China Bowl now open!

Nov. 29, 2014

Back Bowls open for the season It has already been a season to remember – and we’re only 8 days in! Between the six feet of snow in the last three weeks and the incredible work of our mountain operations team, we are now happy to report that China Bowl is now open. That brings us to 3,642 acres of developed skiable terrain – the most available in the country!

Vail back bowlsThis morning’s freshly opened lifts include Sourdough Express Lift (#14), the Sun Up Lift (#17), the Orient Express back bowls vailLift (#21) and the Tea Cup Express Lift (#36).

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer our Thanksgiving Weekend guests the expansive experience of China Bowl,” said Chris Jarnot, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “A big thank you to Mother Nature, Vail Ski Patrol and our mountain operations crews for the opportunity to open so much terrain so early in our season.”

We opened more than 500 acres of terrain on opening day on Nov. 21 and quickly grew to 1,300 acres by the following Monday. By Thanksgiving, Vail was able to offer more than 2,700 acres of terrain, including the legendary Sun Up and Sun Down bowls. It’s rare to see Vail’s Back Bowls open this early in the season so be sure to get out there and enjoy the short lift lines and incredible snow coverage!

The following lifts are now open at Vail:

  • Gondola One
  • Avanti Express Lift (#2)
  • Wildwood Express Lift (#3)
  • Mountain Top Express Lift (#4)
  • High Noon Express Lift (#5)
  • Riva Bahn Express Lift (#6)
  • Game Creek Express Lift (#7)
  • Born Free Express Lift (#8)
  • Highline Express Lift (#10)
  • Northwoods Express Lift (#11)
  • Gopher Hill Lift (#12)
  • Sourdough Express Lift (#14)
  • Little Eagle Lift (#15)
  • Sun Up Lift (#17)
  • Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19)
  • Cascade Village Lift (#20)
  • Orient Express Lift (#21)
  • Tea Cup Express Lift (#36)

Vail anticipates opening the remainder of Vail’s lifts and terrain, including Blue Sky Basin in December.

All guests must observe all posted signs and closures, especially during the early season. Closed trails may contain hazards due to early snow coverage. Accessing closed terrain is a violation of the Colorado Ski Safety Act and will result in the loss of skiing privileges and could involve prosecution and a fine.

early season colorado skiing

On Mountain Dining

Wildwood is open today and tomorrow, will close Monday through Thursday and will reopen for the season on Friday, Dec. 5. The Look Ma level of Mid-Vail, Buffalo’s, The Marketplace at Eagle’s Nest, the bar at Bistro Fourteen and Express Lift at Mountain Plaza in Vail Village are open for the season. The 10th is also open daily for lunch.

 EpicDay Express: For the Ultimate Convenience and Savings on Lift Tickets

With the implementation of a new mobile ticket platform, guests now have the ability to purchase daily lift tickets online and on their mobile devices, in advance or up-to-the-minute before enjoying the mountain at the guaranteed lowest price – as much as 25 percent off the lead rate. In other words, bypass the normal ticket window and get on the mountain faster than ever! Existing hard card lift passes may be instantly reloaded, allowing skiers and snowboarders to head right to the lift. For guests who need a new hard card, an express lane will be available at ticket windows for added convenience. 

And, lift tickets aren’t the only part of the ski trip where guests can benefit from booking in advance. Guests are now also guaranteed the lowest price, and best availability, when booking ski and snowboard lessons online, at least 48 hours in advance with the Vail Ski & Snowboard School. Specialty lesson products and offerings this season include 2015 World Championship lesson experiences, a new Women’s Ultimate 4 lesson, and the return of the popular Ski Girls Rock program. For more information or to book, call (970) 754-4300 or visit

Kick-Off Winter with Snow, Après, and Free Concerts at Vail Snow Daze Dec. 12-14 & 19-21

Early season also brings the resort’s signature event – Snow Daze! Not long after the annual start of the ski and snowboard season, Snow Daze, offers visitors the ultimate winter kick-off party. Spend the day on the mountain, après at parties throughout the village, and wrap up the night with free concerts! This year’s lineup features live entertainment from Lukas Nelson & P.O.T.R., The Wallflowers, 10,000 Maniacs and Rusted Root. For more information, visit