March 18 The family (brother, sister and nephews) were in town and we had a wonderful day on the hill. We even took the brother out to Blue Sky Basin. I didn’t realize that he had never skied in the back bowls in all the times he had visited Vail. Crazy. They all slept in our employee housing unit at the Antlers. The floor was pretty packed! Chris R.March 17 They reported 4 inches of snow. Sunny skies today. None of us from the front desk could get out but guests were saying, “one of the best days ever”. You know, we’ve been hearing that a lot this winter. Chris R.March 16 Light snow showers in the afternoon. The front side was crowded with many Spring Breakers. The bowls were quiet. Amazing how even on the south facing back bowls the snow is still light and dry. It isn’t set up from melting too much. I skied by the fuel pumps for the groomers at the top of the mountain near Buffalo’s. You can really see how much snow we have by how low to the ground the pumps are. It will be late June before all that snow is gone.Chris R.Today I snowboarded at Beaver Creek for the day before I had to get to work. Unfortunately, I rode alone, which I do not prefer but I just had to get out. The ten inches we got from Thursday and Friday was still good in most sections of the mountain. The only bad part is that the sun melted the snow, which made it hard, icy, and rugged. I had a great time but I’ve been having problems with my left big toe. The front of my toe rams into my boot and I have bruises underneath my toenail. (Everyone I guess can relate to this) On my way to work the snow started coming down pretty hard and I knew that tomorrow was going to be a powder day. I wasn’t going to let a little bruise toe ruin my powder day. And neither should you! J. CoghillMarch 14 Powder day! 10 inches of new snow. I took Snowitch’s suggestion and skied the front side (even the lower half) of the mountain today and I had my own tracks till 11am. Snowing hard throughout the day and more snow predicted for the week. It will be great skiing for those here on the Easter Holiday. Usually in March the North side of Interstate 70 is looking brown and the grass is showing due to the slopes facing directly into the sun. Not this year. Some back-country skiers are even hiking up and making tracks down these south facing slopes. In MARCH! Wow. Chris R.March 9 Sunny day! Sort of like mid-winter conditions still. I over dressed and I’m glad I did. If you were on North facing slopes it was a bit cold. I saw Hank Frazier (super long-time ski instructor) and he said he has overdressed every day since December and hasn’t regretted it. When will spring arrive? There was a light dusting of snow. They groomed Bolshoi Ballet the day before and I headed over for the poma lift. Nobody around and the groomed slopes were buffed. Any north facing slopes had light and dry snow, southern slopes corned up a bit with the sun. Chris R.March 8 Some college buddies of mine had come to visit me for the weekend in Vail. I have not seen them in about 2 years, but growing up we always would go on snowboarding trips. We all were pretty good riders and have been to Vail in the past. The conditions our first day out were great with a solid 2-3 inches from the night before. We all decided it would be best to get out early and make our way straight back to Blue Sky Basin. It was wonderful back there because the chair lift lines were to a minimal for a Saturday and it was not “skied-out” as much as the front side of the mountain. We all had a blast especially my two buddies that have never traveled back to Blue Sky Basin before. Overall it was a great day with it not being too cold out and the chair lift lines moving fast. J. CoghillMarch 7 Well, it is good now. Great skiing. Sunny today with 3-4 inches of powder at the top of the mountain (only an inch down low). Cold still. We can’t believe how cold it has been the last week. We are in March, aren’t we? Great groomers, no ice, and sun. However, a bit of some lines at the lifts. Nobody at Chair 3 but Chair 4 West maze was PACKED. I made runs on Chair 3 while the rest were waiting. It must be getting late in the season because the groomers were having fun. I saw a bunch of them all split up underneath the gondola doing their own thing. They sure weren’t working as a team today. One went down Minnie’ mile (just one mind you) then another was under the gondola where the lift cuts through the trees, which isn’t a ski run. But the groomer was smoothing it out nicely. Sort of fun to watch. Chris R.March 6 Snowy, cold, and difficult to see. Glad I wasn’t up today but then again, some were coming down and saying it was wonderful. High of 19 degrees all day at the bottom of the mountain. Not sure how cold it was up on top.
