Archive for October, 2013

Trekking Guide to Snowshoe & Hiking Trails in the Vail Area

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

snowshoeing-in-vail-2Ski season is around the corner. We in Vail will be able to start our quest for epic powder in less than a month. But, there are so many more things to do in Vail than just ski.

While the Antlers at Vail may be your lodging choice in Vail, we like to think that we are so much more than a hotel. We like to think that we make your condo at the Antlers your home away from home, and that we welcome you as a part of our family. And, that includes sharing our favorite Vail activities, and in this case, trails. Below is a summary of some of our favorite snowshoe and hiking trails. But, we have many more to share, so if you are looking for something different just ask our front desk.

Antlers at Vail Trekking Guide: Our Favorite Snowshoe and Hiking Trails

The Antlers at Vail provides a multitude of complimentary amenities for guests including FREE snowshoe rentals and hiking poles! We have selected a few of our favorite trails below to share with you. Please ask the front desk for additional suggestions or a detailed Vail Mountain trail map.

Self-Guided Snowshoe Tours:

Old Vail Pass- East Vail
Length: 4.16 MI one way (6.7KM)
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 1,015 FT
Trail Use: Light to moderate
Access from Vail: Exit I-70 at East Vail (Exit 180) and drive 1.9MI East to the end of the plowed South Frontage Rd, just past Main Gore Drive.
Considerations: This was the route that Old Hwy 6 took over Vail Pass before I-70 was built. Before that, this route was used by the Ute Indians. Today, be aware that the snow may be thin during the early winter and spring months due to the pavement below the snow.
Directions: Snowshoe 0.4 MI toward the bike path gate. (Snow may be thin under the highway bridge). Go past the Gore Creek trailhead and campground but don’t tour the drainage due to avalanche danger. The old Vail Pass route is a good mid-winter trail that is gradual and scenic.

Meadow Grouse Loop- Minturn
Length: 6.45 MI loop (10.38KM)
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Use: Moderate
Access from Vail: Travel West on I-70 to Exit 171 for Minturn (Hwy 24) and turn right at the stop sign (South). Continue underneath the interstate and on the right turn into the Forest Service parking lot. The trail begins at the south end of the parking lot near the white house.
Trail Highlights: Start at Meadow Mountain, follow the trail up for about 0.8 miles to the Grouse Creek connector on the left. Follow the trail southeast to the West Grouse Creek trail, turn right. You will soon reach a junction where the Grouse Lake Trail goes left, but stay right on the West Grouse Creek Trail. The trail stays left of the creek- note the ridge across the creek. It will remain steep until you approach a junction with a logging road. The creek, which is well below until this point, becomes nearly level with the trail. Watch carefully here for the snow-covered road. Turn right onto the road and you will soon find yourself on the Old Meadow Mountain Ski Area runs. You have the choice for following the Meadow Mountain Trail back down to the connector you took earlier or following the old ski runs back down to the base.

Guided Snowshoe Tours: (A safe way to get familiar with terrain.)

Nature Discovery Center (2pm daily)
Join a Walking Mountains Naturalist for an introductory educational snowshoe through the forest atop Vail Mountain. Learn about winter ecology and animal adaptations as you gaze at majestic mountain views. Call 970-754-4675 for details.

Walking Mountains Science Center (Monday – Saturday at 2pm)
Join the science center for a gentle educational hike through aspen and riparian communities. Walks will be conducted on snowshoes as necessary due to snow levels. Call 970-827-9725 for details.

The Vail Nordic Center is located on the Vail Golf Course and offers easy, intermediate, and difficult terrain. Daily groups leave at 10am. Call 970-754-3200 extension 4 for details.

*All the Vail Mountain ski terrain is open for snowshoeing. For safety reasons, please go before or after lift operation hours.

Hiking Trails

Vail Mountain Hiking Trails

Eagle’s Loop Green: Short ridge-top loop with great views of Mount of the Holy Cross – 1 mile (1.6 km), 15-20 minutes
Lower Fireweed Green: Beautiful wooded trail between Eagle’s Nest and Mid-Vail – 1 mile (1.6 km), 30-40 minutes, loop with Upper Fireweed – 2.2 miles (3.5 km), 1 – 1.5 hours
Berrypicker Blue: Starting at Lower Fireweed, this intermediate trail winds down from Mid-Vail or Eagle’s Nest to Vail Village or Lionshead, picnic at Minnie’s Deck along the way – 4.6 miles (7.4 km), 2-3 hours.
Ridge Route Blue: Intermediate ridge climb from Eagle’s Nest to Wildwood and back with spectacular views – 2.8 miles (4.5km), 1.5-2 hours
Bad Simba Black: Steep side trail formerly part of Lionshead Loop – .75 miles (1.2 km)

