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Vail 3/2

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I had a Brilliant Day skiing with SkiMangoJazz and his fiance Linda at Vail yesterday. I managed to crawl out of the rack at 5 and got to their doorstep in Golden Peak area at a bit before 8. We geared up and headed out.

We headed up from the Golden Peak base, over to Northwoods, then down to Sourdough and over to Dragons Teeth/Poppyfields and down to Skyline Express (to Blue Sky). From the top, we skied down into the Cloud 9 area, which is a great blue area with lots of widely spaced trees--that was groomed! Then up Pete's Chair for some more similar terrain (with some blacks mixed in). We did a few runs off Pete's, including the ungroomed terrain labelled black in that area (don't see names on the on-line trail map).

This terrain was a nice mix, enabling skiers to choose groomed blue, ungroomed blue, or ungroomed black and still easily meet at Pete's Chair.

A couple more runs and it was into Two Elk for lunch. After the absent-minded professor (yes, that's me!) remembered that he didn't really need a credit card because his pass acts like one, we had lunch, then headed down the front side and over to Game Creek. Finally, down Prima to end the day.

Conditions were pretty solid in the morning, with dust-on-crust anywhere that had seen sun. The base was pretty soft (definitely spring!) at the end of the day, and temps ranged from 6 degrees in the morning to mid-forties at day's end at the base. The mountain is still entirely open, but I think more snow is in order...

It was a Brilliant Day thanks to Weems' book. I had a number of issues during the day, some undoubtedly technique and some that may have been equipment/tune issues. But, thanks to the ideas in his book and the great company, it was Brilliant nonetheless.

Beautiful views 360 degrees. The Gore was, as always, breathtaking. The Holy Cross area amazing. And all of the views... WOW!

And I really like what they've done with Blue Sky. I hadn't skied even half of it. What a huge area! BTW, hit it in the morning. It gets pretty full by midday. Game creek was pretty empty in midafternoon when we got there. I think we played the resort pretty well!

My thanks to SMJ and Linda, your kindness and hospitality were blessings to me. All the best!
post #2 of 5
You were there? So was I! For those unlucky enough to have been at work, here's the view of the Sawatch and Holy Cross that Steve was talking about, taken from the ridge between China Bowl and Outer Mongolia.
Mt of holy cross panorama from China Bowl.jpg
post #3 of 5
I could prolly spend my life there.
post #4 of 5
I've skied Vail for 10 years and still haven't tired of it.

Steve don't forget the runs on In the Wuides off of Earle's Express too. The small bumps that you helped me on so much, and that you made look so easy.

Other trails we skied were "Woods" in Game Creek and "Showboat" under the chair in game creek (where I was reminded how my skiing bumps is basically "pathetic.")

The conditions at Vail the last week weren't great, too much warm weather, not enough new snow. The new snow on Wednesday helped a lot, before that it was even worse.

Surprising thing about Vail this trip was that it really wasn't crowded. Even when there were lift lines during President's week, the trails were not as crowded as I remember them from past years.

And yes, get to and out of Blue Sky before 11, it's a zoo out there! VA made a smart move in building it, all the Intermediates make a bee line for it (once they wake up.) Leaves some of the great front side blues less crowded then they used to be.

Other terrain that we didn't get to on the 2nd, but I was on the days before that skied very well were Genghis Khan, Headwall, Yonder, Dragon's Teeth. All steep groomed terrain in the back bowls.

Now on to Eastern skiing for a month.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dp
You were there? So was I!
Nice pic, dp. You know, one of these days, we'll actually hook up in a liftline without even knowing it! :
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