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TR (pics): Epic pow at Vail (1/13)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
The forecast had predicted some snow for Eagle County, so dawnhill and I decided to ski Vail. Wanting to avoid last weekend's horrendous traffic, we met up at the Morrison lots at 6:15am and drove up. Thankfully there was very little traffic and the roads were pretty clear (except for being snowpacked west of Vail Pass). We arrived at Lionshead around 8 and got in line for the gondola. Vail was reporting 7" in the last 24 hrs. We were a bit afraid of how cold it was going to be, but our fears were unfounded. Temperatures were in the 20's with no wind -- I was actually hot waiting for the gondola.

The enticing view while waiting for the gondola to start running:



Our first run was down Born Free to catch Chair 2. And what a run it was! The powder was super-light, and almost knee-deep in places. As I started making turns, I experienced something I had never experienced before: over-the-shoulder blower pow and face-shots! If you've never experienced it, I highly recommend it!

On the lifts up we heard lots of whoops and yells all around. And the mountain was practically empty.

Unknown skier under Chair 4:


From PHQ we dropped into Sun Up Bowl near The Slot. It was nice! Pockets of untracked. There were some hard sections underneath, but very smooth for the most part.

Me in Sun Up Bowl:


As we took Chair 17 up, the sun started to peek through. In about a minute the sky turned completely blue and it stayed bright and sunny the rest of the morning.

The sun coming up on Sun Up Bowl:


Three's a crowd!


Unknown rider in Sun Up Bowl:


Yup, Vail is crowded!


How can I stand this?


Just look at the crowds! This is just too much!


Off Chair 17, we hit Genghis Khan. Snow was nice and soft all over.

dawnhill dropping into Genghis:


Powder turns!


A powder explosion:


The powder perma-grin!


dawnhill about to enter...


...the White Room!


Unknown skier on Genghis Khan:


dawnhill still smiling:


Sunlight glimmering against the snowflakes in Tea Cup Bowl as dawnhill makes her way down:


We then hit Shangri-La Glade -- amazing snow. Completely untracked pow at 10am on a weekend!

dawnhill in Shangri-La Glade:


Still the perma-grin!


We hit Blue Sky Basin after that. Champagne Glade was all tracked out with large bumps -- not as much fun after the stuff we'd just skied. We tried Lover's Leap, and that's where I had my spectacular crash. I jumped the cornice, stuck the landing, and made a turn. Something caught my right ski and down I went, sliding down head-first out of control. Hit a small tree, then finally managed to get myself turned around and stopped. Fortunately, nothing was hurting. dawnhill found my right ski at the bottom of the bowl, so it was long slide on my butt to get down to it. It was definitely my most spectacular crash ever!

After that we headed back to Shangri-La Glade for some more pow laps. Hit Siberia Bowl (around Bolshoi Ballroom) -- great pow. After a late lunch at Two Elk we joined the hordes on the front-side back to Lionshead.

Also, today was the first day on my new Nordica Afterburners. WOW! What a ski! No matter what I asked of it, it delivered. Perfectly happy at all speeds, all terrain, and all turn shapes. My old Atomic Metron EX's required a bit of speed to really bring out the best, and like the tanks that they are, they require forceful input and take a lot of goading into any sudden adjustments. Not so with the Afterburners -- subtle adjustments yielded great results and they never failed!

It was a superb day! Probably my best day of the season so far. Great powder, great weather, great ski, and great company!
post #2 of 23
Damn, see what I missed out on! Guess that's what I get. Can't wait to get up there next weekend.
post #3 of 23
Cool, Faisasy! Nice shots, as always! Did you get the 170s or 178s?
post #4 of 23
Looks extremely tasty. Nothing like the back bowls at Vail with powder and nobody there.

Watch out for those cornices, that sounds like a pretty serious wipe out.
(I hate it when you have to go find skis.)
post #5 of 23

Now thats a TRIP REPORT

Great Pictures great powder.

Thanks for taking the time to share.

I would not have gotten the camera out that much on such a nice day
post #6 of 23
Thanks for sharing a great day, F!! It was the best day of the season so far! So much fun skiing the soft stuff, and for having a ski partner that knows his way around that enormous place. Great pics as always. I can't wait to go again.
post #7 of 23
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow
wow

Beautiful pics - phenomenal day. Keep 'em coming.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Did you get the 170s or 178s?
The 170's. Like you said in your second review, I never had to think about anything -- I just decided to do something, and they obliged without complaint. Fantastic skis!

