EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › From Los Angeles I'm heading to VAIL, CO for a week! Help me out with a few Qs
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From Los Angeles I'm heading to VAIL, CO for a week! Help me out with a few Qs

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm really stoked, to say the least. I'll be staying at the Lifthouse (anybody heard of it or been?) and the lift tickets we got are good at more than just VAIL mountain... also Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, A-Basin, and one other (not sure).

FEW questions for people who have been to vail or live there:

1) Which resorts are close to Vail and worth checking out? Or should I just stick with Vail and get the feel of that?

2) SKI rental equipment? Where is the cheapest? I'm sure there are dozens of places in the village, right?

3) I'll be going in two weeks (April 9-13), do you think the ski conditions will be good?

4) FOOD? Reservations required you think at places? There are cheapo diners and fast food and stuff, right? It's not all outrageously priced like at any other ski resort lodge?

5) IS it going to be amazing? HAHA. THe only noticable place I've ever been skiing was Squaw Valley, California. I'm STOKED to say the least about Vail.

Tell me everything!!! THANK YOU very much.
post #2 of 20
Green,

I have personal experience with the Lifthouse(last year) and it's in a very good location at Lionshead. The rooms are nice for 2 people, but don't expect anything more than a hotel with a mini kitchen. I haven't been there this year, but I'm nearly certain that the Lionshead area is under construction and that might make things more difficult.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt regarding the intent of this post?
post #3 of 20
Only went to Vail for a week so I only know a few things that might help.
It's huge, I mean really huge. I thought Squaw was big.
Parking is expensive. $16.00 and you have to walk far. $25.00 valet. No getting around it.
Nothing really stupid steep but they do have some pretty steep and very long bump runs.
Be prepared for some VERY long traverses. The place is 7 miles wide. It could take an hour from one end to the other.
The back bowls are amazing and not too difficult. If you survived Squaw you should have no prob.
Most of the other resorts are off I-70. An hour or two at most. I believe Breck is close by and Beaver is next door pretty much.
You could spend the whole week there and not hit everything. But I would check out A basin.
Spring skiing, as in corn will prolly be the conditions that week but you never know.
post #4 of 20
Green, you may want to check out the Let's Go Colorado thread in the meet-on-the-hill forum. There will be a lot of people from this website at Vail on the 12th and 13th so you may want to connect with them to ski. Have a blast!
post #5 of 20
Do Copper Mt. about 20 min drive from Vail. Its all Good!
post #6 of 20
Floyd,
I'll try to fill in the blanks:

1. Closest to Vail is Beaver Creek. Well worth doing, same ticket good at both. 10 minutes away.
Next closest is Copper, 20 minutes on other side of Vail Pass. Different company, different ticket.
Breck, Keystone, Abasin, figure 35-40 minutes. All Vail Resorts, same ticket.

2. No idea, never rent.

3. The Rockies in April is a real crap shoot. We can have great spring conditions, powder, winter snow, solid refrozen corn. You've just got to get lucky. I really hate the cold overcast days after a few warm ones, just ice everywhere. Spring corn is not as reliable as in Tahoe. There is no problem this year with coverage.

4. Well, it is Vail. That said April is really a slower time so getting in is no problem. There's some fast food and cheap burger/pizza places but lots of ways to spend plenty of cash too. Avon/Edwards are only a few minutes west and there's more reasonable choices there as well.

Hope you have fun.
Steve
post #7 of 20
Bart & Yetti's is a good casual restauarant in the same building you're staying in I think. Pazzo's Pizza in Vail Village very good and inexpensive, they have great ravioli too.
If you're skiing for 4 days, I'd do it all at Vail, you won't get bored. I don't know about Beaver Creek during April, generally spaking the conditions are better at Vail because of a little higher base elevation. That being said if its really warm, Copper because of its higher base elevation might have better conditions. Regarding restauarants , you can spend alot of money if you desire fine dining, but there are a lot of great places for sandwiches etc, that are not really expensive. Good cheesestake at the bar at the Evergreen Logde. Plus you're real close to Garfinkels too which has good burgers etc.
Right at Lionshead there are a couple of placeds to rent . Double Diamond might be a good suggestion for rentals.
post #8 of 20

Another ? on Vail/Beavercreek

Will tag on to this post d/t same subject. Thanks to appts in Denver I will have April 8th and 9th available for skiing and want to go to Vail and/or BC. I've been to some of the Tahoe and Utah resorts but this is my first trip to Colorado. I am so excited to have a chance to visit there.

I'm thinking one day at BC and one at Vail. I prefer easy cruisers, greens and easy blues. However, like most of you, I don't like flats and definitely don't wish to spend my day traversing a mountain the size of Vail. Is it really that bad on the front side for someone at my level? I would love to go to BSB but afraid to try that on my own. If I pay the $90 for a group class, what are the chances I would get to ski the easy blues I've read about in Blue Sky Basin?

