Operation Elevation at Heavenly, #EpicRace

On Tuesday, Heavenly was closed again due to winds, so Hydle and I took a day off to get caught up on things. Tuesday night I had asked Daryl and Jess (my local friends who are watching my dog for me on this epic trip) if I could take them to a nice dinner, so we ended upgoing to our local nice restaurant called Evan’s. It was snowing outside, and we basically had the restaurant to ourselves – it was cozy and fun and the food was great!

Wednesday Hydle and I decided to get our hotel and rental cars booked for Michigan and Minnesota, so we spent the morning planning that, and then finally got our act together and headed for Hydle’s first day at Heavenly!

It was bluebird and beautiful out – we got to the mountain about 2, and spent some time at the observation deck first where Hydle managed to pose for one of the most glorious pics of him and his beard overlooking Lake Tahoe!

We cruised around the mountain for a few runs, the snow was pretty damn fun and it wasn’t crowded at all so we actually got to turn it on for once on our skis!

Once we got nice and cold, we headed to Tamarack Lodge for a round of drinks and snacks. Hydle was impressed with the lodge, and kept referring to it as the equivalent of another lodge at Vail in Colorado.

We had some fun with our waitress Geneva, and then as we were starting to close up so we could make it on the gondola ride down to enjoy the sunset, a ski patrol guy named Chris walked up to our table.

He introduced himself, and said “how would you guys like to take a cat ride to the top to check out the sunset?” Um, are you kidding me? Hell ya! Obviously we said yes, and Hydle asked if we could bring a beer on the ride and Chris said “of course you can!”

The ski patrol crew helped us board the snowcat literally named “The Beast” and our driver, also named Chris was awesome.

We cruised up the run to the top of Heavenly while the sun was setting. I still can’t really believe this happened to us, but then again, Hydle pointed out that I’m a lucky person which is true, so I guess it makes sense!

At the top the views were unbelievable – the sun was setting and making the clouds and mountain tops glow pink and orange, and we took a bunch of pics and videos up there.

Hydle captured one of the most incredible panorama pics I’ve ever seen. We had such a good time up there! Hydle already was saying Heavenly was exceeding his expectations and this was before the cat ride! Way to kill it Heavenly – very impressive and I was stoked for him to have such a perfect day for his first time out at Heavenly! Obviously we can’t wait to come back and ski the mountain when everything is open and kicking ass!

The colors from the sunset were still fading away on our gondola ride down which finished off the day perfectly, and then we headed into the village to have dinner, before heading home for an early night!

Thank you to Heavenly, all of the ski patrol and cat guys named Chris, and Operation Elevation for making this one of the best day’s of all time on the mountain, what a rad day!

Today we are heading back to Colorado, then Minnesota and Michigan this weekend, and then Europe on Tuesday!!

Epic Race Mountain 10 Heavenly

Monday was our Heavenly day, and they had the mountain closed due to wind hold, as a storm was coming in later in the day. We hit the mountain and played around in the village taking what pictures we could to still have some fun and give the guys content for a good video edit later.

We ran into my friend Heidi in the ticket office, took some videos with them there, and then Rhinehart rocked out 10 Daffy’s all over the village. After that, we headed over to Lake Tahoe TV to film the Hi Sierra Report – my friend Crystal who works there wanted to interview us for their weekly segment.

At Lake Tahoe TV we filmed a 2 minute segment for me, and they showed my Gold Coaster video, and then Hydle was up. Hydle was hilarious as he was wearing his white sunglasses, ear muffs, and red hat while being interviewed, and he started things off with recording himself while being filmed for TV. Then Rhinehart was up, which was also hilarious because he was wearing his full ski gear including his gloves for the interview.

Once we were done filming, we had to get Rhinehart to the airport, and decided to stop at the Boulder Lodge on the Nevada side on the way to the airport just to get some final shots.

Everything was closed, but the guys still took some more video, and then Hydle said “Hey Rhinehart, film this” while I wasn’t paying attention, and he bombed a snowball right at me and drilled me in the shoulder all on camera. This made Rhinehart’s edit in case anyone wants to see me get smoked by a snowball (nice shot Hydle!).

On the way to the airport we grabbed lunch at my favorite Mexican place in Carson City where Rhinehart ordered a Mexican coffee that he said “tasted like high school” haha.

We dropped him off in Reno, and said our goodbyes, of course rubbing it in a little bit that he was going back to work and we got to go back to Tahoe to ski and hang some more!

On the drive home we found out that Hydle won the first week’s GoPro – congrats Hydle! The corporate team at Vail seems to really be enjoying Hydle and Rhineharts edits (along with all of us obvi) so I’m stoked he was the first to be recognized for his awesome content!

I’m bummed Rhinehart didn’t get to ski Heavenly, it really has the best views of any ski resort I’ve ever been to, and it’s my home mountain! Oh well, next time Rhinehart! Tahoe til you know!!

Heavenly – Operation Elevation Email to Todd Rudis

Operation Elevation with Ashley Cooley, Greg Hydle and Chris Hansen

Aloha Todd Rudis!

I just wanted to send you a quick email and photo about how awesome operation elevation is at Heavenly!

It was my first time ever getting to ski the amazingly beautiful Heavenly yesterday … Although it was frigid cold, I couldn’t help but nearly freeze my hands off snapping photo after photo on this first day to heavenly adventure. The overlook on the way up the gondola is gorgeous, but the highlight of the day was definitely being selected to take part in your operation elevation experiment. Riding in “the beast” to the top of the mountain during sunset to experience all of what Heavenly really has to offer was a completely unexpected treat for Ashley and I. Chris Hansen killed it in giving us an awesome ride in “the beast” and I even turned him into a little photographer to help us document the adventure at the top!

I will have a complete write up and video of our experience available online soon as we progress our way around the world for Vail Resorts Epic Race. But I just wanted to reach out to you now and say thanks for the perfect ending to this Epic Day. Operation Elevation is the shit!

Check out this bad ass photo we snapped :)

UPDATE: September 1st, 2014 … unfortunately Todd still has yet to reply… WTF Vail.