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New skier Vail-bound in late December - Page 3

post #61 of 82

If the house you are staying is on the golf course route, then it is very easy to get to Golden Peak, which is the most convenient base area IMO.  If the house is on the East Vail route, that takes you to the transit center/Parking structure, but still probably most convenient to switch over to the in town bus and go to GP.  Ski school offers half day lesson from there starting at 12:40 which includes lift ticket, but it will likely be too tight to try to make it there by then on the 29th.  

 

This doesn't apply since you have been on skis already, but Vail has a great never-ever ski package that includes 3 days instruction and 3 beginner lift tickets (good anywhere on the mountain with your instructor) for around $350.  Vail owns several rental shops right at the base areas (including GP) so that you can add skis, etc for an up-charge.  The rental shop has ski/boot/shoe storage at GP base (which is comped for private lesson clients and possibly rental shop clients as well).

 

While there are some groomed blues, heading out to the back bowls your 3rd day on skis is pretty optimistic unless you played college hockey or are really an exceptionally gifted athlete.  With that said, I have taken many beginners to the top of chair 3 and skied a lot of the front side greens on their 3rd day on skis.  If it is a clear day, this offers some exceptional views and makes for a great mountain experience.

 

I am not working while you are in town, but PM me if you would like to get recommendations for a Private lesson instructor (which you can include up to 5 of your friends).

 

Created by ImageGear, AccuSoft Corp.

post #62 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
 

If the house you are staying is on the golf course route, then it is very easy to get to Golden Peak, which is the most convenient base area IMO.  If the house is on the East Vail route, that takes you to the transit center/Parking structure, but still probably most convenient to switch over to the in town bus and go to GP.  Ski school offers half day lesson from there starting at 12:40 which includes lift ticket, but it will likely be too tight to try to make it there by then on the 29th.  

 

This doesn't apply since you have been on skis already, but Vail has a great never-ever ski package that includes 3 days instruction and 3 beginner lift tickets (good anywhere on the mountain with your instructor) for around $350.  Vail owns several rental shops right at the base areas (including GP) so that you can add skis, etc for an up-charge.  The rental shop has ski/boot/shoe storage at GP base (which is comped for private lesson clients and possibly rental shop clients as well).

 

While there are some groomed blues, heading out to the back bowls your 3rd day on skis is pretty optimistic unless you played college hockey or are really an exceptionally gifted athlete.  With that said, I have taken many beginners to the top of chair 3 and skied a lot of the front side greens on their 3rd day on skis.  If it is a clear day, this offers some exceptional views and makes for a great mountain experience.

 

I am not working while you are in town, but PM me if you would like to get recommendations for a Private lesson instructor (which you can include up to 5 of your friends).

 

Created by ImageGear, AccuSoft Corp.

We're on the East Vail route– and most likely just going to take Monday to get acclimated. We wouldn't be getting into town until close to 1, so a lift ticket is kind of a waste for just over 2 hours. We're definitely doing ski school Monday– would you recommend beginner or intermediate lessons? We ended Monday on the blues at Beech, which obviously doesn't compare to Vail, but not sure if the beginner full-day lesson would be too basic. Gotcha on the back bowls– I used to be a fairly accomplished rollerblader, and I'd like to imagine I'm an exceptionally gifted athlete :D but I don't think that qualifies me as an expert skier quite yet :)

 

Thanks for the advice– I woke up this morning to a snow report saying 8" of new snow in the past 24 hours at Vail. Counting down until 7 AM on Monday morning!!!

post #63 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rykennedy55 View Post

We ended Monday on the blues at Beech, which obviously doesn't compare to Vail, but not sure if the beginner full-day lesson would be too basic. Gotcha on the back bowls– I used to be a fairly accomplished rollerblader, and I'd like to imagine I'm an exceptionally gifted athlete biggrin.gif  but I don't think that qualifies me as an expert skier quite yet

Just be realistic - if you struggled off that top part @ Beech (out the barn and to the left), Shanee-whatever - that is about a borderline green/blue @ Vail.
The major difference is that the trails @ Vail are a lot wider, but they have more people - so go figure. As stated above stuff on lifts 3/4/14 should keep you plenty challenged. But there would be a groomed way over to BSB - just keep in mind that literally thousands will have that same objective ( that narrow patch of ribbed snow gets crowded). Just ask your instructor at the end of your lesson where he would recommend. Also, don't forget to tip if it was a good experience. You will have fun. The terrain is beautiful, the landscapes are huge, and to be truthful the snow is easier to learn on IMHO. Let's face it - it isn't the CLT, right?