2/29/08 Spring skiing baby! Wow, it has been a great week. Powder on Monday night created powder conditions for both Tuesday and Wednesday. Sunshine and some spring warmth on Thursday on Friday. Lots of sunburn, be careful out there. We had a group (including Bob Grossman, owner of 208) that did the Minturn Mile on Wednesday. So crazy with all the snow. Everything was really covered so well. Rocks or stumps that we would usually jump off of (or avoid) we would just ski right over without realizing it. So much snow in Minturn we could still ski down the streets to the Saloon for beers. The sun has probably melted that off the last few days but they are predicting snow again for March 2nd!2/22/08 2 inches of fresh snow today. Vail reported that we are a record for snowfall from Dec 1st through Feb 22nd. Over 314 inches so far this season.2/21/08 Yep, we have been a bit lazy keeping up on the snow conditions lately. I’ll tell ya this much, we are finally seeing the SUN every now and then. Yipee! In the last 10 days we haven’t received a lot of new snow but the mountain is keeping up pretty good. Last weekend (Sunday) we had 3-5 inches up on the mountain. Overall, the top 1/2 of the mountain is great, the bottom half has had some freeze and thaw cycles so it is a bit icy down low unless you are on the groomed. Don’t worry about the snow base. There is PLENTY on the ground here in town. Weather predictions are for a bit of snow for the Northern mountains (that’s us) for Monday/Tuesday Chris R.2/8/08 Some of you might be wondering….”where are the snow updates”? Well, it seems like it has been non-stop this winter and we almost sound like a broken record with, “another powder day”. We had that drought in November, which made us all nervous. Channel 9 news out of Denver interviewed Rob (our General Manager) right before Thanksgiving due to the lack of snow and I remember Rob saying, “when we get a dry November we usually have an above average winter”. I can’t remember his exact words…. but when I heard that I was thinking, “yeah, RIGHT”. Well, here we are and it has certainly been an above average winter. Right now they have Interstate 70 closed in both directions from Georgtown to Avon. That’s about 60 miles of freeway. Nothing else to do, so I’m going skiing. Chris R.2/1/08 It just doesn’t end. Another powder day. 7-9 inches of super light snow and not too many people on the hill. Not as much snow in Game Creek bowl which was weird. I think there was maybe 10 inches outside the Antlers, then 6 inches up in Game Creek. I had to get off the mountain for work but I saw BERT FARIN heading to the Gondola with Randi and Rob. He was on those super thin Telli skis. 20 year old technology! I don’t know how he does it. Chris R. And oh how he does it … here’s a picture of Bert cutting it up on Jade Glade. A lot more snow there than there was in Game Creek, Ratz. This next picture of Randi was taken as she popped out of the woods at the bottom of Way Over Yonder. That was followed by some frivolity on the lift with Bert’s boda bag of lemoncelli (similar to limoncello, but not quite). What fun.RL
NEWS ALERT! UPDATE! YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST! STAY TUNED!SKI LAY-OFF WAS TOO LONGGreg Z. went skiing on Friday for the first time in 8 years. It seems he has struggled with fear, bad memories, no interest, and several other things related to psychological barriers that only Doctor Phil could begin to address. When asked why the sudden change of heart, his response was only “I live here and it’s a long time before the golf courses are playable again”.We did a little research on this Antlers employee and found that the he raised 3 children and taught them all how to ski. “I spent a lot of time in the parking lots looking for gloves, putting on boots, and drying tears before an exhilarating day on the cat walks. This was part of the bad memories”, he explained. He continued, “when they all got better, I couldn’t keep up and I just ended up being brought down on a stretcher. This resulted in my fear. I didn’t want any more re-hab in my life. I convinced myself that I had no interest in the sport and my ability was not that of all the legendary skiers in this valley anyway”.He had so much fun on Friday that he went out again for a few hours on Saturday and that his outlook has changed about everything. “I’m back baby! This is fun. There is something for everyone up there. As soon as these legs get back in shape, I’ m going to ski with the kids again, but not until they put my boots on and make sure I’m warm enough”.We asked Greg what he enjoyed most about his re-discovered passion and his simple reply was “The views”. I had forgotten how beautiful it is”.Any advice for the person that may be thinking as you did? “Get over it. Get up there and dance like no one is watching”. He added, “don’t push yourself, ski to your own ability, and stop every once in awhile to take in all that’s around you”.He told us as he was headed to the hot tub with a cocktail that “I deserve this tub. My legs are burning, I’m exhausted, and it feels great. I never feel like this after a lousy game of golf.”
