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Vail in December

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am planning to ski Vail in late December.  Though I have done it before and I am not hoping for the bowls or Bluesky  Basin to be open, does anyone know what was the earliest bowls open date and when do they open on average during the season. 

post #2 of 5

Of course no one knows what will happen this year.  I've skied Vail over New Years the majority of the years since 1989.  I've seen them open as early as late Nov.  Based on my rough memory, I'd say the bowls are at least partly open 80% of the time.  Once they decide to open one, usually the others open pretty quickly including BS.

post #3 of 5

Since 1989, 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles of percent of terrain open at Vail:


Thanksgiving 6,24,38

Mid-December 51,79,93

Christmas week 72,95,98


Mid-December there were 5 years out of 22 of 26% or less, meaning probably nothing in the Back Bowls.  Mid-December you will likely see some but not all of the Back Bowls open.


There's one Thanksgiving at 97%, then 4 others between 40% and 52%.  


The bottom line is that early December is pushing it, mid-December is good more often than not.


There are only 2 Christmas weeks in 23 years with no/minimal Back Bowl terrain open.  Nonetheless I would avoid that week for crowd and cost factors.   Come a week or so before Christmas and get out of there before Dec. 26.



post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

thanks for  very detailed statistics !  I guess it was my luck to be in Vail during one of those only 2 seasons with no bowls open! Keeping my fingers crossed for this one! I hear you about the costs and crowds,  but I wish I could schedule kids school time off myself! On the other hand epic pass is making it affordable.

post #5 of 5
I wish I could schedule kids school time off myself! 

I raised 2 kids, one a very avid skier.   Most destination trips were done at his spring break around first of April, with excellent results.  So I usually say, use the spring break as first priority for family trips. If you're doing that and and want more during the typical 2 weeks over Christmas, take the ski trip that puts most of the time before Dec. 26 or after Dec. 31.  And finally, if you're in one of those lucky school districts that gets a February week, it's a no-brainer to use that instead of Christmas.

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