Also - I think the rollerblade stuff is helpful for you.
post #64 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by givethepigeye View Post


Just be realistic - if you struggled off that top part @ Beech (out the barn and to the left), Shanee-whatever - that is about a borderline green/blue @ Vail.
The major difference is that the trails @ Vail are a lot wider, but they have more people - so go figure. As stated above stuff on lifts 3/4/14 should keep you plenty challenged. But there would be a groomed way over to BSB - just keep in mind that literally thousands will have that same objective ( that narrow patch of ribbed snow gets crowded). Just ask your instructor at the end of your lesson where he would recommend. Also, don't forget to tip if it was a good experience. You will have fun. The terrain is beautiful, the landscapes are huge, and to be truthful the snow is easier to learn on IMHO. Let's face it - it isn't the CLT, right?

Thanks for the advice! I tumbled most of the way down the top part, but I'd like to think it was because it was my second run, well, ever, apart from the bunny slope. Definitely had more fun later in the day. I keep forgetting how much terrain is available off of a single lift at Vail– looking at the map, it's pretty incredible to see that just from Wildwood, you can access close to a dozen different runs by just following the ridge down! It's going to be awesome. Not quite Charlotte! :)

post #65 of 82

Upper Shawneehaw, the middle 200' vert of which is 16 degrees, would be a section of a typical blue at Vail.  How was the snow, slushy?

post #66 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post
 

Upper Shawneehaw, the middle 200' vert which is over 16 degrees, would be a section of a typical blue at Vail.  How was the snow, slushy?

It wasn't too slushy– we hit it early enough in the morning that it was still fairly solid. Packed down, but the top layer was definitely a little slushy. 

post #67 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rykennedy55 View Post
 

 would you recommend beginner or intermediate lessons? 

With one day skiing under your belt, I'd say to start down at Golden Peak base area where they teach levels 1-5 group lessons. Instructors there will do a verbal assessment to get you in the right group- be sure to tell them about your rollerblading background.  

 

Typically, they will have several groups that are close to each other in level take their first run or two on the same slope to facilitate moving people up or down to ensure the groups are well matched.  Once they see you are doing well on the beginner chair lift (#12), they will take the group up the mountain (time permitting).  I have taken group lessons from GP into the back bowls but only after they have done well on the front side (typically off chairs 2, 3, 4, 11 & 14)    

post #68 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

Upper Shawneehaw, the middle 200' vert of which is 16 degrees, would be a section of a typical blue at Vail.  How was the snow, slushy?
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

Upper Shawneehaw, the middle 200' vert of which is 16 degrees, would be a section of a typical blue at Vail.  How was the snow, slushy?

Kind of stand by my comment of relative difficulty of Beech vs Vail -

http://mobile.3dskimaps.com/resorts/vail/overview

Out front, a Lot of blue, not that much green and as much dark blue as green. The top of 8 to the bottom is a tad more than 200ft. Just saying that if the top of that run at Beech was.a challenge - a LOT of Vail will be a challenge outside of the beginner areas - . I've been to both.

Totally not trying to rain on the parade, The OP will and should have a great time - just be realistic about objectives and goals.
post #69 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by givethepigeye View Post



Kind of stand by my comment of relative difficulty of Beech vs Vail -

http://mobile.3dskimaps.com/resorts/vail/overview

Out front, a Lot of blue, not that much green and as much dark blue as green. The top of 8 to the bottom is a tad more than 200ft. Just saying that if the top of that run at Beech was.a challenge - a LOT of Vail will be a challenge outside of the beginner areas - . I've been to both.

