Vail; Where You Can Have it All?

“Having it all” means something different in different situations. For skiers, “having it all” generally means three things.

Ideal snow conditions…


Comfortable weather…



And, reasonable lift lines…



Of course, there is reason to believe that this kind of ski day is an unrealistic expectation. Comfortable weather conditions do not always produce the best snow conditions, and good snow conditions often bring crowds to a ski resort.

However, last Thursday, I believed that I could find this ideal combination at Vail Ski Resort. The previous day, Wednesday, Vail received several inches of new snow. But Thursday’s weather was warmer across the state. I believed the with combination of the recent new snow, a pleasant weather, and Thursday being a work day, I could “have it all”.

But, it did not quite work that way. Primarily, as the pictures above show, the lift lines were a bit longer than anticipated. This could actually be because of the Alpine World Ski Championships, which drew additional people up to the mountains.


But, the additional people could also have been drawn to the mountain by the new snow, which we had not received too much of in the past few weeks.

There wasn’t too much new snow either, so Thursday’s conditions did not end up being truly ideal.


Wise people will often remind others to keep their expectations within the realm of what is reasonably possible. Statements such as “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”, are commonly used to keep expectations in check and protect people from a near certain disappointment.

It’s hard not to stop someone dead in their tracks as they begin speaking of things such as finding a 3 bedroom house in a safe neighborhood less than 5 miles from downtown for under $300,000. We know that this is not a realistic expectation and that any person who sincerely has these aspirations will likely be quite disappointed.

The understanding that some expectations are unrealistic comes from experience. Those of us that have experienced the “real world”, have seen countless people disappointed as the “realities of life” get in the way of ambitious desires. And, these desires don’t just include things like wanting to be a movie star or wanting to solve some kind of major world problem. They often include situational things like wanting a reasonable amount of success at their company without having to compromise on any of their principles, or wanting to ensure all of their friends and family are happy.

However, those of us with experience that are not completely jaded do know there are exceptions. After all, movie stars and world changers do exist. They are just a small minority of people who set out to do these things. And, they become successful through some sort of combination of aptitude, drive, and luck.

So, despite the real possibility of disappointment, it is hard for me to completely write off all lofty goals. Some people do achieve them. And, the hope that one will land their ideal job, or will find a way to make a difference, likely has a positive impact on people’s lives that more than offsets the negative impacts that results from the frustrations that occur when expectations of the world are not met.

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