Quote:
Originally Posted by viking kaj
Watch out for those cornices, that sounds like a pretty serious wipe out.
(I hate it when you have to go find skis.)
I actually stuck the landing off the cornice fine. Made one turn. But then something snagged my right ski and I lost it. If it wasn't for dawnhill finding my ski, I'd have spent the whole day looking for them (I thought they were above me!). So thanks, dh!

I tell you, I'm getting a taste for jumping nowadays -- rollers, bumps, cornices, anything! Not cliffs yet, but small rocks (like in In the Wuides in BSB) are starting to look interesting. :
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by faisasy View Post
I tell you, I'm getting a taste for jumping nowadays -- rollers, bumps, cornices, anything! Not cliffs yet, but small rocks (like in In the Wuides in BSB) are starting to look interesting. :
Jumping or hucking? See this thread for the distinction:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?p=604910
post #10 of 23
OMG - Vail is heaven on days like this - I gotta get out there.

THANK YOU for this TR!!!
post #11 of 23
Looks like a very fun day. Thanks for sharing!
post #12 of 23
Hope you don't mind me adding one from today, just down the road at Beaver Creek! WoW! with the POW! Snow most of the day, temps 5-20 with light wind. Jason, my 2 sons & self. Good time was had by all. Soooo nice in the trees!
525x525px-LL-vbattach1147.jpg
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Vertical View Post
Hope you don't mind me adding one from today, just down the road at Beaver Creek! WoW! with the POW! Snow most of the day, temps 5-20 with light wind. Jason, my 2 sons & self. Good time was had by all. Soooo nice in the trees!
Nice! I really need to learn that mountain. Been there only once with a local, but didn't really stop to figure out what we were skiing.
post #14 of 23
Great Pics!.. The tracks in pow and tea-cup shot with skiier in the midst are awesmoe!(The rest are pretty good too ).. I need to get my ass to vail the next time I am over there..
post #15 of 23
Nice pics... but "over the shoulder" powder on a 7" day? Come on now... was that when you fell down?
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn View Post
Nice pics... but "over the shoulder" powder on a 7" day? Come on now... was that when you fell down?
They reported 7", but it skied more like 12" minimum in most places. It was only the first untracked run down Born Free where I got face-shots (while skiing upright, I might add! ). No shirt off my back however if that's hard for you to believe.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn View Post
Nice pics... but "over the shoulder" powder on a 7" day? Come on now... was that when you fell down?
On those rare occassions (years ago...) when it snowed in the Northeast, I got the occassional "snow explosion" effect as well from a storm that theoretically dropped only a few inches. Drifts, little concave areas of what's underneath, etc. add up to much deeper spots here and there.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
I might add that the snow was one of the driest/lightest I've ever experienced (second only to the even drier/lighter snow at Berthoud Pass in mid November two years ago) -- that helps a lot with the "blower" effect.
post #19 of 23
I'm just giving you sh*t... I'm probably still jealous of the fact that I went back to bed Saturday morning after I woke up and saw that Keystone and A-Basin got skunked on the snow report.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn View Post
I'm just giving you sh*t... I'm probably still jealous of the fact that I went back to bed Saturday morning after I woke up and saw that Keystone and A-Basin got skunked on the snow report.
No worries! Yeah, Summit County looked completely bare, while just over Vail Pass everything wore a blanket of fresh. If we knew that Beaver Creek had gotten more snow, and if we knew that mountain at all, we may have gone there instead. Although I did hear that it was an absolute zoo at the Beav. The amazing thing was the lack of traffic -- zero traffic all the way up (we left the Dino lots at 6:20am, and zero traffic on the way back at 3pm. I think many people probably stayed in due to the lack of snow in SuCo and the expected cold temps.
post #21 of 23
^^^ I heard the Beav was "crowded" (5-min lift lines) until noon, then there was no one. If you do ever go to BC, just remember these three areas- Grouse Mountain, Larkspur Bowl, and Rose Bowl. You'll do just fine skiing those three on a powder day.
post #22 of 23
thanks for the great photos! looks like it was a great day!
post #23 of 23
Your pics were total powder porn! Is it wrong that I kissed my laptop screen when viewing these? I don't care. It was good for me.

I am heading to Vail in 2 (mercifully) short weeks. Would you mind dialing up those same conditions for me?
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