Totally not trying to rain on the parade, The OP will and should have a great time - just be realistic about objectives and goals.

Gotcha. I'm excited just to get out there– I think a full day of instruction (as opposed to the hour I did at Beech) will really help boost me up, too. No matter what, it'll be a great time! :)

post #70 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rykennedy55 View Post
 
Gotcha. I'm excited just to get out there– I think a full day of instruction (as opposed to the hour I did at Beech) will really help boost me up, too. No matter what, it'll be a great time! :)

 

I'm loving your enthusiasm =)

post #71 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

I'm loving your enthusiasm =)

Thanks :)

I always try to approach new things with the idea that, no matter how hard something actually is, your attitude will dictate how hard it seems to you (which means I laugh at myself a lot when I fall!) It sounds corny, but it works wonders.

post #72 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rykennedy55 View Post

Gotcha. I'm excited just to get out there– I think a full day of instruction (as opposed to the hour I did at Beech) will really help boost me up, too. No matter what, it'll be a great time! smile.gif

You will be fine . Rollerblade experience will help. Have a great time!
post #73 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by givethepigeye View Post
http://mobile.3dskimaps.com/resorts/vail/overview

if the top of that run at Beech was.a challenge - a LOT of Vail will be a challenge outside of the beginner areas - . I've been to both.
Totally not trying to rain on the parade, The OP will and should have a great time - just be realistic about objectives and goals.

 

Agreed.  That site overstates steepness BTW, Google Earth is far more reliable.  If the OP is in good condition, he should be comfy on the blues in a couple days.

post #74 of 82
Thread Starter 

With just over a day and a half until our flight departs, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone one more time, not only for all the awesome advice when it comes to skiing, but also for being so welcoming! Y'all are awesome! Currently quenching my thirst for snow by watching McConkey on Netflix :)

post #75 of 82
I look forward to a report and hopefully some pics!
post #76 of 82
Thread Starter 

Just under 12 hours until our flight departs and I'm counting down like this guy– http://youtu.be/YPg4HuIQt9c?t=2m38s

 

Lots of pictures forthcoming, stay tuned!

post #77 of 82

One last reminder to hydrate!   Travel is dehydrating.  Drink lots of water!   Don't be afraid to have to pee on the plane or on the drive.   It's much better be inconvenienced to pee than not sleep or have a splitting headache.   Drink lots of water!

post #78 of 82
Thread Starter 

Day 1 is over and I'm all set to hit the slopes tomorrow. Aside from a side excursion to find a helmet that actually fit my head :p everything went smoothly. We even got upgraded to first class on the way to Denver!!! I've been drinking lots of water and we've been having fun with the cousins. Tomorrow is going to be great!

post #79 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rykennedy55 View Post
 

Day 1 is over and I'm all set to hit the slopes tomorrow. Aside from a side excursion to find a helmet that actually fit my head :p everything went smoothly. We even got upgraded to first class on the way to Denver!!! I've been drinking lots of water and we've been having fun with the cousins. Tomorrow is going to be great!

As I write this I know you are on the slopes. This has been a fun read and I remember my first real ski trip to Whistler about 13 years ago where I truly learned how to ski. I can't wait to read your report later today or tomorrow! Have fun and be safe!

post #80 of 82
Thread Starter 

A quick update before I get ready to head out again.

 

Wow. Wow. Wow. Skiing over here is otherworldly. I spent yesterday in ski school, which was a phenomenal decision– we spent almost the entire time doing runs on the actual mountain. We did a couple greens (not sure of the names), and ended up doing Bear Tree three times, which I'm proud to say qualifies as my first actual blue run! My instructor also introduced me to the joys of tree skiing– we did a few runs ducking in and out of the trees on the sides of the slopes. That feeling of fresh powder and the whoosh of trees in your ears is beyond addictive. Today's plan of attack is to do some skiing with my aunt and uncle– we're probably going to head through China bowl (the blue runs in there) and then go hit Blue Sky Basin. 

