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One week at Vail

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
For first time for most of us, a group of 10 pretty good skiers (some ski instructors) from Spain will spend a mid January week in Vail, reading the forum I've got lots of info, but I have a some questions which I didn't find the answer yet.

Assuming that after a storm, lots of locals with a knife in their mouths will hit the backbowls early in the morning, wich would be the best bet to find some untracked lines?

We will sleep nearly sure in East Vail, we believe that using the skibus is the best option for going to ski, but in the night time, is the car a must?

Is easy to find the Route 70 with so much snow, that makes the chains obligatory?

For dining I've found a lot of info, I like places like The Saloon in Minturn but on easygoing places to grab a beer with the locals (no discos, no posh clubs) I didn't make myself a good idea, most of us are in our 30's.

Any input will be very appreciated and sorry for my english If any of you are there is these dates, it'd be a pleasure to meet with some Barking Bears.
post #2 of 25
Assuming that after a storm, lots of locals with a knife in their mouths will hit the backbowls early in the morning, wich would be the best bet to find some untracked lines?

Vail is so big that mid-week you should be able to find numerous untracked lines most of the day. Stay off the front side. In my opinion the best place to go for terrain at Vail is Blue Sky Basin. On a powder day last year I skiied continuous runs down the same chair, all of which were untracked, for two+ hours.


We will sleep nearly sure in East Vail, we believe that using the skibus is the best option for going to ski, but in the night time, is the car a must?

No. There should be buses that run (check on this though).

Is easy to find the Route 70 with so much snow, that makes the chains obligatory?

You don't need chains on 70. A 4WD car would be good, if you choose to rent one, but not necessary.


For dining I've found a lot of info, I like places like The Saloon in Minturn but on easygoing places to grab a beer with the locals (no discos, no posh clubs) I didn't make myself a good idea, most of us are in our 30's.


I can't comment here because we never eat in Vail due to the price, but just look around. Go between 5-7 (at most places) and get happy hour specials. You'll get the best deals, and probably end up trying out some places you'd never thought to go to.


Vail is a really fun place. Take time to familiarize yourself with the trail map before you get on the mountain, and try to plan your runs out. It's such a big place that to do everything you want to you'll need to be organized. Have fun
post #3 of 25
If you get there early, head straight into the back bowls with the rest and make the most of it. Later in the day Sun Down and Sun Up bowls seem to take longer to get tracked out, and there are gullies there that can collect thigh deep windblown.

One of my favourites - while everyone else is streaming into the back bowls, head up the Gondola and over into Game Creek Bowl and ski endless fresh lines down the side, not steep but lots of fun.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Many thanks to both of you
post #5 of 25
Thanks for the morning chuckle! I'm visualising all those Vail people in Bognors with knives clenched in their mouths at the first chair! Wonderful image.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ant View Post
I'm visualising all those Vail people in Bognors .
What does this mean exactly?
post #7 of 25
This is Bognor:
http://www.chichesterweb.co.uk/00images/bognorz.jpg
and these are Bogner (one letter can make a big difference):
http://www.hilary.com/fashion/images/bogner.jpg
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtran10 View Post
Stay off the front side.
Not necessarily. Hidden nooks and crannies on the front side, like Cheetah Gully, Upper Snag Park, Pumphouse, The Narrows, Been There and Done That (if they're open) often get neglected in the rush to the bowls and BSB.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
I like places like The Saloon in Minturn
Have you skied down to Minturn yet? Worth doing if you can find someone to show you the way.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell View Post
Have you skied down to Minturn yet? Worth doing if you can find someone to show you the way.
Not yet, is the first time for most of us in Colorado, I supousse you need some hiking to ski there, isn't it?
post #11 of 25
I did a week in Vail last year with a bunch (15) of guys. That hardly makes me an expert, but we had a few locals in the group, so they showed us around. My thoughts:

We stayed in East Vail, at the Vail Racket Club. Still expensive, but the two townhouses we rented were nice.

The bus runs until 2am, I believe. There's not a lot going on in Vail after that. Trip takes around 15 minutes each way.

There's a great pizza place in Avon, and the Minturn Country Club was fun (but not cheap). Fat Tire and Sunshine Wheat are two great beers you should try while you're in Colorado.

Vail is huge, and you don't have to worry about tracked out powder like you do at other resorts, where there's lots of competition for lines. As the new snow starts getting skiied off, head farther out in the bowls, towards China Bowl, then Mongolia Bowl. Blue Sky Basin is my favorite spot, as you take the main chair up from the Bowls, make a right at the top, then ski along the OB ropes. Great tree-skiing with lots of untracked fresh.

I did the narrows, but found it was probably one of the more difficult marked runs I've encountered. Relatively steep, with tight, tight trees everywhere. No room for mistakes, and certainly not a run to choose as your last run of the day.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
Not yet, is the first time for most of us in Colorado, I supousse you need some hiking to ski there, isn't it?
Not necessarily. You can exit the boundary straight out of the gate skier's left of Lost Boy and ski straight down. Or you can hike 10 minutes up Ptarmigan Ridge, which allows you to access lines further over (skier's left) in the "Minturn Mile bowl".
Previous threads, with useful info, here:
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=19338
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?p=370552
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?p=175885
post #13 of 25
Quote:
For dining I've found a lot of info, I like places like The Saloon in Minturn but on easygoing places to grab a beer with the locals (no discos, no posh clubs) I didn't make myself a good idea, most of us are in our 30's.
I'm sure others will chime in here, but we liked Bart & Yeti's and Garfinkels in Lionshead along with Pazzo's and Vendetta's(Downstairs) in Vail Village for casual and relatively inexpensive beer/food.

