- Overall Rating 5
- Family Friendly 5
- All Mtn. Terrain 5
- Terrain Park 4
- Nightlife 5
Pros: Talcum Powder Bowls, Fresh Lines! Tahoe like scenery
Cons: People will tell you not to go, don't listen to them! Seriously GO!
Recommended For: Singles, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Feb 1, 2011
Hi! I just got back from Colorodo. I am an avid 30 year old East coast skier, I actually like Killington and Belleayre for their trees and bluebird days, I like Tremblant for its village and views, I like elk mountain in PA for its day fun.
I travel to tahoe every year, Squaw Valley and Kirkwood have been my standards for perfection, the best and most beautiful powder and scenery, great challenges, and good times.
I thought I had it all figured out.
Presidents day weekend 2011 went to summit County with a friend. Figured it would be busy but it's Colorodo and I wanted to check it out. Hit Breckenridge. Very good fun, some good pow, a crazy summit and great trees. Obviously crowded like hell but the trees were amazing. Was told to not go to Vail (Michelle O, first lady, was there plus all of humanity) but instead go to Beaver Creek. Did that on Sunday. Big place, pretty views, too many moguls everywhere, trees were monstrously amazing but dangerous as hell. (4 ft of wet pow and blind jumps everywhere) but really good. Beaver is not Vail though...not even "F"ing close.
On MOnday the 21st, Presidents day, the busiest day of the year, I'm told. I went to Vail.
With 7 inches of Fresh that morning, 6 the day before, and Blue skies overhead. I had the best skiing day of my life.
The gondola line was long (45 minutes), but nothing like Breck (45 minutes each lift), and worth every minute. You cannot see Vails scope from I70. But when you get over to the backside..holy crap is it beautiful! Like being on top of the world! The Gore Mt Range is like an alaskan wonderland, the valleys and Bowls so large they could hold cities. And the powder. Dear lord, the lightest fastest powder I have encountered. Crud was actually powder and would evaporate on impact. Trees were beautiful like in Tahoe, Lifts were high speed. Inner Mongolia Bowl had fresh lines everywhere, with almost 20k people there! Everyone was happy and great conversation was found with strangers. SnowBoarders were not bothersome and seemed happy! Lines were minimal (3 minutes) and runs were just long enough (avg.25minutes to get down, I tend to stop and pick off terrain). Food was good, cheaper($12 meal) than Beaver Creek, and Bars were fast, friendly and had a great selection,(Beefeater in stock, Stella on tap.) I don't pretend that it was instant service, this was a holiday, but Gosh people, it was no worse than any other resort anywhere.
Frontside was fun and amazing too! I thought I had done it all, but this place is worth every penny. Parking is free and buses are on time to the minute. Free Buses people! Just relax and be patient! Park at the Safeway by 9am, get the west Vail Bus and go down to the village and grab a intown bus to Lionshead. Takes 30 minutes from the Car to the Gondola. The village is beautiful and has dirt cheap drink specials at 4pm every day! Yes, Rich people with fur coats and spoiled kids are there and some very hot european women! So what? Everyone is happy, and the jetset tend to go to their ritzy places, because they can afford it and is probably amazing. People were so nice in all the bars, I was actually shocked to get a table at 5:00 PM in a crowded bar, owners walking around, locals having fun, cute girls flirting, God nowhere else do people seem to be so alive, it's like New York City!. Beaver Creek was cute and fun but very East Coast skier MidWest style, and Breck was the adolescent college scene, though definately a good scene and great beer.
Found shops in Vail with cheap clothing (Logo Jackets for $20!) I never buy souveniers, but I wanted something this time!
So why do people post bad reviews? Probably they were in a bad mood, or they are too poor for skiing, or something happened that bothered them, like the old fart that went OOB and complains his pass was pulled. I mean really, dude, not enough terrain in bounds!? You ducked a rope?! Did you even try to go to BSB?.
I judge this place based on my experiences around the U.S, this place is #1 by far. Sqaw Valley California is #2. Both take you to the limit and make you love life. Yes you will do some traversing at Vail, but they have disc lifts to help, and get in shape if you cant skate on flat terrain. Take your time and laugh it off. Get a guide,or ask a local on the lift to take you to powder, I did. or read up on the place first so you know where to go. It's huge so if you hit the right lifts you can never ski the same place twice and move around everywhere. Move out to the bowls and hit the ridges above or the trees and then back into the bowls. Sundown is incredible, china WOW!, Inner Mongolia the besty. and explore this place, don't just ski down to the lifts. It is so open and has everything. Great trees, even the groomers were smooth. I will come back every year and it is worth the price. If you can't afford this you shouldnt be skiing. It's not a cheap sport. But this is the place. By the way, the locals I met, all in their 20's, come there everyday, (+PRIMOdank) they showed us some lines in Mongolia, best moments on skiis ever. I screamed like a girl as I hit terminal velocity with pow up to my chest. at 1 in the afternoon! Where can you do that? It looked like Ski magazine cover. And they said the conditions were "ok", said I should be there when there is 2 ft! Rent Powder Skiis for this experience, don't have anything less than 86 mm underfoot. Better than anything else in Colorodo, or California, or Vermont. Im out of words...wow wow wow. oh yeah..wear sunblock, at 12000ft and sunny you will burn instantly. I came back with a permanent joker smile and look like a retard. Vail is perfection.