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Vail gondola

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Re: Vail gondola

Postby tommyboy360 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:16 pm

jofkorn1037 wrote:"I'd love to know the average number of times each person who rips on these mountains have actually rode them... I'd put my money on over 20. If even once, it's very hypocritical.
This is just what I have logged. I have a bunch more days from seasons over the past 2 decades that are not recorded. This is just from the past few seasons when I kept a log.

Beaver Creek = 9
Breck = 11
Keystone = 12
Vail = 26

Subtotal = 58

A-Basin = 59
Total Epic Pass Resorts since 2007 = 117

I have at least a handful of days at all of the major resorts in Colorado. I make it a point to explore. Breck is the worst in Colorado IMO. It represents everything I do not like about visiting a resort. Keystone gets the worst snowfall (fact). Vail is worth the drive and dealing with the parking and village on a powder day. A-Basin is sweet and the east wall will always be a favorite.
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Re: Vail gondola

Postby coloradokevin » Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:50 pm

The more I think about this thread and my previous response, the more I narrow down my list of complaints to one very substantial issue: Interstate 70!

I can almost deal with the resort crowds, the cost of lift tickets, and the price of gas without complaining. I simply can't stand leaving the resort and then sitting in gridlocked traffic for four hours to get back to Denver. The worst drive I had from the mountains was back in '04 or '05, when it took me over 8 hours to get from Copper to C470 on a day with just moderate snow. Obviously that's the exception and not the rule, but long drives to and from these resorts are disturbingly common.

Vail certainly has some other issues, and the $25 parking is at the top of the list for me. 10 "free" days at Vail on a season pass sounds nice, until you realize that those 10 days actually cost you $250 in parking.

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Re: Vail gondola

Postby tommyboy360 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:20 pm

coloradokevin wrote:The more I think about this thread and my previous response, the more I narrow down my list of complaints to one very substantial issue:
Yep. It's bad. Each season you have to start earlier. Fun game to play in the car... Spot the vehicle that is Breck bound. I can pick'em!
“It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.”

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Re: Vail gondola

Postby Sugar Madison » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:43 pm

coloradokevin wrote:The more I think about this thread and my previous response, the more I narrow down my list of complaints to one very substantial issue: Interstate 70!

I can almost deal with the resort crowds, the cost of lift tickets, and the price of gas without complaining. I simply can't stand leaving the resort and then sitting in gridlocked traffic for four hours to get back to Denver. The worst drive I had from the mountains was back in '04 or '05, when it took me over 8 hours to get from Copper to C470 on a day with just moderate snow. Obviously that's the exception and not the rule, but long drives to and from these resorts are disturbingly common.

Vail certainly has some other issues, and the $25 parking is at the top of the list for me. 10 "free" days at Vail on a season pass sounds nice, until you realize that those 10 days actually cost you $250 in parking.


Yup, it's the traffic that made me stop skiing. The older I get (ie, since I had kids who I'd like to spend time with), the less tolerant I am of sports with a high "dick around factor". Skiing, kayaking, rock climbing, etc have all dropped to the wayside in favor a quick local XC ski, trail run, or bike ride. Lots of travel and/or prep time for very little sport time is no fun, doubly so when it's dealing with all the road ragers on I-70 going to and fro (or not going to and fro, as often is the case).

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Re: Vail gondola

Postby IanG » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:03 am

Living in Avon and skiing Vail and Beaver Creek a lot I know there is no denying Vail has big time annoying factor time if you dwell on it: parking, insane holiday/weekend crowds, in your face money making techniques. If you take a step back you realize it's a pretty good situation for $679. Vail/BC consistently gets better snow than any other ski areas in the central rockies (Steamboat gets it too but the inbounds terrain will put you to sleep). If you know what you're doing at Vail even a semi crowded day can be a dream if it's been snowing; still I never ski Vail on holiday weeks and weekends. The escape route is always Beaver Creek which is by far the most underrated mountain. Even on the busiest days you can get fresh all day long assuming it's been snowing. What I mentioned is just the inbounds terrain too... If you want a place free of lift lines go to Aspen's 4 mountains, they are great.

BTW that gondy is going up to the mountain top eventually I hear.

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Re: Vail gondola

Postby SkiBikeClimb99 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:02 am

I've logged about 100 days at Vail over the last 4 seasons and I've paid for parking maybe twice. They've actually improved the free parking situation pretty considerably over the last few years (no clue about last year, did't ski there). It's not hard to park for free and it's about the same as free parking at Breck.

If A-Basin and the Butte got enough snow, then I'd only ski them, but quite frankly I don't like buying new skis every year. Hopefully this year will be different from the last 2.

