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RonFNSwanson
LSU Fan
University of LSU
Member since Mar 2012
21577 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
All of it really. But I was mainly referring to the big group of trees that is directly under the lift. I guess you would start by taking grand review.


VanRIch
TBD Fan
Abita Springs, La
Member since Sep 2007
8174 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
Awesome, thanks so much man, I will spend the next 7 months pouring over google maps and youtube videos just watching various trails and getting more and more excited. I'm a notorious overplanner, I tried to plan everything out for Park City, but as you all know, things are MUCH MUCH different when you're actually on the slope than anything you ever see on a computer screen. I ended up LOVING some trails that weren't even on my must do list, so I'm having to restrain myself from getting too detailed so I can actually 'discover' some things of my own.

Thanks everyone for the input, really appreciate it.



goldennugget
Arkansas Fan
Gary Chambers
Member since Jul 2013
22544 posts
 Online 

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

I have never really experienced flat ground on vail.


It exists. I would say the worst is if you go down Riva Ridge and instead of skiing to the bottom to Gondola 1 or Riva Bahn Express, you want to cut across using Mill Creek Road/Gitalong Road and go down Bear Tree/Born Free to the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Good luck with that one. You'll get a workout for sure. Techinically you could probably do it without having to push yourself but you're always going to run into 6-wide families who block the entire catwalk.

Going from the Top of Tea Cup/Sun Up Express to Two Elk or China Bowl(or vice versa) is also a royal pain.

Lastly the bottom of Mongolia/Siberia Bowls also you need to maintain speed.

But compared to some other resorts(Beaver Creek I am looking at you) its not too bad.


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goldennugget
Arkansas Fan
Gary Chambers
Member since Jul 2013
22544 posts
 Online 

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

The right or left off Pete's? I see a blue run, Grand Review, off the left and two blacks, Hornsilver and Resolution to the right. After seeing this vid, I'm DEFINITELY hitting up Hornsilver.


All 3 of Grand Review, Hornsilver, and Resolution are solid. There are some bump sections in Hornsilver and Resolution though so as a boarder I am not sure if you like bumps(I do).

Blue Sky Basin is excellent especially when the snow is good. You will want to stay there all day. Keep in mind its only open from 10:30am to 2:30pm I think.

Lover's Leap in powder is my favorite run on the backside. It's a bit intimidating to have to drop in but once you are in its not too steep and the snow is incredible.

The runs that branch off to the west off the Earl's Express lift are hit or miss. They are awful in slush/ice.


goldennugget
Arkansas Fan
Gary Chambers
Member since Jul 2013
22544 posts
 Online 

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

Awesome, thanks so much man, I will spend the next 7 months pouring over google maps and youtube videos just watching various trails and getting more and more excited. I'm a notorious overplanner, I tried to plan everything out for Park City, but as you all know, things are MUCH MUCH different when you're actually on the slope than anything you ever see on a computer screen. I ended up LOVING some trails that weren't even on my must do list, so I'm having to restrain myself from getting too detailed so I can actually 'discover' some things of my own.


This was me. I first went to Vail in 2006 as it was my first ever ski trip as a graduation present. Was set to go again in March 2020... 14 years later, and the day before I was supposed to leave the ski resorts shut down for COVID. I had been pouring over videos, maps, etc. for months just like you and then had to delay it another 9 months.

Went twice last season for a total of 7 days. Even 7 days didn't feel like enough.

My favorite run on the front side is Riva Ridge. You have to top to bottom that one at least once. Also check the grooming report for Blue Ox. Blue Ox gets groomed on Tuesdays and Saturdays so make sure to do that groomed. I also got really lucky back in March and got to do Roger's Run groomed, which is almost never groomed.

If you like getting laps in, the west side in the Lionshead Area is almost never busy. You can lap Born Free/Pride Express and almost never have to wait especially mid week. Not sure about weekends as I never do weekends. But you can get many laps in and the Born Free/Simba runs are excellent groomers and I love the expert face of Bwana under the gondola. Since most people stick to the Avanti/Mid Vail area those are where the crowds of intermediates who stick to groomers congregate and so the Lionshead area is a lot less busy. Although Avanti is a great groomer.

I like the mid vail runs(Swingsville, Christmas, etc.) but the lines are usually to long and the runs are shorter. If you are only spending a day or two there I'd skip those.

Northwoods is a good groomer but I prefer the black Northstar instead.

Prima Cornice is considered the steepest, hardest run on the mountain. It's one I haven't done and its on my bucket list.

I did the PPL challenge(where you top to bottom Prima, Pronto, and Log Chute all in a row) last time I was there and its a workout but I am glad to say I did it. There are two double black bump runs on the frontside, Prima and Highline. Prima is steeper but the bumps are smaller. Highline is not as steep but the bumps are massive. Both are really wide so you can traverse them if you want to.