Updates will be posted later tonight or tomorrow, and photos will be put up sometime soon– not a ton of them, but they're pretty awesome.

post #81 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by rykennedy55 View Post
 

A quick update before I get ready to head out again.

 

Wow. Wow. Wow. Skiing over here is otherworldly. I spent yesterday in ski school, which was a phenomenal decision– we spent almost the entire time doing runs on the actual mountain. We did a couple greens (not sure of the names), and ended up doing Bear Tree three times, which I'm proud to say qualifies as my first actual blue run! My instructor also introduced me to the joys of tree skiing– we did a few runs ducking in and out of the trees on the sides of the slopes. That feeling of fresh powder and the whoosh of trees in your ears is beyond addictive. Today's plan of attack is to do some skiing with my aunt and uncle– we're probably going to head through China bowl (the blue runs in there) and then go hit Blue Sky Basin. 

Updates will be posted later tonight or tomorrow, and photos will be put up sometime soon– not a ton of them, but they're pretty awesome.


Glad to hear you are having a great time  .Big Rock Park in Blue Sky is a lot of fun ! Tree skiing and not steep for you . Make sure you pick up some speed in the gully near the end of the run .When you see it you will know what I mean.

post #82 of 82
Thread Starter 

Wow. A couple of whirlwind days if I've ever seen them. We started a little later on Wednesday morning, probably closer to 9:30, and spent the morning with my aunt. We took the gondola up, and then the Mountaintop Express, at which point we skiied both Swingsville and Christmas. My brother still wasn't super comfortable on the steeper stuff, so we headed for lift 14 and split up at the top, where I skiied Whiskey Jack twice, and then we took Flapjack down together. We were trying to get down the mountain, so after winding up at the bottom of the closed Northwoods express lift, we took Choker Cutoff across and skiied the bottom of Highline. After that, we took a catwalk across to Ruder's Run and skiied down that to the Gondola, and had lunch. At this point, my brother was doing alright, but he was struggling on the catwalks (the plight of snowboarders everywhere). After lunch, we met up with my uncle, and headed for China Bowl. Unfortunately, a combination of slow going on the catwalk (my brother ended up walking a decent ways before my uncle and I took off to try to make it) and a late start meant we ended up staring at a closed rope. Instead, we skiied down past Chair 17 down Sun Up Catwalk, and took Chair 5 back up to the front side. Since it was getting late, we headed down the mountain, skiing Christmas, Avanti, and Bear Tree on the way back to Golden Peak. After that, we dropped our skis off and headed for the hot tub! We celebrated New Year's on east coast time, since everyone was fading after a long day of skiing :)

 

The skiing was absolutely incredible. There's no other way to describe it. That last run down the mountain was absolutely amazing– I felt so comfortable on skis, and we kept ducking in and out of trees when we could which only amplified the experience. I worked my way toward parallel turns as the day progressed, and ended it feeling confident I could successfully make them. I even got an introduction to bump skiing on the right side of Bear Tree, which was tons of fun too! I ended the day feeling confident on all types of blue terrain, and ready to make the next step up next time I'm on the slopes!

 

The next day (yesterday), we unfortunately had to head home. Everything went smoothly until about 12:20– we had pulled away from the gate, when the captain got on the intercom and told us that one of the sensors showed that the left engine had a clog in the filter. We deplaned and waited... and waited... and waited... until around 4 PM, when we were told it was a faulty detector, and that we could re-board the plane. It ended up that a large portion of the plane had either rebooked on a later flight to Charlotte, or made other arrangements, so the reward for waiting it out was my own row! I spent the flight reading (the book was Child 44, highly recommended) and thinking about when I could get back on skis next! 

 

All in all, I'm hooked. There's no other way to describe it– the adrenaline, the speed, the wind and the sound of skis on snow– it's addictive. While I'm a little disappointed we missed out on the back bowls and Blue Sky, I know when we go out there again, I'll be able to enjoy them fully. You've found a skiier for life– if you need me, I'll be plotting my next outing! 

 

:snowfall:ski:snowfall

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