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Re: Vail gondola

Postby ajkagy » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:42 pm

jofkorn1037 wrote:"I don't ride any Vail Resorts mountains because I'm GNAR!!!!!!!!!!" :lol: I'd love to know the average number of times each person who rips on these mountains have actually rode them... I'd put my money on over 20. If even once, it's very hypocritical.


3 times and one word comes to mind...overrated. Sure the skiing is good when they have snow, but the vibe/attitude of the place kind of kills it for me. $25 parking or park far away for free if you can find a spot, a soulless "village" by an interstate, and general bad attitude from quite a few people I've encountered each time I went. I feel like it attracts a lot of newer skiers and people that just moved to the state because of the hype surrounding it. Like others have said, keep driving and go to the Beave...have had way better experiences there.
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Re: Vail gondola

Postby ajkagy » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:46 pm

SkiBikeClimb99 wrote:If A-Basin and the Butte got enough snow, then I'd only ski them, but quite frankly I don't like buying new skis every year. Hopefully this year will be different from the last 2.


I'm probably bias, but I feel like CB consistently under states their snow totals. Sure they have full transparency of their accumulation via the pow cam, but I've had quite a few days where they report only 3 inches and it's well over 6 inches on the headwall and teo bowl. Also places on the north face stay pretty fresh for a long time after a storm since most tourists and average skiers don't want to venture into some of the "extreme" terrain.
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Re: Vail gondola

Postby Jtjohnso24 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:33 pm

SeracZack wrote:
SeracZack wrote:
rickinco123 wrote: Now Abasin has some great tree skiing which it was severely lacking.


They could be getting more, and lift accessed as well.

http://www.arapahoebasin.com/ABasin/mountain/master-development/default.aspx

Possible development at A-Basin, including upgrading the Pali lift. As an A-Basin person myself, I don't know how I feel about the development just yet. But the new plan looks like it could open a lot of tree skiing terrain. Although, if I remember correctly, the hike back terrain is notorious for avalanche-ing (could be wrong though).


Well, it looks like the plan was approved according to A-Basin's Facebook page.


Oh man. That's the Fingers and the Beavers. By far the best lift accessible terrain in Summit/Eagle Counties. It's an easy hike out and an easy hitch back to the base. That lift will ruin all of those runs. They might as well put a lift in the West Vail trees and East Vail and finish off the rest of it.

I also agree that traffic is the worst part. It's only worth it if you can go during the week, and that's extremely difficult to do.

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Re: Vail gondola

Postby rickinco123 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:58 pm

ajkagy wrote:I'm probably bias, but I feel like CB consistently under states their snow totals. Sure they have full transparency of their accumulation via the pow cam, but I've had quite a few days where they report only 3 inches and it's well over 6 inches on the headwall and teo bowl. Also places on the north face stay pretty fresh for a long time after a storm since most tourists and average skiers don't want to venture into some of the "extreme" terrain.

Let's not get carried away, Mount Crested Butte is not exactly a snow trap. Kebler pass on the other hand may be the snowiest place in the state. Too bad the ski area is not on that side of town, it might put places like Targhee and Alta to shame.

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Re: Vail gondola

Postby ajkagy » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:23 am

rickinco123 wrote:
ajkagy wrote:I'm probably bias, but I feel like CB consistently under states their snow totals. Sure they have full transparency of their accumulation via the pow cam, but I've had quite a few days where they report only 3 inches and it's well over 6 inches on the headwall and teo bowl. Also places on the north face stay pretty fresh for a long time after a storm since most tourists and average skiers don't want to venture into some of the "extreme" terrain.

Let's not get carried away, Mount Crested Butte is not exactly a snow trap. Kebler pass on the other hand may be the snowiest place in the state. Too bad the ski area is not on that side of town, it might put places like Targhee and Alta to shame.


never said it was a snow trap, but if you get just the right winds it's pretty easy to get a 20+ storm, if not then we get skunked. I think the terrain available at the ski area makes up for the lack of snow and IMO is the most challenging in the state. Yes, the anthracites/Ruby range/kebler get some of the most snow in the state. Early season last year I was skiing the anthracites in a 3-4foot base while people in summit were complaining about bare ground.
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Re: Vail gondola

Postby tommyboy360 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:49 am

SkiBikeClimb99 wrote:IIf A-Basin and the Butte got enough snow, then I'd only ski them, but quite frankly I don't like buying new skis every year. Hopefully this year will be different from the last 2.


In California, I actually had a rock set of gear. IMO, rock gear never makes sense in Colorado. Steep terrain in Colorado will ALWAYS involve rock skiing. Learn to tune or buy new gear. It's essential for how little snow we get compared to the rest of the west. Seriously, if you haven't been to UTAH, WYOMING, CALIFORNIA, OREGON, WASHINGTON, BC Canada... you better start trip planning. Colorado is FAR from the best skiing in the west.
Last edited by tommyboy360 on Tue May 28, 2013 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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