12/31/2007 New snow again, but windy and cold. Vail Resorts probably isn’t selling too many lift tickets. China Bowl, Tea-Cup and Blue Sky were closed the whole day. 10 inches of new snow but with the wind it was all in the trees. There were 10 inches new but on the ski slopes it seemed like 3 inches. Someone said the line at Chair 5 was 45 minutes because they could only load every other chair with the wind. Ouch. But the front side there weren’t many lift lines at all. Everyone that wanted powder was stuck in only one bowl at Chair 5. The sun will be shining Jan 1 and 2.12/28/2007 O.k. I scammed a lift ticket to get up while our passes are restricted. Cold out but again, good snow. 1-2 inches each day are keeping things soft, yet the front side is a bit icy. All the Xmas vacationers are just skiing on the front side. Some small lines, but then I went in the back and NO ONE was back there. Nice soft powder snow. Empty Chairs on Chair 5. Faro glade had fresh tracks at 3pm. Chris R.12/27/2007 “Skiers lent” has started. For locals, our ski passes are restricted during the Christmas/New Year’s holiday. We have to rest our legs and leave Vail Mountain to the vacationers. It hurts to miss this snow when we are getting fresh each day. The downside for the tourists is that it has been COLD. Tomorrow the high on the mountain will be around 13 degrees. Ouch.12/26/2007 Us locals haven’t been able to ski much lately but local Owner John Taylor has. He reports the skiing as awesome. He skied with the part owner of Bart and Yetis and received a few pointers. These past weeks we’ve been receiving new snow virtually every other day. Nothing huge, but 2-4 inches every so often. Just enough to keep things soft and fresh. Still COLD.12/24/2007 John Taylor owner of 314 skied front side and said conditions are great for all levels of skiers. Something for everyone. 5 inches of new snow. Not too cold. A little too much grooming on the front. Leave some powder for us powder fools! says JT — Sun coming out late in the day. They are predicting another storm tonight!12/23/2007 Lightly snowing outside but warmer. 19 degrees. 100% of the mountain is now open. We’ve always had enough snow to open the whole mountain but we think they were waiting for employees to open the Bolshoi Ballet area for skiing. More importantly the Arrabelle shops in Lionshead are now opening! The Mall area of Lionshead is back together after 3 years and you can walk everywhere once again. It is pretty darn cool. The ice rink is not open at this time. Not sure when they’ll have that up and running.12/22/2007 Another powder day in Vail and the sun is out. I’m heading up this afternoon and hope to make a report a little later. (It was cold!) 9 degrees at 3pm, great snow however. Chris R.12/21/2007 Powder day in Vail. None of us could get up but everyone was telling us how great it was. Makes us jealous.12/20/2007 It is snowing in Vail! Only time for 2 runs this morning. Pickeroon and Columbine. 1 inch new reported but snowing hard. Conditions will be great tomorrow. No lines, yet there was a goofy guest service guy directing people at Chair 2 and bothering everyone. He had the line goofed up more than us the skiers. Sort of funny to watch. Chris R.12/19/2007 Was warm up on the mountain but we froze up in Blue Sky. Major wind with the cold front starting to come through. We did a bunch of runs on Pete’s lift in Blue Sky. Great views. I quit early due to being so cold. Skiing was great. Skied with Tom Schlader and Tom Conville. Chris R.12/17/2007 Vail ski conditions are still pretty good. They are opening the chairs at 8:30 now so Eric (Guest Services) and I went up at 8:45. There were a few icy spots in the high use areas but other than that it was great. Good groomers. Snow felt a little like styrofoam but I guess when it is 15 degrees in the early a.m., that is what we should expect. Highs in the low 30s today. We did two runs in the back. They groomed Headwall! Chris R.12/16/2007 Now we are talking!! Sunny skies, not too cold, beautiful groomers. Perfect temps in my opinion for Vail skiing (25-30 degrees F). I hit a good lift line on Chair 2 today but it was my fault (going out at 9:30am is a bad idea), but after I hit the back-bowls it was clear sailing. Chair 10 and Chair 14 are a blast since they have been replaced. For beginners it is fun to ride Chair 10 and then take FlapJack all the way around for a long, long run. Chris R.12/15/2007 Ouch, it was cold this morning up on the mountain. -3F, -20C. We did 4 runs and went in to warm up our feet. The snow is great however. I wish we could have stayed out longer during the day as it warmed up but I had to get to work. Beautiful sunshine. Chris R.12/14/2007 Burrrrr, it’s cold out there today! I don’t have even a single day on the hill yet this year, how lame am I? Another big storm is predicted but I’m not gonna hold my breath. Just a light dusting came down last night. Vailmama12/12/2007 Powder again! 8 inches of super dry snow. It was like feathers. Heaven. Another movie. Chris R.
