National Brotherhood of Skiers 50th Anniversary in Vail, CO, Day 7: The Grand Finale

Haleigh Hafner |
Race day
Race Day at Golden Peak for NBS. Photo Courtesy Vail Resorts.

Day 7 of the 50th Anniversary NBS Summit closed out this celebratory week in Vail, CO. Although it feels bittersweet to see the “Soul on the Snow” summit come to a close, there is not one person leaving without a smile plastered on their face. 

Many NBS attendees spent their last day out on the mountain, and it seems like we all had the same idea to go hang out in Blue Sky Basin today! At one point, the lift line was up the mountain, but no one seemed to mind waiting. We were all ready to shred up Cloud 9 – wait or no wait. 

The Blue Sky Basin Lift Line was anything but quick on this fabulous Friday. Photo Courtesy Haleigh Hafner.

The last races of the week took place this morning at 10 AM at the Golden Peak Race Track, sponsored by Helly Hansen. The “Never-Ever Alpine and Snowboard” races were a blast to watch. NBS leadership said they have been trying to make racing a priority for the organization, so seeing a large race category of never-ever skiers and snowboarders was inspiring. These newbies took to the course like no other. At the award ceremony, which took place at the end of the night, the top racers were awarded medals. 

The Never-Ever Alpine Women’s 10-19 age group ended in a tie, but not just any regular tie. A Sister Duo from Jim Dandy Ski Club took the cake for this category. Angel Bantom (left) and Skye Bantom (right) were smiling from ear to ear after their victory. These girls have a massive support system – their coach, mom, aunt, and others came from Michigan to watch them compete at the summit. It will be exciting to see where racing will take these little pros-in-the-making!

Angel Bantom (left) and Skye Bantom (right) tied for first place in the Never-Ever Alpine Women’s 10-19 age group. Photo Courtesy Haleigh Hafner.

Spectators from all ski clubs piled into Arrabelle’s ballroom to cheer on their friends, family, or even strangers. The other winners representing each race or competition were recognized tonight with the utmost respect. For the complete list of winners, check out the official NBS races and competitions landing page. 

Javin White, representing Black Ski DC in the female 20-29 age group, swept the floor at the award ceremony. The superstar took home three metals in three different categories. She placed second in the scavenger hunt category for finding eight hidden items around Vail. She took first place in the intermediate female downhill race and the vertical challenge. White racked up over 100,000 vertical feet throughout the week – a well-deserved win!

Black Ski DC
Javin White cheesin’ hard with her medals. Photo Courtesy Haleigh Hafner.

NBS hosted one final western-themed Après event at the Hythe today. Everyone who decided to come to this party pulled out all the stops for the theme. From 3 PM to whenever everyone decides to go home, DJ B Sharp played music that got everyone movin’ and groovin’. On top of entertaining music and dancing, there was a line dance session, full buffet, photo booth, cash bar, free shots from Ciroc, and a costume contest. It will be tough to see who will win the costume contest later tonight! The winners will be announced at the Game Night party at 8 PM. 

Apres party
This group showed up in the best Wild West-inspired attire. You can’t see it here, but they even brought cowboy boots! Photo Courtesy Haleigh Hafner.

At the Après party, I got to talk to Jerry Elie – the winner of the NBS Humanitarian Award and the Integrity Award. Elie attends almost every summit he can and is a safety/security go-to for the entire week. He has worked as a medic for over 25 years, and in that time, he has saved countless lives. He won the Humanitarian and Integrity awards for saving a woman’s life while skiing. Without his help, this woman would not have survived. 

Elie told me that he still checks in with her, which brought tears to his eyes to accept both awards. When he accepted his awards, he received a standing ovation from the entire crowd. He expressed that he’s worked as a medic and security for so long that he did not realize his job’s impact on other people. When he saw how many people supported him, it moved him. 

Jerry Elie
Elie is featured on the right with some of his close friends in this photo. Photo Courtesy Haleigh Hafner.

A former Ms. Arizona also showed up for the Après party. Her outfit hit the theme on the nose – maybe she will take home the costume contest prize tonight! She and her friends enjoyed the food and music when we spoke briefly.

NBS Wild West
Ms. Arizona and her friends enjoying some grub at the Après party. Photo Courtesy Haleigh Hafner.

With the summit’s final day upon us, I spoke with Stephanie and Youlando from Southern Snow Seekers at the Après party. These two women said they try to go to the Summit each year, and this one, in particular, was “really something special.” When I asked the women what their favorite part was, they told me, “all of it.” There was no way they could pick just one thing to call the best!

Everyone will be checking out of their hotels tomorrow morning and heading back to resume everyday life . . . Until next year for the 51st annual 2024 NBS Summit!

Uphill men’s advanced
The top 5 skiers in the Uphill Men’s Advanced division got the crowd riled up at the award ceremony. The group travels to Morocco this upcoming year to hike and ski the Atlas Mountains. Photo Courtesy Haleigh Hafner.

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2 thoughts on “National Brotherhood of Skiers 50th Anniversary in Vail, CO, Day 7: The Grand Finale

  1. I was a treat to follow these folks for the week. I love seeing the great time they had. Thanx for sharing.

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