My name is Joe Long, I am a TC-3B survivor (3yrs out) & I was an Angel for Scott Minnig, who is now a TC-3B survivor (6 months out YAHOO!!).
During his treatment we quickly realized we had a lot in common outside of the whole testicle thing. We have a lot of the same hobbies, one being snowboarding! Turns out Scott is quite the regular gnar ‘boarder who likes to head west a few times every winter. His recent tango with TC has kept him out of the game for the last 2 years & he was feeling the itch to get back to the legendary back bowl black diamond trials of Vail Mountain.
After him nagging me to go with him on his next trip (he may have asked twice which is all it took) I did something that I, for some reason, have a hard time doing… saying yes to a generous offer “Hells Yeah I’ll go with ya!”, i said. So last weekend we flew out to Denver, Colorado to meet up with his buddies & check out this little hill called Vail! Scott told me he was a lucky charm for bringing snow… turns out he was right. Vail got 1-2 ft over the weekend that we were there. So not only with I be snowboarding on one of the best mountains in the world but I will be doing it with fresh powder. Scott & I were stoked!
The 1st day in Vail was crazy. It was a practical white out, I couldn’t see 10 ft in front of me & we were going down black diamonds on our 1st run. Our two days in Vail were amazing!! After the 2nd day in powder we were exhausted, I was so proud of Scott for being in such good shape considering it wasn’t to long ago he had a nasty daily drip of chemo to deal with. So we humbly got off the mountain & decided to hit up a place called Tennessee Pass. This is a cross country ski lodge that works with a Restaurant/Yurt in what seemed like the middle of no where! So just to make sure we got a good workout that day we cross country skied for a total of approximately 90 minutes to have an amazing dinner which included wild boar, elk & salmon! The last day we hit Copper mountain which was also a blast despite the fact that my legs felt like concrete.
So looking back, a huge thank you to IA for this experience. Not only did Jonny introduce me to my great friend, Scott but also his buddies in Colorado. And with out that introduction I would have never experienced Vail like we did. There was one thing I was bummed about though… Jonny knew we were going out there & he contacted a fellow Angel & a First Descents member who lives in Beaver Creek, Angela Rossi. Unfortunately she was not there when we were but she was kind enough to let us stay at her place for the weekend. I have not had the privileged to meet her yet but I hope I get the opportunity to give her a huge thank you!