12/11/2007 Sorry, no update today. Too busy skiing. Chris R.12/10/2007 Great day. Longest day for me of the season. I started out with Bob Grossman Owner of 208 at the Antlers at Vail. Vail Ski conditions were excellent. Powder left over from the day before and sunshine. They are predicting snow tonight. That could be neat. I later hooked up with some friends from Waconia, MN area and I ate all their food up at Two Elk. That’s the deal here. If you want a tour from a local, you might have to cough up for the food at Two Elk. Ouch. Corny Movie attached. Chris R.12/09/2007 Well…….. another 8 inches WOW! We got a good lead on everybody for the race to Chair 2 then Game Creek, Ricky’s, Milts, West Wall, Blue Sky, Chair 14, Northwoods, Mid-Vail and home. Actually we took two runs on Chair 14 for the heck of it. 120 second ride for powder turns. Too bad you’re not here. Click on the photo for a full size version. Chris R.12/08/2007 Another 8 inches of snow, but no real report from any of us today. (Sorry) I think Rob got some runs. They opened most of the back bowls. 4500 acres My ball and chain said it was incredible. Big smiles from her. She was in Blue Sky most of the day. Knee deep snow on the hill (thigh deep for the short ones). Chris R.12/07/2007 I decided to celebrate Pearl Harbor Day by making a few runs (any excuse is a good excuse). I’ll spare you any references to the skiing being “the bomb”, but it was in fact fantastic. I’m riding up chair 8 first thing, ready to head to chair 2 like usual, but the snow right under the lift was just too tempting. So I broke with tradition and came right back down under the chair. 15″ – 18″ easy. It was all the way up to your smile. 2 out of 3 turns were in unbroken snow. Make that 3 out of 4. Back up chair 8, ready to try plan A again … but on the way there, the snow on lower Ledges just looked TOO GOOD. Oops, hard left … a virtual repeat of the first run and back to the bottom. Back up and finally, I made it to the top. Everything up there was great, although part of the time you had to ski by the braille method … it was just snowing too hard to see. I ended it with an epic run down Minnie’s (almost always a sure bet for good deep pow). Back to work by 10:45 … but with a whole new attitude. I need to do this more often.Rob12/06/2007 The sales team (& Randi) took some runs this morning just to give a special report on the Vail ski conditions! Unfortunately, we didn’t venture too far due to time constraints. We had hopes of hitting Chair 26, but headed to 2. 26 & 9 are not running today. Great runs on 2. Pickeroon was especially nice & full of powder before the crowds hit it. There’s even some fun little lip hits for those of you who like to play! We headed back to the west and had our final run down on Pride which had only a few tracks in a good 5 inches of powder. (p.s. don’t tell anyone!) Katie S.12/05/07 Hey, it’s Rob here. My first day of the season (yeah, I know I don’t get out enough). Wow, conditions were GREAT! I went skiing with Mike Glass from Alpine Bank. We did the “Woods” over in Game Creek. A few sapling trees showing on the run, but it just made for some fun slalom turns. For how much snow we’ve received I was really surprised at how good it was. A series of storms are predicted Thur – Sat Rob L.12/04/07 I went up around 1pm today with the ball and chain. Pretty warm out, but awesome skiing. Man the groomers were fast. This could mean icy conditions super early a.m. tomorrow. But they are calling for snow Wed. night. We did a bunch of runs on Northwoods and GameCreek. They still haven’t opened Chair 14. Maybe they are waiting for more employees or guests. Totally no lines. Groomers made a path down the back bowls on Yonder. If we get 6-8 inches back there, they could open Chair 17, but I have my doubts on Chair 5 unless we get a foot. Chris R.12/3/2007 There probably weren’t enough people on Vail Mountain this morning to fill a school bus. It was deadsville and the skiing awesome. 2 weeks ago I pulled out my rock skis for the first time in 3 years. Today, I hopefully put them away for the ski season. I took out my new skis. It’s good out there. Now, if we don’t get snow in a week, the rocks will be popping up for sure but otherwise coverage is good for early Dec. The groomers hopefully won’t ruin everything by pulling out their plows too often (are those guys from Nebraska?) Chair 14 wasn’t open, not sure why. Chris R.12/2/2007 Yipee! Photo above of Alan Sandberg, publisher of Vail’s The Parent’s Handbook. 