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Any snowcat skiing near Vail?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'll be in the Vail area for 7 days of skiing starting on Jan 27th. I probably wouldn't have decided to go there, since I prefer steeper and deeper, but a friend of mine got a kickass deal on a free condo at Beaver Creek for the week, so I jumped all over it.

I'll be plenty happy skiing cruisers and intermediate bowls if we get some fresh powder, (especially since the East Coast sux so bad this year : ). But just in case we get the urge for something different, is there anyplace within a decent drive of the Beav that has any decent snowcat skiing, or any other adventurous alternatives?
post #2 of 7
Check out Ski Cooper, Chicago Ridge, not far from Leadville. They fill up fast though.


post #3 of 7
Yep, Chicago Ridge is the closest. Next would be Keystone's operation, but I would pass that up to go to Monarch, which isn't much further.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I checked out the Chicago Ridge website. Not too much info there though. Any idea what kind of terrain they serve, and what the typical conditions might be at the end of January? Looks like thety probably aren't in a huge snow dump area, but the terrain might be mostly north facing.
post #5 of 7

Chicago Ridge Report

I went in 2002 on Jan 25, and in 2003 on Jan 28. The slopes are mostly south facing. It hadn't been skied for two weeks on the 2003 trip and we had much better snow than the first trip. In 2003 we had waist deep freshies.

The terrain is some above tree line glades and fairly open tree skiing. Moderate black grades, nothing super steep. Depending on the group you can get up to 12 runs in a day. I think the record is 14 runs by a group from Atomic Ski.

Here's the trip report from 2003:


PM me with your email and I'll send you some photo's from the 2003 trip. 2003 was all skiers.

Usually pretty decent snow towards the end of January. We enjoyed the two years we skied it. Monarch will probably offer steeper terrain, but I haven't skied there.

post #6 of 7
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Gnarlito
Looks interesting. I checked out the likely terrain using a wickedly cool new program - www.keyhole.com - It looks like it might be a little better terrain than Chicago Ridge.

Has anybody actually skied with the Vail snowcats?

BTW - If you check out keyhole.com, make sure you fly down and check out the high resolution 3D Images from the base of Squaw Valley. They are absolutely astonishing!! I'm blown away by how this program works. Most ski areas are not in high resolution, but those that are awesome. :::
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