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post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
on the strength of an unexpectedly good deal from a good hotel (sign of the times?) just booked our first trip there for March. looking for your best 'on the ground/mountain' advice for a pretty good new (3yrs)skier and family. looked through the forums a bit. understand it's not everybody's cup of ski, so don't bother bashing. lucky enough to do Alta/'bird last Spring, Cortina and Lech before that, so making our way through the ski world with this site as a guide. thanks to all in advance.
post #2 of 9
I think that as an intermediate skier you will have a great time at Vail. The back bowls have some pretty unique intermediate terrain, as does Blue Sky Basin.
post #3 of 9
Hey pookie!

I wrote this for another Bear a few years ago and it was still in my PM "sent folder". This should be a big help. ENJOY

This is a great way to See Vail, and quickly find your way around the mountian. (This little tour takes about a whole day). Note there is an easier and harder trail to each side of the suggested path so you can adjust accordingly. Print it out and GO !

Start at Golden Peak--
Take Lift 6--(Riva Bahn) stay on at the mid-station---then take Lift 11 (Northwoods)--go right at the top.

Warmup on Swingsville (o) or Christmas/Cappuccino/Expresso/Whistle Pig.

Take Lift 4 (Mountain Top Express)--ski back under the lift and take the 1st left--then the first right on to Powerline Glade (which isn't) on to Ramshorn to the bottom of Chair 3.

Take Chair 3 (Wildwood express)--at the top make a U-turn and ski along the top of Kangaroo Cornice, go to the top of the lift ahead of you and ski Avanti/Pickeroon/Berries/Lodgepole or Columbine to the bottom of lift 2.

Take Lift 2 (Avanti Express) and ski along Eagles Nest Ridge....toward the Eagles Nest Lodge (stop and look at the view where Sharpshooters Photography snaps pics to your left as you approach the lodge.
If Avanti/Pickeroon etc etc was comfortable terrain hang a left and go to the Game Creek Lift and take a run on something there ----then continue picking up from the top of the Game Creek Lift.
OR----go past the Lodge and ski Born Free/Pride/Bwana or Simba. to the bottom of Lift 26. (by the way 26 NEVER has a crowd---note there is no lift maze) Hop on Lift 26 (Pride Express) and at the top go straight ahead into Game Creek.

Take Lift 7 (Game Creek)--at the top go left toward the top of Lift 3 and on to Kangaroo Cornice and try that. (too steep or bumpy---go to Meadows or Mid Vail Express trail and on to the bottom of Lift 4---the lift to the left---confusing double maze.

Take Lift 4 (WOW the same lift twice) and go left at the top a short ways down Northwoods trail and bear right into the back bowls.
***Check the Grooming Report***
Usually The Slot and Yonder and/or Yonder Gully are groomed. Easy-Moderate Expert terrain if groomed. If this terrain looks to be too much continue on the catwalk (Sleepytime) to Lift 17 (Sun Up) or if you want to just see more of the place down to Lift 36 (TeaCup) (TeaCup is one very impressive ride--a rare time I put the safety bar down).

Both lifts end at the same spot. Take Life 23 (West Wall) (surface lift to nowhere) and check out Two Elk Lodge. (I think this lift has been removed so skate down to Two Elk.

Follow signs to Poppyfields West which is always groomed and take it to the bottom of Chair 21 (Orient Express)

Take Chair 21 (Orient Express) and study terrain...If Chopstix/East&West Poppyfields are comfortable stay there and play Shangra La Glade is fun too and faces North so the snow stays soft.

If you want some steeper stuff ski past the bottom or the 21 chair and go on to the Tea Cup Lift and ski Genghis or Jade. (Cliffs on Dragons Teeth and boulders on Sweet and Sour)--or if you exited left at the Tea Cup lift you can go play under Chair 17 (Sun Up)---a better way to go if it's cold--17 is a much shorter ride.

Day 2
Lift 6---Lift 11---right into the Back Bowls and ski there and explore for awhile.

Then head over and ski at Blue Sky Basin on Lifts 17 (Skyline) and 39 (Petes). NOTE---while the semi-treed areas back there look good (and are) there are branches and stumps in there early season. Carefull---if you see a lump, and it isn't moving---avoid it !

post #4 of 9
Hey UL,
That looks like some day out - I'll maybe keep it in my jacket pocket for March.
You about then?
post #5 of 9

There's plenty of V... love around here to go with the bashing.

Uncle Louie knows the mountain better than Ido and I think his plan sounds pretty good. I will add that they offer free mountain tours. My son and I went on Blue Sky Basin tour one morning with a group of about 8 skiers. It was a good way to get some local knowledge from the guide and meet some other skiers, all intermediate and up. Lasted about 2 hours and then we all had lunch together.

The family will love it. The ski museum is worth a visit too.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Many thanks Uncle Louie. I'll definitely have that with me, you'll be my virtual guide. Read somewhere that you can use your airplane boarding pass in lieu of lift ticket to ski on the day of arrival? Is it true? Also, what about day trip to Beaver Creek?
post #7 of 9
Pookie, how many days are you going to be there. The Epic pass and other deals may be good for you.
post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by cardweg View Post
You about then?
Sorry Graham, I skip the entire month of March each season and spend considerable time there in April. When time gets closer for you, just post something on the "Front Range Roll Call" thread and some folks will get out with you.


I haven't heard anything about the airline deal, but my wife thinks that was a Deer Valley thing. The Epic pass is a good deal and your break even (I think) is 6 days. Of course the advantage is that you can always head out for a quick trip if you want as you are then a pass holder and the biggie is you can renew for ANY VAIL RESORTS pass online following the purchase of your first. That is a very valuable feature if you plan to return next year to ANY Vail resort.

Crank has a good idea with the mountain tour. That's a good move too.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
we'll be there for a week so the Epic pass might make sense.
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