50-Year-Old Vail, CO Local Skis 65,000 Vertical Feet, 38 Lift Rides and 80+ MPH in One Day | Is this a Vail Record?

Steven Agar |
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50-year old Fred Bacher during one of his 38 chairlift rides. Credit: Fred Bacher

The days where you ski all day, from the first chair to the last, are the best. Coming down your final run at 4 pm, your legs are like jelly and you’re dreaming of that après beer. Exhausted, but fulfilled, you know you’ll sleep well that night.

Fred Bacher, 50, of Vail, CO took this one step further. He decided to set himself a challenge and see how much vertical he could ski, how fast he could go, and how many chairlift rides he could accomplish in a single day’s skiing.

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If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen. Credit: Fred Bacher

The results are pretty astonishing. Skiing from the first chair, at 8.30 am, to the last chair at 4 pm, he achieved:

  • 38 lift rides
  • 13 unique lifts
  • 64,645 vertical feet
  • 60.9 total miles skied
  • Max speed 83.2mph (or 87.2mph depending on the app) !!

A day like this requires dedication, Fred stopped only once in the 8.5 hours, for a bathroom break and to refill his water bottle. The feat was completed on a busy Vail Saturday, although I imagine the lift-lines were a welcome break for those overworked legs!

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Rapid! Credit: Fred Bacher

Over 80 mph? That’s hauling ass!

Fred shared with us his GPS tracks and EPIC stats as proof if any were needed, of his day.

I am grateful and humbled to have been able to pull this at my age. Wow, what an EPIC day! Cheers

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Almost 65,000 vertical feet. On a busy Saturday. Credit: Fred Bacher

I am not aware of any ‘official’ Vail vert challenges, but if there is then Fred’s day must surely rank up there with the biggest and best.

Congratulations Fred, EPIC day!

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14 thoughts on “50-Year-Old Vail, CO Local Skis 65,000 Vertical Feet, 38 Lift Rides and 80+ MPH in One Day | Is this a Vail Record?

  1. Crotched mountain, nh has rocket quad 884 vertical in 3.5 mins , 1000 ft / min. They have midnight madness 7 weekends open 9 am -3am, 18 hours. Last February did 181 runs in slotted time frame, well over 100,000, Scott from Killington

  2. Can’t say what I know about this amount of vertical and speed.

    Are you sure you did not leave the app on when you got in your car for lunch???

    Sign him up for the U.S. Ski Team!!

  3. You need the right combination of groomed trails, lighter crowds and smooth lift rides all day. Found one of those days 3/28/18 and got 71,984. Was going for 75k this year but a 20 minute late start on the day I picked had me finish at 72,687 on 3/27/19. Super Dave is right on about sticking to a chair you like and staying there. He inspired me to go for 80k next year.

  4. March 7th, 2018 at Vail I did a long first tracks day and bagged 81,881 vert feet. Nearly entire time was laps on my fav chair. Conditions were ideal, groomed cord until about 10 AM, things softened up, and by 2:30 my legs were spaghetti and I was done for safety reasons. 47 lift rides, 44 on a particular chair. 90+ is possible on a full long day, maybe I’ll try it again this year. I don’t know ANYONE that has gone over 80+ at vail other than me, and sorry but 65K+ is where things get ‘interesting.’ Its a JOB, not skiing, and it is boring as hell most of the day!

  5. Trout Bum is correct about SV. I am old enough to remember when SV would let a few people go for 100k in a day on Warm Springs each year. Only a few actually got it. It can’t be done many other places if any. I know Fred. He is one of two people I know that could pull it off.

  6. People are sure throwing around some lofty numbers when it comes to skiing a certain amount of vertical feet in a day. I’ve skied most major areas in the West (including Steamboat and Keystone a I have serious doubts you could log 100,000 feet of vertical on those mountains. Take Keystone for example, correct me if I am wrong but If you want to get the most vertical in, you would ski laps on Summit Express. It measures 2300 vertical and is listed as an 11 minute ride. So to keep it simple lets say with no lines and the chair not slowing down it takes you 3 minutes to get down. So if the lifts are open 7 1/2 hours you could get in aprox. 32 runs or 74,000 feet in one day.
    I ski Sun Valley Id frequently and the Challenger lift on the Warm Springs side rises 3142 ft in 10 minutes. If you have skied SV you would know the run down Warm Springs has fairly steep pitch and is 2 miles long. Lets say it takes you 3 1/2 minutes to ski a lap. The mtn is open 7 hrs so with no hiccups on the lifts and no waiting even for a few seconds in a lift line you could conceivably ski aprrox. 97,000 vertical in a day. I will go on record that there isn’t another ski area where you could come close to logging as much or more vertical as SV and on runs that are as well groomed if that is your goal. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong with hard facts on speed of the lift and the vertical of each run and aprrox time to ski a lap.. I am highly suspect of those tracking apps as I with friends who ski the exact same runs and they are never in in sync.

    1. On a side note, to think 65,000 vert in a day would be any kind of one day record, it goes to show how lame the front side terrain is at Vail( I have skied there enough times and am familiar with the runs and lifts). (fortunately it’s been on comped lift tickets an not on my nickel.)

  7. A few comments here.

    1- 64.6k is very impressive but far from amazing. I’ve dropped over 68k in one day (at Keystone lapping Santiago w/no night skiing) and someone usually shows up with 70k+ every day on the Trace Snow/Alpine Relay vert leaderboard. Some dude dropped 97k at Wildcat Mountain in NH today see http://snow.traceup.com/stats?id=659383&vId=3057193. I’ve seen over 100k in a single-day at a few areas (Steamboat and Keystone). This Bacher guy did it on a Saturday he must’ve really been powering the singles lines.

    2- I’ve used a bunch of different ski apps at NEVER believe the displayed speeds as they all over calculate them. I wish they took those out of the displays as it always gets yahoos trying to go far to fast and pose major danger. Looking at his GPS it appears he was bombing Born Free which is a steep groomer but I’ll set the actual O/U at round 55-60 MPH. The only metric that really matters is vertical drop, the others are fluff.

    3- Strava is the gold standard for running/biking, but their alpine skiing options are pathetic. I mean they display your lift rides in the gps trails and display “Elevation Gained” lol. The Strava devs definitely are not skiers. Ski Tracks and Trace Snow are the two I use.

    Measuring dropped vert is a cool topic hope to see more articles like this one and the guy lapping the peak in Big Sky. Cheers- Mr G

  8. 83 MPH!….I call Bull Crap. That is the kind of speed you see on a World Cup Downhill course on a perfect prepared track with perfect prepared skis with a speed suit on. If he was skiing that fast at Vail I would bet the ski patrol would pull his pass. I wouldn’t believe any of those so called ski apps that measure speed.

        1. 80 miles an hour… Right! I’ve stood along both National and World Cup downhill races so I am fairly certain I know what conditions have to be for a skier to hit 80 MPH.
          I don’t doubt the vert he skied but then again at Vail on a Saturday, it makes me question the authenticity.

        2. Oh Freddie boy is quite the stud! 80+ MPH . i watch the Mns World Cup SG is morning and Jansrud had the fastest time through the speed trap and only was doing slightly more then 69 MPH. Time for Freedie to hang up those rec skis and head to the World Cup. Looks like he’d ski circles around those guys.

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