Other Area Hiking Trails

North Trail (Beginner)
This version of the North Trail begins at the Red Sandstone trailhead on Red Sandstone Rd. From the trailhead, ride west above Vail up countless switchbacks. After 2.0 miles riders will come to an intersection with Buffehr Creek trail. Stay left and continue down a loose and rocky descent. Reaching the bottom, riders will cross Buffehr Creek and traverse around some beaver ponds to an intersection. Follow the signs to continue on the North Trail. The trail begins to climb again with more switchbacks and great views of the Gore and Sawatch Ranges. Eventually, the trail will start to contour and the ride becomes quite enjoyable as it passes through lush aspen groves. In the height of summer, the wildflowers through this section are very impressive. The trail will start to descend towards the Davos trailhead. Stay on the main trail and ride to an intersection with the Davos Hill Climb. Turn right and ride the dirt road (FS 781) 0.42 miles to a gate. Go through the gate to access the last singletrack section of the ride. Descend through the trees to the Trappers Run trailhead. From here, ride the North Frontage Road all the way back to Red Sandstone Rd and the start of the ride.
DIRECTIONS: Drive west on Interstate 70 to Exit 173 West Vail. Take the roundabout east past Safeway and City Market to Red Sandstone Rd. Turn left and drive 0.35 miles to the Red Sandstone trailhead.

Booth Creek Falls (intermediate)
Booth Falls trail climbs north through at a steep start and levels off through clover-scented woodlands. The trail emerges into a meadow full of wildflowers. The trek to the falls is steep but quick, sloping along a creek. The falls is a refreshing stop before heading toward the lake. Hikers will climb northeast into a deep forest where the creek reappears along the trail. As hikers move further into a meadow, look for the trail fork, just above 10,200 feet, where a path to the left takes hikers into the Piney Lakes region through the Piney Creek Trail. The trees will begin to thin and the terrain continually changes. The final climb to the lake is ruthless and difficult because of a rocky, washed-out path. But when hikers finally arrive at the lake, the views are heaven on earth.
DIRECTIONS: Drive about 0.9 miles west from Interstate 70 East Vail Exit 180 to the Booth Falls Road. Turn right and proceed to the end of the road to park near the fence.

Solar Panels in Vail, Only Better

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Antlers solar panels 1

When I told Randi that we had just bought 14 solar panels, her response was, “Really?  Where are we going to put them?”  A logical question, I suppose.  Happily, we don’t have to put them anywhere… we don’t even have to touch them. That’s all taken care of.  All we do is write a check and then start watching for the monthly credit on our Holy Cross electric bill.  How cool is that?

Instead of being placed on our roof, Clean Energy Collective installs them along with about 1,986 of their best buddies on a two acre site down by the airport in Rifle.  The energy they produce then gets fed into the grid.  Voila!  Naturally, the site was selected for optimum exposure and efficiency.  The maintenance is taken care of in perpetuity by virtue of the purchase price plus a fraction of the energy savings from now on.  Again … how cool is that?

Antlers solar panels 2

When we replaced the Antlers roof a few years ago, we tried hard to make it work to install solar along with it.  Sadly, we weren’t able to get it done.  But hey … at this point … who cares?  This is better.  No muss, no fuss, and we’re saving about $700 a year on our electric bill.  That’s about a 7% return initially (better than any of my investments are doing these days), and it should only grow each year as the cost of energy goes up (uhhhh … that’s pretty likely).  Of course, even if the return wasn’t so obviously good, it would still feel great to be “doing the right thing”.

We at the Antlers are quite proud of all our green efforts and initiatives, but this almost seems too easy.  Like, why wouldn’t you do this?  If all goes according to plan, we’ll pick up some more panels next year, and the next year, and …

Another fun element of this project (for us, at least) is the fact that Mike Dow, son of Antlers owners Buzz and Connie Dow, works for Clean Energy Collective and is the one who sold us the panels.   The only thing better than doing this kind of business, is doing it with a member of the family (well, practically).  Since each Antlers condominium is individually metered for electricity, our next step is to point ALL of the condo owners in the right direction, so they too can sign up for this gig.  Which is exactly what I just did for my own home in Edwards.  Ya-hoo!

CEC

Good Snow Guarantee

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Recent snow blankets the fall colors in Vail. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts and Andrew Taylor.

Recent snow blankets the fall colors in Vail. Photo courtesy Vail Resorts and Andrew Taylor.

Whether it’s a dinner party with friends or a Chamber mixer, sometime around October 1 every year, one of the most common lines of small talk in Vail (right behind the perennial “Aren’t we lucky to live here?”) is … “So, are you ready for winter?”

Well, ready or not … here we go!

