VAIL, Colo. — In the end, it all came down to the details.
Those are the words of Scott Annis of Loveland, who is now a lifetime ski pass holder at Vail.
Annis and his son, Nick, recently learned they were the winners of Vail Resorts’ Epic Race, a challenge to ski or snowboard — and post photos to the Web — at all 26 resorts on the company’s Epic Pass.
Those resorts span America and Europe, across five states and four countries. The challenge began on Nov. 22 and ended Dec. 20; the top 10 finishers of the 132 in France that morning were awarded lifetime Epic Passes.
Scott and Nick Annis’ race began modestly, with Nick finishing up his fall semester at college and Scott strategizing from his office. On the first day of the challenge, they visited Eldora resort in the afternoon after Nick attended school and Scott worked that morning.
“We were in the middle of the pack for most of it,” said Scott Annis, a 1987 Camden-Rockport graduate.
When Nick finished finals on Dec. 10, they got serious.
On Dec. 11, they completed their U.S. leg at Afton Alps in Minnesota, and flew nonstop to Frankfurt, Germany. From there, they flew to Zurich, Switzerland, drove into Austria and managed to conquer both Lech and Zurs on Dec. 12.
Most competitors knew all along the race would come down to the final opening day of the 26 mountains, Dec. 20 in Brides-les-Bains, France.
On that day, Epic Racers described a frantic scene.
“I was at the base station in Brides-les-Bains, other people were in Meribel and Les Menuires, and at 9 a.m., [Vail Resorts] started updating their web page and sending out emails,” said Klaus Vogel, a participant from Germany. “Now we have to solve clues, which bring you to places, and use stickers to make your photos and videos.”
Racers scrambled to solve the clues and find the stickers described in the email. At this point, Josephine Hover had been waiting at the resort’s base station for five hours.
“With the rush of adrenaline, we went straight for the clues and then we came to realize, sadly, that us being first in line at the gondola was not going to help at all,” Hover said.
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