And the website noted all day for the classes....I'm not sure but the classes are all day for $90.....at Vail?

Can I handle BSB? I read there are some great easy blues. I do the easier blues at Squaw and Mt Rose although the blues on the slide side at Rose are too much for me. At DV I stick to mostly the green runs on the upper mountains.

Looks like the weather so far is holding up and conditions in April should be great. I may splurge and get a room in Lionshead, I know about the construction but it's only for one night, and I might try the thrill sledding if it isn't too scary. :

I used the search function and found tons of info on Vail. Coach, thanks for the Expedia tip. I got 4 days for $109, even though I can only ski 2, I saved $. Go figure, Expedia wanted more $ for 2 days lift tx.

Will be flying in to Denver late on the 7th, have a room near airport. Question: How early do I need to leave Denver for skiing on the 8th? Will crowds still be problem on Saturdays in April?

Thanks for info, I have to go to Nashville tomorrow and won't be back until Thurs.

I will miss some epic ski days here at Tahoe, heard the ski resorts got 1-2' from this storm that is currently moving through!

Cheryl
post #9 of 20
I can answer a few of your questions Cheryl!

If you can handle the blues off of Red Dog & Shirley Lake chairs at Squaw, then you can handle the blues in BSB and off of the Orient Express lift in the Back Bowls. There will be a ton of blues on the front side you should like as well and don't miss Game Creek bowl.

I'm not sure what crowds will be like on an April Saturday, but given that you have to turn in your Expedia Voucher for your ticket and get from the parking lots to the lifts, I would leave Denver around 6:00 AM. If you do decide to stay the night in Vail, I would check with your lodging and see if you can park there upon your arrival Saturday morning.

Lastly, there's a large gathering of people from this forum going on in Summit County while you're there and you may want to check out this thread. http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=37635

It's a fantastic opportunity to meet and ski with some great people if you're not absolutely set on Vail.

Unfortunately my nephew and I will be departing on the 8th and will miss you, but you're sure to have a good time regardless of where you end up skiing.
post #10 of 20
1. you can take the shuttle to beaver creek for a day or 2 for something different. its a good mountain w/ definite high class resort feel to it, even snootier than vail. i wouldnt make the +45 min. drive drive to breck/keystone/abasin when youre AT VAIL !
3. should be great, just maybe hard packed. summit county resorts have the best coverage they have had in 5 years. i was in breck last weekend and it was mid-winter conditions in mid march.
4. not much cheap in vail, IMHO. take shuttle to avon/edwards if you need to stock up.
5. get a mountain tour or guide or eplic ski member the first day to show you how to avoid get stuck with a lot of traversing and you'll be hooked. i traversed a lot 1st time and it held down my opinion of vail for a while.
post #11 of 20
Unless you know the road, and where the cops like to hang out, Breck, Keystone and A Basin are almost 1hr away.

The construction at LH is not making any difference in how the mtn skis! And it only mildy disrupts the LH village.

If you are staying at the LIfthouse (right above my office), there is no parking fee.

Beaver Creek will be open till Apr 16, then it's lights out.

Meanwhile, the week before Easter- se habla espanol? It's the Holy Week leading up to Easter, and all of our friends from south of the border will be here- IN FORCE!!! Our reservations are HUGE for that week from the Latin crowd.

April 16th, lift tix prices drop to $59, daily rate. But also begin to expect certain parts of the mtn to be closed, as well as on mtn dining facilities.(Wildwood, part of Mid-Vail, etc)

BSB will be open right to closing day.

Expect chr 10 (Rogers, Highline, Blue Ox) to be closed. You might be able to get to them, but the walk out will likely include a hike along a very long, muddy road.

Eyeski is right about one thing- if you don't know the mtn, you will spend (waste) a lot of time on roads. But hang with somebody who knows the mtn, and you will spend more time skiing than traversing. The idea of hanging with Unca Louie is a great one! But they will only ski Vail 1-2 days during their tour.

If you need more info, drop in and see me... My office is right between Bart and Yeti's, and the Montauk Restaurant. It is the Vail Resorts "Resort Information and Activities Center". Ask for Ric
post #12 of 20
I think I read that Orient Express Lift - China Bowl closed the last week too??
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro
...Meanwhile, the week before Easter- se habla espanol? It's the Holy Week leading up to Easter, and all of our friends from south of the border will be here- IN FORCE!!! Our reservations are HUGE for that week from the Latin crowd.
...Uhhh, forgive me for being politically incorrect but there are that many skiers in Mexico? El Salvador? Panama? They can afford Vail? Jeez, then why the %$& are they running across the border? I can't even afford Vail. Should I consider a reverse border crossing? :

BTW - I'll actually be there that week too, but only on the pure magic of unpaid credit card debt. Maybe I can hook up with somebody who needs me to landscape their hacienda.

