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Vail day trip 2/20

Tonyr

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Our plan out in Colorado was to ski 3 or 4 days at Vail then 3 or 4 days at Beaver Creek. After 3 days at BC we decided to head over to Vail to give the mountain a try for the first time. Thankfully we skied with friends who know Vail really well as it is a massive resort that you can easily get overwhelmed with the first time. We met in Lionshead Village with the plan to ski over to the back bowls. I would say that it took about an hour to an hour and a half for the group to get back there. Then about an hour to get all the way back at the end of the day and it was very crowded traversing back and forth each way.

With the crowds and the large time commitment to get to the back bowls I feel like unless there is alot of fresh snow back there I don't get what all the fuss is about. Sure Blue Sky Basin is really fun even without new snow but by the time we got all the way there it was about time to turn around and head back to home base. Needless to say we ended up only doing one day at Vail and stayed put the rest of the time at BC. Below are some photos from the day trip.........20200220_100059.jpg20200220_111027.jpg20200220_105800.jpg20200220_110159.jpg

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Tonyr

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These photos are from the China bowl and Blue Sky Basin. Cloud 9 was a real neat trail and our run of the day there. We didn't get a chance to ski much of the frontside so I'd like to try that area next time.20200220_135832.jpg20200220_123150.jpg20200220_123356.jpg20200220_132710.jpg20200220_133503.jpg

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abc

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I like Vail.

But I wouldn't bother with the front side. (unless I'm staying there for many days and the snow in the back were bad)

Granted, there're plenty of other mountain that ski nicely in a more compact foot print. But there's also plenty to like about Vail, albeit all in the backside.

BS basin isn't that hard to get to once you figure out where you need to straight line it. Once there, STAY THERE!

Like all big resorts, if you try to "see" everything, you end up not enjoying any of the parts. Same with Park City, same with Whistler, you need to spend a few days there, focus each day on one sector. Anyone trying to cover both Whistler and Blackcomb on the same day would end up saying the same of "it's a long way to get to xx, and you need to head back right away" too!

That said, Vail without fresh snow isn't particularly special. So your expectation might be a bit unrealistic.
 

Tonyr

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Yes I've heard from numerous people to skip the frontside and head straight to the back bowls. I definitely want to spend more time back there since we know our way around a little bit. Blue Sky Basin is where I'd head straight to the 2nd time around. I also think some of the double back terrain on the frontside looks interesting too though. I didn't get a chance to ski any of it this trip.

Tony

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abc

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I don’t like to spend “just a day” at any large’ish mountain. Always have a hard time with deciding “should I lap this last run which was excellent”? Or should I move on as I only got one day and I haven’t seen the rest of the mountain yet?

For me, it’s alway 2-3 days on the first trip.

Once I know the mountain better, I will go for a single day because I know exactly where to go base on the day’s condition.
 

Tonyr

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Does anyone have any thoughts regarding the double blacks on the frontside? Are they worth doing? Prima Cornice looks pretty good.....

Tony
 

Tonyr

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I like to ski challenging terrain and am wondering how the double black runs are on the frontside of Vail since I didn't get a chance to try any while I was there. I am assuming that you don't ski that kind of terrain?
 

abc

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I like to ski challenging terrain and am wondering how the double black runs are on the frontside of Vail since I didn't get a chance to try any while I was there. I am assuming that you don't ski that kind of terrain?
Vail is not known for its challenging terrain. (Exception being Blue Sky Basin)

Besides, "challenge" is in the eye of beholder. I prefer trees, WITH POWDER, ideally. But even if there's no powder, I still find trees more "challenging" than just steep. Unless, it's got bumps on it. (You just spent several days in BV, which has some of those. Vail front side doesn't have anything BV doesn't in terms of challenge)

Now, the like of Corbets, that's a different story. I admit I "don't ski that kind of terrain". (that said, I'm told with good snow, it's not that hard. While I have my doubts, I skied Liftline at Stowe yesterday. It's positively EASY with all the fresh snow! :))
 
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Tonyr

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Vail is not known for its challenging terrain. (Exception being Blue Sky Basin)

Besides, "challenge" is in the eye of beholder. I prefer trees, WITH POWDER, ideally. But even if there's no powder, I still find trees more "challenging" than just steep. Unless, it's got bumps on it. (You just spent several days in BV, which has some of those. Vail front side doesn't have anything BV doesn't in terms of challenge)

Now, the like of Corbets, that's a different story. I admit I "don't ski that kind of terrain". (that said, I'm told with good snow, it's not that hard. While I have my doubts, I skied Liftline at Stowe yesterday. It's positively EASY with all the fresh snow! :))

Good to know regarding the BC comparison.....I prefer trees the most as well and like trees steep and tight just as much as I like them wide and mellow. Not a huge fan of grommed/wind blown open bowl skiing either which is why I wasn't so crazy about the back bowls when we skied them but I certainly didn't hit all of the best areas.

I agree with you on Liftline at Stowe. The run has been neutered to the point where it really shouldn't be considered a double black at this point anymore.
 

abc

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I agree with you on Liftline at Stowe. The run has been neutered to the point where it really shouldn't be considered a double black at this point anymore.
I've skied all of Stowe's "front 4" at various times, but ONLY during good snow days. A strong intermediate can hack his way down any of them when there's good coverage and snow is soft.

But more often than not, snow is NOT soft, sometimes not even enough of it to cover up the rocks underneath. (even yesterday by afternoon, the entry into National was a big sheet of glare ice, "per usual" I believe).

Yesterday was one of such rare days ALL trails ski "easy"! Deep, soft snow are forgiving to almost all technique flaws.
 

abc

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I agree with you on Liftline at Stowe. The run has been neutered to the point where it really shouldn't be considered a double black at this point anymore.
I've skied all of Stowe's "front 4", but ONLY during good snow days. A strong intermediate can hack his way down any of them when there's good coverage and snow is soft.

But more often than not, snow is NOT soft, sometimes not even enough of it to cover up the rocks underneath. (even yesterday by afternoon, the entry into National was a big sheet of glare ice, "per usual" I believe).

Yesterday was one of such rare days ALL trails ski "easy"! Deep, soft snow are forgiving to almost all technique flaws.

Not a huge fan of grommed/wind blown open bowl skiing either which is why I wasn't so crazy about the back bowls when we skied them but I certainly didn't hit all of the best areas.
"Bowls" are not there for the "challenge". It's for enjoying the snow! Free to fly down the hill, not a care in the world!

Constricted places are always more challenging. But unless it hold good snow, I don't see the point of torturing myself.

(Trees are also constricted, but it more often than not hold good snow. Out west, without the thaw/freeze cycle, the trees are almost ALWAYS have good snow. That's why I beeline for the trees)
 
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