Vail – Like Nothing on Earth
With a little over two months left until the ski resorts start to close in Colorado, it’s about that time to start making your reservations if you haven’t already done so. The 2010-2011 season has been one of the best snow seasons we have seen in a long time. It seems that every time I am going up to Vail, I am skiing in a foot of powder. Vail in specific is having it’s 4th best season to date with some of the snowiest seasons to come.
With Vail being the largest ski resort in the United States, you can usually find a plenty of fresh tracks out on the mountain. This is not the case with a lot of the resorts out there. Typically on a weekend, new snow is typically skied off in most places in the first 3 hours or so. At Vail, it seems with so many runs, that when you favorite run starts to get skied off, you just need to move over to a new run and you can usually expect some fresh tracks.
If tree skiing is your thing, Vail has plenty of good tree skiing. They have some nice Aspen glades that have plenty of space in between and if you are more of the advanced skier/boarder, they also have some tighter trees to keep you challenged. I personally like more room in between my trees and Vail is one of my favorite places for tree skiing. If you’re an advanced skier, Vail has 53% of it’s terrain classified as advanced. I think some of the runs classified as advanced might be an overstatement, but I still find myself having a blast on these runs. Many of these advanced runs are on the backside of Vail in the bowls. These runs are a little steeper, but they are typically wide open with little to no trees. This is typically where I spend more of my time because you can find a little more snow here versus other areas.
If entertainment is your thing, there is something almost always going on at Vail. My favorite event so far this year was going to Vail Daze. Vail Daze had a number of free concerts and lots of on mountain activities. My favorite was seeing the band OAR for free. It was a cold night, but everyone was having a blast and the band rocked! For a great place to see what is going on at Vail, visit http://www.vvf.org
For those that aren’t into skiing or riding, there are a number of great restaurants and shops to entertain you. If you do plan to do some shopping and eating, be forewarned, prices can be a little spendy. Speaking of spending a little dough, if you are planning on going up to Vail for the day, there is a garage parking fee of $26/day. I personally could do without this fee.
Overall, when people ask me where I like to ski most and where is my favorite resort, I always tell them VAIL! If you get a chance to get out to Vail this season, I highly suggest it. For more information, please visit Snow.com
Base Elevation 8,120 ft. /2,476 m
Mid-Elevation: 10,250 ft. /3,125 m
Peak Elevation 11,570 ft. /3,527 m
Vertical Rise 3,450 ft. /1,052 m
Snowmaking: 461 acres/187 hec
Average Annual Snowfall: 350 inches/889 cm
Total Skiable Terrain: 5,289 acres/2,141 hec
Front Side: 1,627 acres/658 hec
Back Bowls: 3,017 acres/1,221 hec
Blue Sky Basin: 645 acres/ 261 hec
Conventional Trails 193
Longest Run Riva – 4 miles/6.4 km
Total number of lifts: 31
High-speed quads: 17
Fixed-grip quad: 1
Triple chairs: 2
Double chairs: 1
Surface lifts: 3
Total Uphill Capacity: 59,092
3 Parks: Golden Peak, Bwana and Pride, all including small, medium and large features.
Winter (recorded on the mountain)
- Daytime low temperatures in the teens with averages in the 20’s and 30’s
- Below 30 degrees nighttime
- 75 degrees daytime
- 45 degrees nighttime
- Vail sees more than 300 days of sunshine per year