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Vail in March for Advanced Skiers (First-time)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Looking for advice on the must-do terrain and must-avoid places (i.e., crowds) in Mid-March, skiing Thurs-Friday-Saturday.

My ski buddy and myself, both over 50YO consider ourselves to be advanced eastern skiers, pretty comfortable skiing in any conditions (ice to pow) and any type of trail.  We've both got at least 30 years of 20-30 ski days/year, primarily in the east, with a few weeks over the years in the Rockies and Sierras. 

I favor good conditions first, which often finds me doing a lot of slack-country woods in the east.  I also tend to bore easily.  I'd much prefer to ski trails/areas which require a lot of quick thinking and can't see to the bottom.  I wander around a lot, don't like to do the same trail/area over and over.  I'm much slower than I used to be, take more breaks, but continue to ski first to last chair.  I tend to go more agressive early in the day and then just ski mellow in the afternoon.  I really, really dislike groomers.

My friend is a speed freak - He'll take on groomers at warp speed.  He's OK with groomers.  I'm just getting him to step out more into the woods.  We avoid extremely bumped up (uniformed mogul) terrain just to preserve our knees given our age.    We both hate crowds.  I've seen the crowd avoidance strategies and practice them (move away from the base early), but what else?

Since we can't predict the weather, I'd be interested in hearing recommendations on two scenarios - First, a dearth of snow, warm weather, spring conditions, and second, a good dump.  Where to be?  What to ski?

Also, are there good rental shops (prefer demos) in Lionshead that allow you to switch equipment if conditions warrant.  I expect the answer is "of course", but I assume nothing!

Thanks for your $0.02!
post #2 of 5
 Go to Beaver Creek on Saturday, weekends at Vail are a zoo.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks.  I thought about going to a second resort, but people tell me there is enough to keep you busy for the whole time.  I'm happy to try other places.   Is it easy to find transportation to Beaver Creek?
post #4 of 5
I'm similar in age and temperament to you, ski tons of slack and am easily bored.  I have skied Vail probably 6 days over the years.  It's big enough that I would gladly spend a week there.  There are locals here who can guide you better than I. There have been some very informative threads on Vail in the past so if Uncle Louie or someone of his ilk doesn't chime in soon do you should do a search - it will be worth it.

That said, yes it can get crowded; head straight back towards Blue Sky Basin to beat the herd in the morning and then ski a few front side trails near the end of the day... some fun tree skiing to be found on the front there too. 

One more little piece of advice learned the hard way.  My son and I traversed on cat tracks for what must have been miles to get from one end of the mountain to Lions head where I was parked.  A  thigh burning long as hell last run to move us a few miles down the valley kind of sucked (because my legs were shot).  The next time we just skied straight down to the bottom and took a shuttle bus to the car - much better.  You guys will both love Vail.
post #5 of 5
There is a bus service between Vail and Beaver Creek.  See the below link for info.  Vail is a mob scene on weekends in March.  BC is not as bad.

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