I'm just a redneck, and I'm confused. Fire away.
post #14 of 20
I'm there that week also. Do you think the crowds will be any less at BC, Breck or Keystone? I've been to Whistler during the Mexican holiday. As best I could tell, they have a lot of skiers. Heard more spanish than English that week.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister
...Uhhh, forgive me for being politically incorrect but there are that many skiers in Mexico? El Salvador? Panama? They can afford Vail? Jeez, then why the %$& are they running across the border? I can't even afford Vail. Should I consider a reverse border crossing? :
I was surprised as well, but I can vouch for the fact that Mexican skiers will be there in force the week before Easter, as they have been at least the last 2 years when I was there. I doubt it will hinder your skiing though as I doubt they be skiing where you'll will be skiing. I've seen tons of Mexican skiers there, but I've only seen a hand full on the more difficult trails.

As to the $$, it's not the poor Mexican families hitting Vail. 2 years ago I stood in line behind a guy, at Garth Sports, who who was in the process of dropping around $10K to outfit his entire family in skis, boots, clothes, goggles, etc...He didn't appear to be suffering from lack of cash.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by vail snopro
The idea of hanging with Unca Louie is a great one! But they will only ski Vail 1-2 days
VSP must have mis-read my post...I will be in the Vail Valley from the 12th - 19th .... 8 days.

Green Floyd..head to the Meet on the Hill Forum and look for the Lets Go Colorado thread (sticky). The first few post there provide the complete schedule for our little meeting there...info on special lift ticket rates that are available.....lodging suggestions and meeting times and places.

Not posted as of now it Apr 16th is changing to Beaver Creek for that day.

Everybodys welcome....come on out !
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
What do you mean when you say "get caught in traversing the mountain"?

Could you clear that up?

Thanks!
post #18 of 20
Plus the exchange rate that the Mexicans have to pay (was 9-10 /1 a couple of years ago)makes it even more expensive for them to vacation at Vail. Lots of Mexican owned property in the Vail Valley. You figure , there is more than 35 million people living in Mexico City, multiply 1/10th of a percent that have the money to vacation in Vail, and you get a pretty big number. I see a lot of the Mexicans skiing with instructors too.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns
I think I read that Orient Express Lift - China Bowl closed the last week too??
Nope, back side of the mountain is still wiiiiiiide open. Pretty decent coverage for so late in the season, too. Maybe some decent snow tomorrow/Thursday as well, if the temps don't drive the snow level too high. We'll see.

As for the comments regarding Mexicans at Vail. . . . well, the answer is yes, lots of them. Especially around Easter, when many of them have a week off.

Is it really a surprise that there are plenty of upper middle class and (very) wealthy Mexicans? Mexico City was pretty cosmopolitan last I checked, and there's tons of tourism money in Mexico, as well as money made in the usual industries. Yes, there is a very visible discrepancy of wealth across our southern border, but there are also some very nice, very well-to-do Mexicans who love to ski and who love Vail (and Aspen). We have a number of Mexican friends who have been coming to Vail for many years, and it's always very interesting to ski with them. . . especially since I am a bit of a dawn patrolling, bell-to-bell skier and their days look more like:

Sleep in + have a good breakfast
Hit the lifts around 10:30am
Ski hard until 1:30pm
Head back down to the village to meet the non-skiers
Have a BIG, fancy, late lunch (with lots of wine)
Hang out at the house with friends and family
Head to dinner about 10:00pm
Repeat

It's a good time, and a different approach to the day, and I love it for a change of pace.
post #20 of 20

Traversing the Mountain

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFloyd
What do you mean when you say "get caught in traversing the mountain"?

Could you clear that up?

Thanks!
Hi Green, traversing the mountain is when a cat trail/track goes across the mountain in a mostly horizontal direction, thus the traverse. Because these trails are usually pretty flat, they are a pain in the arse, not to mention they usually cross over advanced runs so there is usually a good chance of getting whacked by a hotshot. :

I hate cat tracks and avoid them at all costs, as do all skiers, but since I'm not an expert skier, sometimes I have to take them. I'll never be able to do advanced blues/black runs, my knee still gives me trouble from a bad fall I took skiing on ice in the east, was laid up a long time from that nasty spill. Since that time I moved out west so I wouldn't have to ski ice the majority of the winter, but the injury refuses to completely heal!

Thanks for the tips everyone, they are helpful for a Colorado newbie. I splurged and booked one night at the Sonnenalp resort in Vail for 4/8. Booked one of the hotel rooms instead of a suite, it was only, lol, $282/nt (compared to almost $400/nt for a suite) but it is the alpine ski special package so some extras are included such as free breakfast and a spa treatment or dinner. Figure I'll use the spa tx and get a massage after my first day of skiing. Parking is $15/day but what the hell, I get to ski at Vail so I'm not going to sweat the parking fee!

Has anyone did the thrill sledding at Vail? I'm curious to find out how scary this activity is!

Cheryl
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › From Los Angeles I'm heading to VAIL, CO for a week! Help me out with a few Qs