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SHARING OUR PASSIONS… AS YOUR COLORADO ALPINE GUIDES

At Vail Cascade Resort, we want to showcase all the reasons why we love to live, work and play in Vail Colo. As Alpine Guides to the very best experiences in Colorado, we hope to make the most of your Vail mountain experience by sharing our own personal passions.

 

Meet Vail Cascade’s Alpine Guides to Colorado:

John O'Donovan

Director of Sales

Passion:  Telemark Skiing 

"I like the variety Telemark skiing offers, e.g. skinning up in the morning before work, and heli-skiing with friends"!

  • Take a lesson from Vail Ski School
  • Learning to telemark will improve your strength and balance and make you a better alpine skier
  • Learn a new sport! You'll enjoy the challenge
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations

Heather Capelan

Sales 

Passion:  Long Distance Running 

"I love running! I started running in high school and enjoyed running cross country and winter/spring track. My love for long distance running developed after college when I trained for my first half marathon. I have currently completed 6 half marathons, 3 full marathons, as well as other various races. My goal is to run the New York City Full Marathon in 2015. I love setting targets for different races and training to work towards them. I enjoy running with others and have gained some lifelong friends because of it! One of my very favorite places is to run on the trail along Gore Creek in Vail". 

  • Keep your eyes on the trail. It can be tempting to look at the nature around you, but doing so can quickly lead to tripping and falling
  • Slow down. Running on trails can be a lot more demanding than the roads. It is best to avoid comparing your pace, as you will be slower than your normal road-running pace. Instead, slow your pace and develop a trail tempo
  • Bring water. Hydration with you on a train run is a must. Some days might take longer than others due to mud, water crossings, snow and more. There are three ways to carry fluids on the run: handheld, multi-bottle waist belt, and a hydration pack
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations

Liz Ratliff 

National Sales Manager

Passion:  Skiing 

"I started skiing when I was 3 years old in the mountains on the East Coast, but really fell in love with skiing when I first came to Vail almost 20 years ago. The snow here is so light and fluffy that it feels like you are floating. As soon as I graduated college, I packed up and moved out here to enjoy the skiing all winter long. Nothing beats waking up and hearing it's a powder day"!

  • Take the Cascade Lift up for the quickest access to Vail Mountain
  • Chapstick, hand warmers and sunscreen are essentials to carry with you
  • The ski runs under Chair #2 and the Avanti Life are some of my favorites
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations

Emily Meyer 

Banquet Kitchen

Passion:  Hiking 

"Why do I love hiking? I love the challenge, the scenery, the wildlife. Nothing makes me feel more at peace or happier. It really helps me to appreciate the beautiful world we live in and how lucky I am to get to live in such an amazing place."

  • Drink LOTS of water - before, during and after any outdoor activity you do
  • Plan for weather changes; rain, snow, wind and intense sun - it's Colorado and almost anything can happen almost any time of the year
  • Take your time and enjoy it - it's not about doing it the fastest, it's about doing it and having fun doing it
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations

Jackie Roy

Engineering Coordinator 

Passion: Taking photos

"I love living here in the Vail Valley because of the serene feeling and the beautiful change of seasons".

  • Wherever you go in the Valley, there are beautiful things to take photos of; it could be the color of trees, a nice walk along the river, hiking, biking or snowboarding
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations 

 

Ryan Moriarty

Personal Trainer-Aria Athletic Club 

Passion: Spending time in the high country

"I am most passionate about spending time in the high country, which includes hiking, climbing, and summiting mountains! There's nothing better than the quiet sound and miraculous views that you can attain from hiking above timberline. It could be trekking up a rocky path, traversing along a windy saddle, or climbing around a treacherous cliff. The mixture of tranquility and adrenaline is always enough to keep me going. As hard as it may sometimes be, it is always worth it".

  • If summiting a Colorado 14er or hiking up in the high country is something that interests you, be sure to do your research before starting
  • Study a map and have an idea of the surrounding areas
  • Bring a few good friends, be sure of the weather, and get an early start
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations 

 

Chad Stephens

Group Reservations Coordinator

Passion: Ski Biking

"It is literally the most fun thing to do on the mountain. I went for the first time this past ski season and have fallen in love with it! I've been several times since. It literally makes me feel like a kid again. SO MUCH FUN!"