The backside is a whole new story. Most of these runs will be bumpy but they groom a few strips in these bowls every day. Usually they groom Ricky's Ridge or Morningside Ridge in the Sun Down bowl. Forever is the best run in the back bowls in my opinion but it was roped off last time I was there.

Sun Up bowl is weird. You have steeper bump runs like Milt's Face and Campbells on the west side, and the east side has more managable runs like Yonder that are usually groomed. They usually groom The Slot or Headwall.

I am not a big fan of Tea Cup bowl.

China Bowl has the best groomer on the entire mountain, Poppyfields. It's an easy blue square groomer that goes on forever. However the blacks are great. Genghis Khan is a good challenge. Shangri-La is good if you like trees, and Dragon's Teeth is good if you like managable cliffs.

Siberia Bowl and Mongolia Bowls are rated black but I think its more because they are remote, rather than challenge. Magnificent Desolation is what I call it. You can be absolutely isolated by yourself out here and I think that's why they are black runs. Not too hard. I did chicken out on Rasputin's Revenge though and did Red Square instead.


VanRIch
TBD Fan
Abita Springs, La
Member since Sep 2007
8174 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
Wow, thanks for this! I'm intermediate but plan to do my first black this trip. I feel confident enough that I can control my speed. I've never done a real bumpy ride, but this trip will really be about exploring what I can (and cannot) do, since like I said before, no family. The back bowls look incredible and as of now, I definitely plan to spend at least a full day back there.


VanRIch
TBD Fan
Abita Springs, La
Member since Sep 2007
8174 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

It's a bit intimidating to have to drop in but once you are in its not too steep and the snow is incredible.


One of my favorite feelings, hands down, on a snowboard is looking down at a semi-intimidating run below me, not necessarily a drop in, just something kind of steep. Turning my board down mountain and then feeling my edge lock in and the ride it out. DAMMMMMN I wish it was January.


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goldennugget
Arkansas Fan
Gary Chambers
Member since Jul 2013
22544 posts
 Online 

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

Wow, thanks for this! I'm intermediate but plan to do my first black this trip. I feel confident enough that I can control my speed. I've never done a real bumpy ride, but this trip will really be about exploring what I can (and cannot) do, since like I said before, no family. The back bowls look incredible and as of now, I definitely plan to spend at least a full day back there.


There are a wide range of blacks at Vail in terms of difficulty. Some are easy and some are hard.

The easier blacks on the front side are the ones off the Avanti chair as they are short, mid run in between two blue sections, and usually groomed. Northstar and Riva Ridge also aren't too bad. Just be careful with the Tourist Trap section of Riva Ridge, as it is usually moguled and steep. Easier blacks on the backside are the ones in Siberia/Mongolia Bowl like Bolshoi Ballroom, like I said they are not hard, but I believe are rated black because of the isolation factor and the fact that they are pains in the arse to ski in ice/slush conditions.

Game Creek Bowl has interesting blacks. None are too hard but they are usually all moguled and not groomed. Wildcard is the best run on the mountain to learn bumps. Others say Whistle Pig since Wildcard is black and Whistle Pig is blue, but Wildcard's bumps are so much smaller and managable. Whistle Pig's bumps are almost as big as Highline's

Mid-level blacks are runs like Lindsey's, Giant Steps, 38, Pepi's Face as well as Yonder, Resolution and Hornsilver on the back side. Lindsey's isn't too bad if its groomed, it has rolling sections.

Hard blacks on the front side are going to be Bwana under the gondola, and the 2 runs off Chair 10 Blue Ox and Roger's Run. Those two actually used to be rated double black. Generally all the hard blacks will not be groomed and have moguls. All the runs off the east side of the Skyline Express Chair in blue sky basin like Lover's Leap and Iron Mask are hard because of the drop in, but get easier as you go down.

Then there are some single blacks that honestly I would rate as double black. North Rim is one because it has a cliff entry. Rare do you see a single black run with the EX terrain warning sign, but North Rim has it. Rapsutin's Revenge should be double black.


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skewbs
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Apr 2008
1156 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

I'm intermediate but plan to do my first black this trip. I feel confident enough that I can control my speed. I've never done a real bumpy ride


quote:

back bowls look incredible and as of now, I definitely plan to spend at least a full day back there




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10
Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
31897 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

I'm intermediate but plan to do my first black this trip.


quote:

The back bowls look incredible and as of now, I definitely plan to spend at least a full day back there.




You might want to slow your roll on that a little bit.


ccard257
Texas A&M Fan
Fort Worth, TX
Member since Oct 2012
960 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
you'll be fine. Don't get hung up on ratings just ride whatever looks fun and moderately intimidating. IMO the vail back bowls are paradise for an intermediate skier looking to advance...Very little of that terrain is at all steep and the steep spots are short and can mostly be avoided or just bombed with an easy runout below...groomed sections so you can dip your toe in the Powder/dustoncrust/refrozenshit/whatever world and then retreat to safety after getting your arse kicked a bit. You'll never get any better if you don't go looking for an arse kicking every now and then.