11 inches new. What a day. They opened Chair 11 and it was powder skiing. The mountain has been transformed. Looks like they’ll open the new Chair 14 tomorrow for more beginner skiing. Making turns today with Rick from RJ Limosuines and Jeff Jacobs from the Westwind Condos. The mountain was loaded with locals. Wish you were here (see photo below) Chris R.12/1/2007 New snow today and still snowing! Vail ski conditions improved. 4 inches reported up on the mountain. They are opening Chairs 2, 3, 4 and 7 today, so over 500 acres of skiing. It’s about time. And of course I have to work today. More snow predicted through the weekend. Guests coming back to the hotel had grins on their faces. Good reports for Chair 4 Chris R.
‘SnowWitch’ joins you today to divulge some hidden pleasures in early December skiing at Vail!!Ski early in the day – you’ll get some powder runs and the slopes won’t be crowded (I know, it’s torture to get up early when out here on vacation….unless you’re from the East Coast and then it seems like it is mid-day at 9 am!!)Ski front-side at Vail when there is new powder – everyone else will be in Gamecreek Bowl…..and you’ll have Lodgepole and Christmas to yourself!Take advantage of early-bird or early season restaurant discounts – often 30% off entres is offeredStop for a break at Wildwood – their apple pie is the best (with whipped cream of course!)More later – good skiing!!
11/23/07 Well, the season started out with excitement (in October) with over 2 feet of snow before Halloween. Some of the most snow I’ve seen in Oct. in a number of years. However, it sort of jinxed us for November (so far). November has been quite dry and warm. The Tues/Wed before Thanksgiving things finally cooled down and we received 4 inches of snow. Enough to get Born Free run open with man-made snow, but that was about it. Vail Mountain has now moved their snow guns over to some green runs and Bear Tree. C. Ratz11/23/07 Still cold outside and the weather people are calling for perhaps a couple of storms between Nov 27 – Dec 1. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Chair 15 opened for beginners with a large learning area at the top of the mountain. C. Ratz11/24/07 Darn cold this morning, around 10 degrees. Great for making snow. In fact, they are making snow on lower Simba this morning. Sort of surprising that they are making it over there already. I would think it will take a lot of time to get that run open but who knows. I’m keeping my fingers crossed they work on some of the upper trails to get some top to bottom skiing. C. Ratz11/25/07 I went up right away in the morning. Good groomed slopes. This is the key during early season when there are just a few ski runs available. They have the cat-walk going around to Chair 2 open…. Good for practicing the technique. Saw Mark Ulmschneider (owner of 517) and did 4 runs with them. Also saw Paul Green (owner of 416) Amazing how we could find some decent snow after the holiday weekend crowds. They were blowing snow on Pride, Simba, base of Chair 9 and on Columbine. It makes me think they are working on getting Chair 2 or Chair 9 open soon. You can tell they don’t need much snow higher up or just a bit of snowmaking here and there to open more runs. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Chris R.11/26/07 Snowing lightly outside from 9am-11:30am, not a lot but enough to make the runs soft. I took out the telli skis today and hooked up with Mark and Bernd from 517 again. Five quick runs before work. It was nice with less people on the runs after the holiday. Weather is calling for more snow on Wed and Sat perhaps. Just a foot of snow and ski runs will be open all over the place, but we need that foot. Chris R.11/27/07 Got out on the mountain pretty late (3:00pm) but got three runs in before the lifts closed at 3:30pm. Certainly a bit icy this late in the day. They are blowing snow on Pride but still haven’t opened any extra runs. I saw that someone has been skiing down Columbine near Chair 2 but it isn’t open to the public. Not sure if Ski Patrol is working on the trail or what. Clouding up late in the day and they are calling for 2-4 inches tonight. I sure hope so since I have tomorrow morning off. Jack Jimmer Hymer.
