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Suggestions Please, March/April in Vail

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We are FINALLY getting around to planning our first ski trip out west and it looks like Beaver Creek/Vail it is

We are thinking of going for a week in Mid March or later.

When would be a good time to go that would be less busy/crowded, but still have good to great skiing conditions? :

Also, we have a baby who will be about 14 months old at the time - has anyone used any daycare out there? Any good?

post #2 of 9
March is generally Colorado's snowiest month. Vail will be excellent mid March. That said, I've been to Vail many times in early April and had very good snow and a fair share of good Powder days. Late March and early April also are the cheapest times to visit as there are many lodging and lift ticket deals then.

Vail has excellent child care. Their day care center at Golden Peak is very good and I'd recommend you take your child there.
post #3 of 9
Went last year during Spring Break - 1st week of April. It was crowded but not too crowded. No lines in Blue Sky or the back bowls. Great Coverage and we got some freshies while we were there. Just stay away from the main groomers areas and you will have plenty of room to rip. Can't help with the daycare issue - my kids are both freaky (6 and 9) and they ski all day long! PS I think that 3/21 to 4/15 is considered Spring Break.
post #4 of 9
Spring break (college) runs most of the month of March. This year that should be March 5th - the end of the month.

The first week of April can be hit or miss..Last year we skied about 14" of new on 4/12 or so. I would think you have a better shot at "winter snow" the end of Feb week that ends Mar 4th.

I almost always ski there at the very end of the season and there is variable snow from powder to packed to corn to mush right to the end of the season which is 4/23 this year.

The discounts begin on 4/16 this year....Ask or look for the "Spring Back to Vail" deal... $ 109 for up to 4 days skiing.....$ 159 for up to 6 days. (If my memory is good) That lasts 4/16 - 4/23 and is a little tough to find on the website...but it's there.
post #5 of 9
The dates for the Spring Back To Vail are getting extended closer to their closing date every year. I always go out in April , preferrably early April because by mid April here in Pa. I'm heavy into yard work again.

Overall I've been pretty pleased with the conditions encountered that time of year. As others have pointed out, the weather can dish up anything, I've had great powder days along with slushy mashed potatoes. The coverage from Mid mountain up holds up very well and with all the different exposures on the mountain you usually can find decent snow somewhere to ski.

The discounts in April make the trip much more affordable than in March that's for sure.
post #6 of 9

There is the link for Spring Back to Vail this year. April 8-18 up to six days for $99! The link supplied doesn't allow you to order the $99 ticket yet though. Last year it was after the first of the year before that ticket was available for purchase. I was out there last year with Uncle Louie and will for sure be there again this year! Sucks to be so pumped about it already and it's still five months away.

EDIT: The dates conflict between the high bandwidth site and the low bandwidth site. The low-fi site shows 8-18 April and the high-fi site says 3-16 April.
post #7 of 9
This is a tough one and I think you should just pull out the Farmer's Almanac and throw some darts at it. The decision you have to weigh is whether more crowds are worth guaranteed good skiing. Mid-march (March 15-20) will certainly be spectacular: 100% of the terrain open, best chances for big storms, a snowpack that hasn't rotted under the hot spring sun, all lifts running, all operations going full tilt. The side effect is you'll still have Spring Break crowds. As long as you're mostly skiing during the week I don't think that'll be a problem. Vail is huge and can really spread a lot of skiers out. Beaver Creek is never crowded, so it won't be an issue there.

On the flipside, you can definitely save a fair amount of cash by going in early April. If you get lucky and have a storm, the skiing will be absolutely phenomenal. There's nothing I like more than 18" of snow and bright blue skies that let me ski in a sweatshirt. However, things can quickly go to crap at Vail and by April 1st all bets are off whether or not the skiing will be any good. I would say your chances drop dramatically by April 7th. Keep in mind, if things do go to crap, you can hop over to Copper where there will definitely be more snow (it's base is 1000' higher.)

Get out the darts.
post #8 of 9
This will be our 3rd spring break at Vail and are booked for 4/7-16 this year. Conditions can be "hit or miss" that time of year but there always seems to be plenty of snow up top and on the back side of the mountain.

2 years ago the locals claimed that spring that year was one of the worst in many, many years in terms of snowfall. The snow was still good most of the days with the exception of the very bottom of the frontside. We still had fresh snow that week for 4 of the 7 days we were there.

We've learned to go and not worry about the conditions.
post #9 of 9
We have used the child care (we call it "ski-care") at Vail and Beaver Creek. Both programs are excellent, and our boys enjoyed the experience (they were 1 and 2 at the time). Kind, caring caregivers. Hot lunch and snacks served. They'll take the kids outside to play in the snow.

You will need to make reservations for the child care as spaces are limited. I suggest you make reservations for every day of the trip and if you decide not to ski one day, then cancel that day once you're there. I have seen parents begging to get their kids into the program on a powder day because they had planned to take that day off and didn't make a reservation ahead of time. If they're full, you're out of luck.:
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