If you get a good amount of fresh you can also ski the runs off the highline chair which always seemed deserted during a busy week I was there and the Game Creek bowl suggestion is a good one also.
post #14 of 25
There are several members of this forum who live and work in the Vail area, and many more who live and work in nearby Summit County; I don't know as much about Vail as they do. However, I have taken weeklong trips to Vail several times, both with my wife and kids, and with a group of guys I work with. I'll try to answer some of your questions.

First of all, flying into the Eagle/Vail airport is great because it's only about 30to 45 minutes to Vail, and it's overly fairly flat terrain, impacted probably by only the worst weather. It is, however, more expensive to fly into there. The ride from the Denver airport is about two hours, and is also fairly easy. My experience is that the road from Denver to Vail (Interstate 70) is well maintained, and chains would not be necessary; renting a four-wheel drive vehicle would be nice. Once in Vail a car is unnecessary; the shuttle bus system is very convenient. It starts running early in the morning, and runs until 2:00 AM (I think); it doesn't sound like you plan on staying out that late anyway.

Vail has the reputation of being very crowded, and it can be at times. My experience is that the initial access points to the mountain, namely the Lionshead Gondola and the Vista Bahn Chair are crowded, especially in the morning. My goal is to only ride them once each day. Once up the mountain I always head for the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin, which rarely seem to be crowded.

I think one of Vail's strengths is the number and variety of restaraunts. Vail has an incredible number of eateries, ranging from very casual to Manhattan-quality fine dining. Pazzo's and Vendettas were mentioned above for pizza. There are also hamburger joints (Garfinkels, Red Lion), barbecue (my kids love Moe's in Lionshead), as well as some of the finest dining I've experienced (Sweet Basil, Left Banke, La Tour, Wildflower, Terra Bistro). I find it unnecessary to leave Vail to eat well.

Overall, we love Vail because it has something for everyone, on the mountain, and apres ski. That's most important when you're traveling with a large group of people.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaniard View Post
Any input will be very appreciated and sorry for my english If any of you are there is these dates, it'd be a pleasure to meet with some Barking Bears.
When are you coming?
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
When are you coming?
We'll arrive January 12th by night and we expect to ski the six following days.

Cheers
post #17 of 25
Ok. I'll do my best to get out with you at least once.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Ok. I'll do my best to get out with you at least once.
Sent you a pm
post #19 of 25
Hi there.
I'm one of the crazy spaniards going with "Spaniard".

Thanks for he help. We┬┤ll try to do the best to have our best skiing week. For most of us is the first jump into the Rocky snow so it's usual skiing in the Alps, Dolomiti, Pirynees but I guess rocky are a step away..

Excuse my english, please.
post #20 of 25

I'll be there on January 13th to the 21st!

Hey there,
Glad to see someone else asking questions about Vail. That's where I plan to do most of my skiing. I am staying over in Beaver Creek(Edwards), as I have found better pricing on lodging, and it's a short bus trip over to Vail. Also, with the money I am saving, it leaves me more money to spend on food, and apre ski.

People on here say the bus closes at 2 AM. Which bus system? I was reading on the eagle/vail website that the ECO bus system runs 23.5 hours day. Is this false? Anyone know about this system?

From what I have been hearing and seeing, people have said Beaver Creek is better on the weekends because there is less croud. Of course there are no bowls. I plan on doing all my weekday skiing at Vail, so only one day, unless I decide another will be dedicated to Vail.

I am a level 6/7 skiier. This season planning on getting up to an 8. Never had real powder skiing, so I am hoping this trip will get me the experience. If you all that are going are about my skill level I would not mind bumpin into you all at sometime. Maybe go skiing a day together, and having some apres ski time together. It's always great to meet new people.

Hope my information helps you a little. Have a great trip.

Matt
post #21 of 25
The ECO timetables are here:
http://www.eaglecounty.us/eco_transit/index.cfm
- this is the one for Vail to Edwards: http://www.eaglecounty.us/uploadedFi..._summer_06.pdf
As you can see, the last bus from the Vail Transportation Center is 2am - party on, dude! (This is actually the summer timetable but the winter one should be similar.)
ECO buses require a $3 charge.
Town of Vail buses are free and run to West Vail, Sandstone (the area on the other side of the interstate) and East Vail. They also run till 2am. Routes and schedules here: http://ci.vail.co.us/subpage.asp?dept_id=46
Have fun.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell View Post
The ECO timetables are here:
http://www.eaglecounty.us/eco_transit/index.cfm
- this is the one for Vail to Edwards: http://www.eaglecounty.us/uploadedFi..._summer_06.pdf
As you can see, the last bus from the Vail Transportation Center is 2am - party on, dude! (This is actually the summer timetable but the winter one should be similar.)
ECO buses require a $3 charge.
Town of Vail buses are free and run to West Vail, Sandstone (the area on the other side of the interstate) and East Vail. They also run till 2am. Routes and schedules here: http://ci.vail.co.us/subpage.asp?dept_id=46
Have fun.
The express buses going directly from Vail to BC are $5, as opposed to the ones that take the long way through minturn, which are $3. There is a student rate available, if anyone in your group fits that category, for $1 a ride, regardless of which bus you are on. The eco buses are great, I got around vail and bc for 10 days without a car, sans probleme.
post #23 of 25
Not that I should be staying out past 2 AM, if I want to be good for the next day, but just in case taxi service?
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 

Vail TR

Well, we are back in Spain you can have a look of our trip in Our website, in spanish

Thanks to all for your tips, they've helped us a lot
post #25 of 25
Gracias for the ptictures;it looked like a great trip

nuevo mundo y extrano, tambien: the gordita and the vehiculo blanco were great examples

looked like good skiing , too<img>
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