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TR (pics): Vail (12/22/06)

post #1 of 5
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As the storm finally left the Front Range, a day up the mountains was overdue. Coordination with overkill dan left us with a decision to ski Vail. Dan or the Mrs. had not skied Vail, so this would be a good chance for them to check it out.

Negotiating the icy, snowpacked roads was an adventure, and I made it to the Stegosaurus carpool lot around 6:45, only to find it completely unplowed. A few brave souls had apparently gone in, leaving two thin tire tracks. I followed in, hoping to find a spot, but there was nothing. After making a nervous 10-point turn I came out of there. T-Rex was even worse. About 3 feet of snow with no plow in sight. Got back on 70 and headed west. The parking lot at Genesee (by the Buffalo Herd Overlook) was clear, and we were able to meet up there.

While waiting, I got some great views of the first rays of light catching the snowcapped peaks.

Early morning light on the Front Range:

Sunlight on the Front Range:

The interstate was pretty much clear of all snow and ice after Idaho Springs. We got into Vail a little after 9.

Warmed up on the groomers on our way to PHQ. The mountain was absolutely empty (so far!). Ran into Bergie618 at Chair 2.

Dropped into Yonder Gully in Sun Up Bowl. The snow was tracked out powder, but it was in very good shape. Soft and deep. There were some thin spots near the top, but it was very nice all the way down.

From the top of 17 we hit Genghis Khan. The snow was slightly crusty here, but still very good. A bit thin in spots, especially near the top again.

Mrs. overkill dan on Genghis Khan:

overkill dan on Genghis Khan:

The okd's on Genghis Khan in Tea Cup Bowl:

We hit Emperor's Choice, which looked really good from 36. While the snow was untracked, it was very thin underneath. No major damage, but we treaded lightly. After a couple of laps in Tea Cup, we headed to Blue Sky Basin.

Big Rock Park was our first run. It was in great shape, especially to skier's left, where the snow was piled up soft. We then hit Champagne Glade, and it was an absolute blast. The snow was soft, deep, and feather-light. There was enough of it to float over on my M:EX's. It was the best snow I've skied so far this season.

overkill dan among the trees in Champagne Glade:

Mrs. overkill dan in Champagne Glade:

We also met up with nando and the Mrs., and some of their friends. Hit Champagne Glade again to taste the powdery goodness. Unfortunately, our day was coming to a close since I had an appointment back in Denver that I could not miss. We made our way back through Over Yonder (sketchy up top, nice at the bottom) and up Chair 5.

The crowds were out in force on the front side. We took Born Free and arced big turns all the way down to Lionshead.

All in all, a great day. The snow was great, especially in Blue Sky Basin. The Back Bowls and BSB were pretty much empty all day, and we didn't hit any lift lines.
post #2 of 5
Thanks for that, Faisasy... I love those early morning pics, and hope to meet the okd's one day soon!
post #3 of 5
Nice TR…looked and sounded great! Thanks for the PM to join up with you and OKD and Mrs. OKD. Unfortunately I did not see it till late (gave you a reply) as I already had my sites set on A-Basin and made the trip solo.

I sent out my TR on A-Basin today unfortunately without pics. Mrs. Don has the camera with her as she’s stuck in Boston.
post #4 of 5
I read every one of your TR's whether I care about the ski area/city or not. Your photos are incredible.
post #5 of 5
Nice........Thanks for posting.
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