely to enjoy our turns until après, we tip our hats to Ted, Chris and Bruce while we enjoy watching them from the patio.

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