And don't be afraid to take a lesson while you're on your trip. Lots of people shy away from them once the "know how to ski/ride" but they can really cut down the learning curve, especially if you only get a handful of days a year.



Duke
USA Fan
Gonzales, La
Member since Jan 2008
31897 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

ccard257


Since I'm barely an intermediate skier and this guy knows his shit, I'd just listen to him over my sarcastic laughter.


pjab
LSU Fan
NOLA/Denver
Member since Mar 2016
5004 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

I will spend the next 7 months pouring over google maps and youtube videos just watching various trails and getting more and more excited.


Add Fat Map to your resources. The site lists pitch, ratings, and description for every trail on the resort map as well as unique lines not on the resort map (Minturn Mile from Vail for example).


jkylejohnson
New Orleans Saints Fan
Alexandria
Member since Dec 2016
9266 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
Is it too early to fire up a 21’/22’ ski thread ?


VanRIch
TBD Fan
Abita Springs, La
Member since Sep 2007
8174 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
Haha, I know that sounded stupid. But I've gone down a black in Park City, but only because I accidentally went down it. Now I don't consider that 'doing a black run' because I was on the very edge way out of the way and heel slid the whole way, which is why I said I feel confident I can control my speed. So if I get in a bind, I won't feel too scared. I'm not going to attempt something just so stupid where I obviously won't do it. Also, the back bowl has a few blues and I was including Blue Sky Basin when I said back bowl which has a few blues. Sorry for the confusion.


jkylejohnson
New Orleans Saints Fan
Alexandria
Member since Dec 2016
9266 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
Not to hijack your thread but how did you like park city ? We’re going in February. I feel like you and I are pretty close to the same level. I did two black runs in keystone but on one of them I was stopped by ski patrol and he suggested I get more practice before I attempt any more black runs haha …In my mind I was killin it.
This post was edited on 6/23 at 6:43 pm


pjab
LSU Fan
NOLA/Denver
Member since Mar 2016
5004 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

Is it too early to fire up a 21’/22’ ski thread


I feel like we are late!


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VanRIch
TBD Fan
Abita Springs, La
Member since Sep 2007
8174 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
Not a hijack at all man! All is welcome. Park city was unbelievable. I liked it better than Whistler which I thought was impossible. Great mountains, excellent terrain and the town was fantastic. Easy to get to. Just a fantastic experience. I just have to try Colorado. Doesn’t seem right to be as in love with snowboarding as I am and never have been. We will 100% be back. My dream is to own a place there someday. Go snowtubing in Midway, great fun!! Enjoy!


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goldennugget
Arkansas Fan
Gary Chambers
Member since Jul 2013
22544 posts
 Online 

re: Ski trip 2022.
quote:

you'll be fine. Don't get hung up on ratings just ride whatever looks fun and moderately intimidating. IMO the vail back bowls are paradise for an intermediate skier looking to advance...Very little of that terrain is at all steep and the steep spots are short and can mostly be avoided or just bombed with an easy runout below...groomed sections so you can dip your toe in the Powder/dustoncrust/refrozenshit/whatever world and then retreat to safety after getting your arse kicked a bit. You'll never get any better if you don't go looking for an arse kicking every now and then.


Exactly... blue square, black diamond, its all relative. There are some black diamonds at places like the Backside of Northstar in Lake Tahoe that are more like hard blues. It's all psychological for many of these runs. Some runs are designated black and should be when moguled, but are easy when groomed(i.e. Lindsey's at Vail).

The Back Bowls are not bad. Only a handful of runs there are what I would call steep and truly earn their black rating. I would honestly rate the Siberia Bowl outside of Rasputin's Revenge and both Mongolia Bowls as blues, not black.

The real challenge in the back bowls isn't the steepness, but the length. Some of those runs seem to go on forever, and when moguled, can seem like an eternity. And if the snow isn't good, it makes it not only a challenge to go down, but a pain. Unless you are a strong mogul skiier/snowboarder going down the runs in the Sun Up/Sun Down bowl can take a while. From the chairlift people look like ants on them.

The only "steep" runs in the back are Rasputin's Revenge, Genghis Khan, Milt's Face, and Campbell's. The rest are just a long battle with the moguls and test your endurance.


pjab
LSU Fan
NOLA/Denver
Member since Mar 2016
5004 posts

re: Ski trip 2022.
I feel like some mountains rate runs more difficult to funnel traffic through certain paths or keep traffic out. Breck has double diamonds in the low 30 degree range. That’s regular black at A basin and Winter Park and 20 degrees less steep than the nasty stuff at Crested Butte. The three groomed “C” runs off Falcon in Breck are the easiest blacks anywhere. But that “experts only” banner at the lift keeps people out of that area. Keystone is putting in a new lift for an area which currently only hike-to black runs. In the proposal to the Forestry Service, all those black runs will now be blues.


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