Posts Tagged ‘Two elk’

Vail Back Bowl drama Chair 5

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Vail mountain’s new Chair 5 High Noon Express is still being worked on (photo from 11/22/10).  A sign nearby says that they’ll be opening in mid-December, so people are a bit worried and bummed.  With some of the best early season snow in the last 6-7 years, everyone is ready to get in the Vail Back Bowls to hit the powder.  Well, the lift isn’t ready yet, so what are we going to do !

It started me thinking what the old timers, such as Bert Farin (Antlers alumni) and our G.M. Rob LeVine would say.  Apparently years ago, Chair 5 was shut down for an entire winter due to a broken bull wheel!  I sent both of them an e-mail to see if they remembered the details.  

Bert responds:

“My first winter in Vail was 78-79.  The next season I had moved to Jackson Hole and that was the year Chair 5 was shut down.  So it was the winter of 79-80.  If I recall, it had to do with the cable.  I think they tried to add triple chairs to the old cable and it wasn’t safe, so the State shut down the lift for the whole season.  I was in JH so it didn’t affect me, but I was thinking it would suck to be in Vail and not have access to the b.b.  Ironically that was a poor snow season in both WY and CO, so maybe it wasn’t the end of the world.  I should get double credit for knowing the history even when I wasn’t in town.  Bummer about not having the lift ready to go.  At least you still have access to China Bowl and Category III (see I am an old dude).”

Rob LeVine responds:

“Proving once again that my memory ain’t so good … I thought it was around 82 or 83.  However, I totally trust Bert’s recollection.  I do remember how bummed (and pissed) everyone was when it was finally announced, but Bert’s right … it wasn’t a banner year for snow, so it could have been worse.

Not surprisingly, there were folks who would ski down and then either ski out Two Elk trail, or hike back up … similar to the old stories about Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton.  You know that “Forever” referred not to how long the run seemed, but to how long it took those pioneers to hike back out.   I’m afraid I don’t recall much else.”

Well, hopefully we don’t have much more of a wait…

Chris Ratzlaff

Two Elk mountain biking trail

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Two Elk mountain biking trail is a LONG… ride.  Figure on 4-6 hours.  It starts at the Antlers at Vail hotel and conference center and ends up being a 30 mile loop.  It offers around 4000+ vertical feet of climbing.  Just click on the attached map for details or even to print out the route.  Two Elk mountain biking trail is usually open from July 1 – until the end of September and travels through Vail’s Back Bowls (see our Vail ski map).  It is a combination of double track, single track, regular road and Vail bike path.  If you do ride by yourself, mention to someone where you are going, because you’ll be a LONG way from anything on this ride.  And bring tools and tubes.  I seem to get one flat tire each time I do this ride.  Chris R.


View Two Elk Trail mountain biking trail Vail in a larger map

On the top of Benchmark overlooking the Gore Range and I-70.  Great place for a snack and a drink.

Up on top of Outer Mongolia Bowl ready to take the single track along the China Wall heading West above Vail’s Back Bowls.  We are at 11,600 feet at this point.

Looking up towards China Bowl from the Trail.  The base of the China Bowl lift is behind me.