Mother Nature has blessed us with some fresh snow the past two weeks and is predicted to do the same again over the coming days. Arapahoe Basin is already open for the season. And, Vail Mountain officially opens for ski season on Friday, November 22.

Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Dan Davis

Photo courtesy Vail Resorts, Dan Davis

While the snow was so good in Vail last April that Vail Mountain had to reopen the slopes the weekend after its big season-closing bash, but there’s no guaranteeing snow. Or is there? Antlers at Vail hotel’s new early season Good Snow Guarantee* promises a zero cancellation fee policy from November 15 – December 13, 2013, to ensure guests get the snow they want. And on top of just-right snow conditions, the Antlers is offering a new Value Vail Package for the same timeframe that puts four people in a spacious two-bedroom condominium suite for four nights, with two days of lift tickets – plus unlimited snowshoe use – for $449 per person.

“We’re really embracing the snowshoeing as an add-on to our usual ski adventures this year,” says Antlers General Manager Rob LeVine. “Whether you take a beginner Vail Golf Course trek or hoof it up the pass, having snowshoes at your disposal just offers a whole new level of spontaneity for enjoying Vail’s snow and scenery.”

And as for the skiing? With good snow guaranteed and a great early season lodging deal, “Great skiing’s a given,” says LeVine.

snowshoeing-in-vail-2

Creekside snowshoeing conveniently located to the Antlers

Snowshoeing is fun for all ages and athletic abilities, and the Antlers staff is happy to recommend trails to fit your mood and group. Antlers snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis to registered guests.

The Antlers at Vail hotel offers a unique Vail lodging experience in a relaxed mountain setting and was recently awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for consistently outstanding traveler reviews. With condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four-bedroom penthouses, every unit at the Antlers enjoys a fully-equipped kitchen, fireplace, private balcony, daily maid service, free wi-fi and free parking.  The Antlers has an A+ location on the banks of Gore Creek, just steps from restaurants, galleries, shops, free Vail town shuttle and the Lionshead Gondola. And Antlers’ staff is always ready to help with – and offer an insider expert take on – dinner reservations, activities or any other guest request.  For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit www.antlersvail.com.

*You may be wondering how we determine what good snow is. Well, it is completely up to you. So, book now to guarantee your early-bird rates with no risk!

 

Kanal’s Magnetic Resonance Physics Course Returns to the Antlers

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

EKanalThe Antlers is once again excited to be the host lodge for Dr. Kanal’s Magnetic Resonance Physics Course to be held January 19-23, 2014.

Dr. Kanal is recognized as one of the most sought after MR educators in the world today; is the first to have developed, applied, and presented dynamic bolus contrast-enhanced MRA; and is the pre-eminent physician authority on MR safety issues. As is his style, Kanal will be available to answer questions and clarify concepts at and between each conference session. Participants will leave this conference with a solid understanding of complex but clinically vital MR imaging, angiography, and spectroscopy physics principles and how to apply them to routine clinical diagnostic patient care.

Since 1985, Emanuel Kanal has taught thousands of people the concepts underlying MR imaging physics and their clinical applications. His teaching style is informal, interactive, humorous, enthusiastic, energetic, and unique.  Among the unique aspects of this course is that it takes full advantage of the graphic, interactive format of his custom developed MR tutorial and simulator software programs, which permit real-time simulation of the effects of MR image parameter manipulation on the scanned images. The course will review basic MR imaging principles, including explanations and applications of such parameters as T1, T2, T2*, proton density, TR, TE, TI, flip angle, contrast agents, relaxivity, etc.

For additional information on the course, please see the Vail MR Brochure 2014.

Dynamic Skiing for life seminar back at the Antlers for 2nd year

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Dynamic Skiing for Life Program with Margaret McIntyre is coming back to the Antlers at Vail this December 15-19, 2013!

The Antlers at Vail will be hosting for a second year, a program that helps get the body ready for the ski season or any other activity. Margaret McIntyre owner of Integrated Movement has been practicing the Feldenkrais Method for over 30 years and is bringing her knowledge and skills back to the Vail Valley for a four day class. What is the Feldenkrais Method you ask? Great questions! According to Margaret, “The Feldenkrais Method® is not medicine, not chiropractic, not massage and not yoga; instead it is a powerful, innovative and effective learning system. You learn how to replace old redundant movement patterns with newer more useful ones. You will discover that you have the capacity to become more skillful and improve your quality of life as you mature and age.” Margaret lived and worked in the Vail Valley for 20 years, now based out of Maui (not too shabby of a relocation!) Margaret comes back to Vail once a year to continue teaching her seminars.  The Antlers is so pleased to have Margaret and her students back with us!

Margaret McIntyre