Behind the Scenes

Nighttime Cat Operations

Feb. 12, 2014

vail_operator_blog

Cat operators, Brett and Mike, work through the night preparing the mountain for blissful skiing.

Do you ever wonder what happens after the last lift stops and the sun sets on another great day of skiing? Does the mountain turn silent and still as the day comes to a close? As we found out today, that is hardly the case.

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Snowmaking begins in Vail!

Oct. 5, 2013

Early season snowmaking at Vail

Oct 5, 2013 – In the midst of heavy snow late yesterday afternoon, Vail’s snowmaking team was able to turn on the snow guns for the first time this season. Conditions have to be just right in order to make snow, with temperatures at least down to 30 but ideally under 20 degrees. The wet-bulb temp, or actual temperature relative to the humidity in the air, is also a major factor. Fortunately everything came together to blow snow throughout the night into the afternoon today. Snow will be made on Golden Peak throughout October and then expand to Front Side side runs in anticipation of our Opening Day, November 22nd.

Pictures of snow being made on Golden Peak this morning:

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A peek into the life of Vail’s Snowmakers

Oct. 4, 2013

Vail snowmakingThe evening snowmaking crew starts trickling in to the labyrinthine complex of mountain ops buildings at 3:30pm to change into uniform. Set at the base of Vail, this mix of offices and warehouses is home to the small army of men and women that keep this mountain going day in and day out.

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First snow of the season at Vail

Sep. 23, 2013

Sep. 22, 2013 – We woke up to snowy views around Vail this morning! Are you ready for winter?
Fall and winter mix at VailA mix of fall and winter on Vail’s slopes - Photo by Jack Affleck

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Lift upgrades for the 2013/14 season

Jun. 30, 2013

Mountaintop Express UpgradgeThe high-speed quad out of Mid-Vail, Mountaintop Express Lift (#4), will be replaced with a Doppelmayr high-speed six-passenger chairlift for next season. This will increase capacity by 33 percent to 3,600 people per hour – the same capacity as Vail’s new gondola, One. 

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What it takes to open Vail’s Back Bowls

Dec. 17, 2012

Every year Vail Ski Patrol and Mountain Operations work tirelessly to open the Back Bowls. Their work consists of analyzing how the snow has fallen, digging pits, doing snow profiles and blasting potential problem areas. It’s tough, technical work but it’s essential to making sure that the Bowls are not only skiable but safe.

Vail ski patrol opening back bowls

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Vail Gondola Construction Update

Nov. 9, 2012

Vail is building a new Gondola for the 50th anniversary this winter season! This post will give you an inside look at the construction process. Updates are in chronological order, with the most recent on top!

November 9, 2012

With one week until opening day, gondola construction is complete!

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