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Vail - Challenging enough?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Planning this year's 5 day ski trip and am thinking about doing Vail, but have concerns about expert level terrain.  I'm a Tahoe regular and am normally at Squaw, hitting up KT, Silverado, Granite Chief.  Not a big bumps guy, more off piste stuff.  Hit up SLC last year and didn't find much at Park City.  It dumped the day we hit the Canyons and has lots of fun doing laps on the bowl off of 99-Nintey. Dumped when we hit up Snowbird and spent 1/2 the day in great pow in Mineral Basin (knee high pow, so much fun) and the other 1/2 doing runs off of Crique Traverse (great steep runs).

Not trying to flame Vail, I actually want to check it out.  Just want to know if Vail has enough challenging terrain for me for 5 days or if I should day trip it to other CO resorts.
post #2 of 8
Blue Sky Basin and a few spots in the Back Bowls, but if you aren't into bumps, go somewhere else. You'll be bored stiff after two days. I'd do Vail a few days then hit Beaver Creek and head over to Summit County to do Copper, Breck and hit ABasin. Or go to Crested Butte. Plenty of gnar there, maybe Telluride too. Vail 5 days, NO.
post #3 of 8
I agree with Lars, five days is too much.  Luckily if you are staying in or near Vail, you are close to a bunch of other worthwhile mountains.  Sure Vail is not very steep, but it doesn't get much more fun than Blue Sky and the bowls on a powder day.  There is just so much of it!

Beaver Creek has the Stone Creek Chutes, which would definitely be worth a day, especially if there is new snow.  Pretty steep, rock drops off all sizes, and good trees.  Abasin is good if there is enough snow.  I would play that one by ear.  Breck, you might want to find a local to show you around.  Copper is absolutely worth a day.  Well laid out mountain with a lot of fun terrain.  And finally, don't sleep on Keystone.  I'd play that one by ear too.  Go to Keystone if there is very low visibility and/or high winds.  Good trees if you know where to go.
post #4 of 8
There is enough at Vail to keep you busy for a few days; there are over 5000 acres there, after all.  However, it doesn't have that much steep terrain.

I'd suggest travelling around a bit.  Hit Breckenridge on a weekday; there is some great terrain off of the Imperial Chair and T-Bar (Peak 7 and the Lake Chutes).  The Beav has great bumps and steeps.  And hit Copper.  In fact, Copper is probably the best choice on weekends.  The Epic pass has increased the traffic at all of the Vail resorts, and Copper seems to have been relatively deserted.  Some decent expert terrain there.

post #5 of 8
I've skied Squaw a few times and did some intense hike to stuff as well as alot of inbounds stuff. Frankly, if you want anything close to that, Vail is out. As said, on a powder day Vail is hard to beat and the trees in Blue Sky Basin are much fun as well as a few cliffs and gnar. But, if the East Wall chutes and ridge are open at ABasin, you will be able to hike to some of the best shit around. They qualify right there with Squaw. Also, there is some great backcountry stuff towards Keystone with several good chutes through trees that come out in the creek down by Rt. 6. If you're avy savy, Loveland pass is full of awesome terrain if you know your way around or get with a good local you can trust.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great info and for confirming what I thought....... Looks like I'll hit up Copper for a day, Beaver for a day and play it by ear for the 5th day (Vail, Brek, Copper, ABasin).

Not to thread jack my own thread, but how is the snow in early to mid Feb?
post #7 of 8
Originally Posted by krazymad View Post
Not to thread jack my own thread, but how is the snow in early to mid Feb?

Like anywhere else, there are dry spells and storm cycles throughout the whole season, but it's generally pretty frickin awesome.
post #8 of 8
I had similar concerns when going to Vail a couple years ago. You can definitely have fun there for two or three days. And don't worry about the lack of steeps, Vail makes up for the lack of steeps with serious acreage and the ability to ski a lot of vertical in any given day.

When I was there we had multiple storms in a week and I was impressed with the size of the mountain and how long the powder took to get skied out, compared to Squaw when it's completely skied off within a couple hours.
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