11/28/07 New snow this morning and still snowing as of 10:30am. I did four quick runs. They said 4 inches up at Mid-Vail but there was probably 3 inches down in Lionshead and up on the top of Born Free lift. Nice to get soft snow again. Yellow Jacket guy said they were opening Chair 26 and the Pride ski run today but he didn’t know what time. Columbine and Ledges are open from the top of the Gondola but you have to walk to the top of Chair 15 to get to those runs. They were blowing snow at the base of chair 2 (pic above). I still say we need 8 more inches before they can open the upper half. Buddy of mine said East Vail got 6 inches, so top of mountain probably received same. Sweet! Chris R.11/29/07 They opened Pride and Chair 26. We now have top to bottom skiing from the gondola. They need to blow a bit more snow in a few spots on the Pride, but below Chair 26 (swinging down through lower Simba) the snow was excellent. Then I took the gondola up and walked over to Chair 15 (beginner) and skied Ledges all the way down. It was decent. But we still need a good slab of snow to come down. 4 inches at a time isn’t quite doing it to build a base. They were blowing snow on lower Lodgepole so it looks like they are trying to get either Chair 2 open or the Vista Bahn lift for this weekend. Chris R.11/30/07 I did my daily runs super early. Here’s the scoop. Runs were groomed better and it is snowing over by Holy Cross mountain (as of 9:30am). We could see the storm clouds moving in from the South. Vail announced they are opening Chairs 2, 3, 4, 7 on Saturday tomorrow. Wow! My opinion is that it might be a bit thin up there but who knows. They are making a lot of snow and if we get the snow they are predicting, it might be pretty decent. Keep your fingers crossed. Chris R.
1. Get out before 9:30am and you’ll likely stay out of lines the whole day. You’ll be out in front of the crowds, into the Vail Bowl areas and a couple of lifts ahead of the ski schools, crowds and commuters from Denver. If you are going to sleep in, just have a late breakfast and wait until 11:00am or so and you’ll zip right up.2. Stay away from the gondola. Only ride that thing if there is NO line. You can get up quicker and further up the mountain by taking Chairs 8 and 2 and actually get a bit of a warm up on the cat-walk at the same time.3. Look before you leap. It sounds too simple but look for a moment at each side of the lift to see which maze has less of a line. And then look closely to see which lane has less people. I can’t believe the number of times a well meaning friend will just dive right in to the closest line, when with just 5 seconds of thought there is a better option available.4. Single lines can be deceiving. Be careful splitting up. Sometimes the regular lines go QUICKER than the single lines. When a maze is completely full (single lines and regular lines are out the maze), many times the regular lines go quicker (particularly on the High-speed quads). Exception is Chair 55. If at top of Chair 7, look down to the base of the lift first before diving in.Chair 7 (Game Creek) can be a mess between 10am and 11:30am as the goofs riding the gondola take the cat-walk down to Gamecreek. But you can see down in from the top of 7. If it is mess, dive down the back to Chair 5 or back to the front for Chairs 3 or 4.6. Don’t do Chair 11 between 2:45 and 4:00pm. If you are coming back from Blue Sky or China Bowl and your legs can handle it, ski down Yonder to get to Chair 5. There won’t be anyone there at this time of day and it brings you back to the top.7. Thumbs up for: North side of 7, East side of 2, East side of China lift, East side of Northwoods, East side of Chair 3 anytime, East side of Chair 4 before 10:30 but then West side of same Chair after lunch.8. Loser moves: Going down to Chair 5 after 10:38 on a powder day (You might as well start walking back up the hill). Skiing runs around Chair 2 from 9:45-11:30 (don’t choose those 50 acres to ski on when there is 5000+ out there waiting for you). And the ultimate loser move? Sticking with a friend on a powder day.