The Vail is a top-rated ski resort in the US. The resort has received an abundance of investments over the last decade, and accompanied with this inflow of cash, have resulted in a severe upgrade in material and infrastructure. The resort gets a lot of investment in improving the services and infrastructure. The wealth of investments has provided Vail Ski Resort with some of the best chairlifts and well-groomed pistes and runs. The entire ski season, the pistes and the slopes receive individual attention from the administration of the resort.
The Ski Season at Vail
The ski season in the breathtaking Vail mountain begins from the middle of November and continues towards mid-April. The shiny bright blue skies for almost all year round is one of the best features of this popular ski resort. The awe-inspiring terrain together with the natural beauty of the nearby Swatch and Gore ranges offer a spectacular skiing experience. The vail has over 5,289 acres of skiable terrain, well-groomed by sophisticated snow machinery.
Lifts, Gondolas, and Lift Passes at Vail
Vail has a sophisticated lift system with several high-speed quads. The resort is well-connected thanks to the 31 lifts. Vail has two gondolas, three high-speed sixes, 14 high-speed quads, one quad chair, two triple chairs, and nine surface lifts.
The lift capacity can cater for more than 53,000 skiers every hour. Vail continues to upgrade the lifts and gondolas to carry more skiers each season.
Vail has one of the most sophisticated systems of lifts. The lifts can take skiers back from the base area of the Blue Sky Basin to multiple areas within the resort, by taking the Teacup express. However, unfortunately, the Teacup express is also one of the most overcrowded lifts in the resort. The average waiting time could exceed one hour, so be advised to time your return accordingly.
The Eagle Bahn Gondola leaves daily from the freshly revamped Lionshead village. This gondola takes skiers to the Eagle’s Nest, the home to Vail’s activity center located at the mountaintop called Adventure Ridge.
The skiers can head on to the Golden Peak, the eastern base camp, the Superpipe and the Terrain Park. The Riva Bahn takes skiers towards the middle of the Vail mountain. The Riva Bahn takes visitors to the legendary back bowls and Blue Sky Basin.
Due to the popularity of the resort expert huge lines and an average waiting time of 15 minutes on the lifts and gondolas. The Vista Bahn and the Eagle Bahn gondola are especially notorious for their long lines. To avoid massive crowds and long lines, take the Riva Bahn Express that will take skiers out the Golden Peak or the Born Free Express from the Lionshead base. These lifts are perfect for getting access to the entire mountain without waiting in lines.
The Epic Lift Pass
The Epic Pass will give skiers a chance to have the best value for their money in the industry. This one pass will offer skiers access to other resorts near Vail.
By getting the Epic pass, you have until April in the current season to enjoy full access to over 43,000 acres of skiable terrain stretching across 14 premium resorts in the US. The Epic Pass will get you to Vail, Beaver Creek, and Breckenridge.
Skiing in Vail
Vail is home to a wide range of terrain and slopes. The resort has over 5,289 of well-developed and excellent machine groomed trails. Vail is home to seven Back Bowls, a legend among skiers. The Back Bowls are span across seven miles. Vail is a versatile resort that brings something for every type of skier and snowboarders.
Skiing Options for Beginners
The Vail has plenty of options for beginners. The sheer size of the mountain initially intimates most beginners. The best choice for beginners is to take the Eagle Bahn Gondola, to the Eagle’s Nest. This terrain is perfect for wobbly first timers, giving them confidence and excellent views of the massive mountain.
The next stop for beginners is to head to the Eagle chair. Once on this trial, beginners can ski down and take practice laps on the Little Eagle Chair. When you are confident enough with your skills, head towards the Practice Parkway for more skiing. Follow the route down towards the Ledges. It has an extended run that has pockets near the trees for resting.
The legendary Black Bowls of the Vail and the Blue Sky Basin are not recommended for beginners. There are other options for beginners to refine their skiing beginning at the front side of the Vail from the Golden Peak leading to Lionshead.
For Intermediate Skiers
The primary area of the Vail’s Front Side is ideal for intermediate skiers. An abundance of easy cruising trails is available. For more challenging trails intermediate skiers can head to the black diamond but rather easier slopes on the Back Bowls. If the
weather conditions are suitable; intermediate skiers can practice their powder skills on the ungroomed Blue marked trails in the Back Bowls.
The Vail offers a unique opportunity for intermediate skiers to test their skills on the same terrain designed for advanced skiers. Areas in the Back Bowls and the Blue Sky Basin lets skiers choose trials with gradient, which suits individual confidence and skiing style. The longest trail in Blue trails is the Riva. The Riva is four miles long, and one of the most challenging among the blue marked slopes because of the steeper segments and many bumps. The Game Creek Bowl located at the far right of the Front Side is another famous blue trial.
Meet the Mountain Tour for Intermediate Skiers
One of the best way to explore the Vail mountain as an intermediate skier is to reserve a spot in the Meet the Mountain Tour. The Tour begins at 9:15 am, taking skiers from the Eagle Bahn. An expert guide will take the skiers to some of the best trials.
The Powder Paradise for Expert and Advanced Skiers
The Vial is a powder paradise for expert skiers. Several black marked trials give expert and advanced skiers a chance to experience the great powder in three significant parts of the resort including the Front Side, Back Bowls, and the Blue Sky Basin.
The Front Side is one of the most underrated ski slopes for expert skiers. The Front Side offers some of the most massive black diamond runs that Back Bowl does not provide. The Northwood Express takes skiers to experience the black marked trials at the top of the lift. The Gandy Dancer is one of the most important trails. The most challenging path is the Prima Cornice. The Riva Ridge is another ideal ski trail for those who love challenging black slopes.
The Back Bowl Black Trails
The Back Bowl is a massive continuous ridgeline that covers the south-facing slopes. The skiers will have a chance to ski on the gigantic slopes of the Back Bowls for the entire day. The trial has step double blacks and blue pitches. There are five significant parts from left to right on the trail map in consecutive order:
The Blue Sky Basin
The Blue Sky Basin is one of the new additions to the many black trails in the resort. The Blue Sky Basin includes two separate peaks served by three major high-speed quads. The Skyline Express Lift is one of the most easily accessible lifts by skiing past the Teacup Express located at the base of the Teacup Bowl.
The runs located off the Skyline Express are narrow with lengthy mogul runs. This trial has some of the best black trails in the entire resort that challenges the best of skiers. The two significant runs that go back towards the Earl’s Express and Champagne Glade are extensive and a favorite among skiers.
Located right opposite the Earl’s Express is the Lover’s Leap trail. This trail is a little cornice that builds up on top of the Skyline Express. The drop is the most challenging part of the Lover’s leap trial, and it possesses an excellent challenge for even the most experienced expert skiers. The Pete’s Express is last on the Blue Sky Basin. The trails in this part are slightly gentler than other trials. The handful of black diamond trials in this area takes skiers into similar territory as Lover’s Leap.