  • It's best if you're at an intermediate to advanced ski level to try ski biking as it is pretty strenuous. This activity is really not for beginners, but if you feel comfortable on skis or a snowboard, it's really easy to pick up...and you have a guide with you too
  • Guided tours are available during the day or at night and you can also rent a ski bike for a half or full day at Adventure Ridge. Complimentary lessons are available
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations 

 

Matthew Bartling

Condos 

Passion: Hiking

"I love hiking, exercising my dog, the scenery and views, fishing and the remoteness of it all!"

 

Paul Raymond

Banquets

Passion: Motorcycles

"My passion is my vintage 1979 CB 750L motorcycle and riding it! There is no better place to ride than the mountains of Colorado because where you go, it's spectacular. The three best rides in the area are":

  • Vail to Leadville and back on Highway 24
  • Vail to Leadville on Highway 24, Leadville to Copper Mountain on Highway 91, and back to vail on I-70
  • Vail to Leadville on Highway 24, continue on Highway 24 to the Twin Lakes, turn off at Highway 82, take Highway 82 to Aspen, continue on Highway 82 to Glenwood Springs, and pick up I-70 back to Vail
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations 

 

Brittany Click

Front Office 

Passion: Snowboarding

"I love being outside and playing in the snow. The feeling of cruisin' down the mountain is the best!  I also love challenging myself to be a better snowboarder. I grew up skiing so an added bonus to snowboarding is...snowboard boots are WAY more comfortable than ski boots".

  • First timers: take lessons from an instructor
  • Fall on your butt, NOT your wrists
  • Have fun!
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations

Devin Trickel

Human Resources Manager

Passion: His Dog Oakley

"There is nothing like a man's best friend....especially my dog Oakley. Oakley is my gentle soul. Every day I look forward to our walks in Vail Valley. Oakley constantly makes me smile with his endearing and quirky personality. I am blessed to be able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings with Oakley....and of course, my wife Holly as well."

  • The Vail Valley is extremely dog friendly. West Vail has a great off the leash dog park that is right on the river! It's a lot of fun to let your furry companion run around. It is only a two minute drive west of Vail Cascade
  • You are unable to bring your dog up the gondolas, however, you are allowed to hike up Vail Mountain with your dog and download on the gondola
  • Interested in traveling with you dog and staying at Vail Cascade? Call 800-282-4183 for details. Learn more about bringing your dog to Vail
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations

Carly Mietzner

Aria Spa Manager

Passion: Hiking and Powder Days

"I absolutely love earning the reward of the beautiful views atop some of Vail's mountains!"

  • One of my (and my dog Odin's) favorite hiking trails in Vail is Davos Trail. It's easy, accessible, and you can make it to the top in less than an hour, but it feels like you've gotten a good workout in. Be sure to bring water, headphones and your favorite company. Check out all the great places to hike in this Vail hiking guide
  • In the winter, my favorite passion is POWDER DAYS! Floating on some of the most beautiful runs in the world on a snowboard is a second-to-none feeling. Be sure to bring a facemask for the wind (or snow in my case...as I fall a lot), headphones, and of course, a helmet 
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations

Katie Johnson

Director of Marketing

Passion: Snowmobiling

"Snowmobiling is one of the most exciting ways to experience Vail's snow-lined back country in winter. Unlike other snowsports, snowmobiling can be quickly learned and enjoyed by everyone. It's definitely an adrenaline rush that you leave you craving more!"

  • For first-timers, book a guided tour. There are several great companies, such as Sage Outdoor Adventures, that offer these excursions and our concierge can easily arrange one for you 
  • Rent a snowmobile from a local outfitter and they'll give you instructions and a map. Explore the Vail Pass Recreation area featuring over 100 miles of trails 
  • If you have young children, Nova Guides and Adventure Ridge both offer a youth snowmobile lap track. The kiddos will never forget this experience
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations

Leigh McDonnell

Executive Coordinator, Sales & Marketing 

Passion: Movies

"Who doesn't love a great movie? Sure, you can watch a move at home, but the experience of being in a theater and watching a movie on the big screen with a bucket of freshly-popped popcorn topped with butter or a glass of wine and dinner is my idea of a great time!"

  • Movies educate, frustrate, inform, inspire, delight....they make us laugh, cry, fall in love with a character, a story, or the actor playing the part! But most of all, movies provide entertainment and a great way to escape for a couple of hours
  • CineBistro at Solaris in Vail is a must! Voted one of the ten best movie theaters in the world, it's a treat for those who have a passion for movies and a palate for good food. Great for a date night or special occasion. Put your feet up and enjoy a chef-created menu, cocktails and a movie, all in one setting
  • View/Print this Alpine Guide's recommendations


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