By Michelle Rodriguez (MRod)
Lots of us have favorite guides—those go-to people who we know will make a rafting, climbing or zip lining day the best it can be. But have you ever wondered what that guide does once the leaves have fallen, the boats have been put away and snow flakes fall from the sky?
I recently had an opportunity to catch up with a few of our employees who have ventured away from campus for the colder months to pursue adventures of a different type.
Dan Beck and Chris Hayes are guides with our Cliffside Climbing staff. At the end of our 2011 Season, they headed west in the search of wintertime adventures. When the rest of the country is seeing all-time-lows in snow accumulations, you can always be guaranteed there will be snow of some type in Colorado. The two men are currently roommates in Summit County (home to Vail resorts) and their work is far from that of a climber.
Dan works as a Castle Builder and Trouble Shooter at the Ice Castles at Sliverthorne. The Ice Castles are a series of walkways and ice arches that reach heights of close to thirty feet. These unique structures are hand built using ice and water as the sole building materials. Dan harvests icicles and sticks them to the structure nightly. Daily maintenance of the arches and walkways is necessary due to warm weather and continual guest traffic through the facility.
Take it from me—this place is simply beautiful. Depending on the time of day and the hue of the sky, the ice formations can appear to be a variety of colors. The lighting used to showcase the ice leaves you feeling as if you are standing in the middle of a fairy tale waiting for a princess to appear just around the corner. It makes sense that this is a destination spot for families with children and for adults who are whimsical and young of heart.
Chris has found a job that combines his love of snowboarding with the art of helping guests memorialize their ski trips. He works for Epic Mix. With EpicMix, a smart-phone app, a guest’s activity on the slopes is automatically captured and uploaded to their online account. With a scan of their pass, the on-mountain photographers can take a picture and deliver it to a guest’s online account so it can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. A guest can buy the digital image online, follow their days skied, track vertical feet, see which lifts they rode, earn EpicMix pins for achievements, and collect points. All this is possible because of Radio Frequency scanners at the base of every lift and RF technology built into every Vail Resorts season pass and PEAKS card.
Dan and Chris will make their treks east in April/May and you will be able to see them dangling from the rocks again this summer at Adventures On the Gorge.
“Sketchy” Steve Goode is a videographer with AOTG. He is that guy in the kayak who captures your Gauley trip right down to the very last rapid. (“Yeah girl!”) Like Dan and Chris, Steve has a love for snow. You can find him working as a Ski School Instructor for Snowshoe Mountain, located in the heart of Pocahontas County, WV. There, he teaches all levels of skiing as well as free-style. If you ever wanted to learn how to do those crazy flips you see on the X Games, Steve is the man who can teach you.
As if that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Steve also runs a retail store, where he’s responsible for following the latest trends in the ski industry and purchasing the merchandise that is all the rage. He’s also a rep for both Dragon Goggles and Solomon Skis.
This summer, you will catch Steve in a kayak, following your boat along the New and Gauley Rivers and capturing the next great adventure of your life.
If you are interested finding out “where are they now” about one of your favorite guides, let us know in the comments and we’ll see if we can track them down!