Vail Conditions Update Dec 8 – Dec 14

Dec. 14, 2013

Vail Two Elk Meghan Gruszynski

The sun rising on Two Elk Lodge after snowfall.

December 14th. Sunshine and a light dusting of snowfall make for a great day on the mountain.

Saturday morning and conditions are fantastic. Light snowfall early this morning complimented all of the hard work of the snow cats last night. Any hard spots that may have existed are now lightly covered with this dusting of powder. There is still opportunity in the Back Bowls to create your own lines on some of the edges of runs however, it’s difficult to beat making deep carves in the groomed areas.

Vail Dragons Teeth Meghan Gruszynski

Excellent ski conditions in the Back Bowls.

Highs to reach near 21 degrees and the sun shining throughout the day. The morning light was a bit flat but as the sun rises, you may need the full-sun lenses on your goggles. A slight wind felt in the back bowls, still comfortable out there though.

This evening Ford Park will host Snow Daze concert featuring Big Head Todd and the Monsters with Matisyahu at 6:30pm




Limited terrain in China Bowl now open.

December 13th. Areas of China Bowl are now open!

Ski patrollers have been working diligently to open areas of China Bowl for the weekend. The day kicked off with Shangri-La and Poppy Fields now open. Both runs offer something for everyone, from fresh groomed corduroy to untouched powder. Access within China Bowl is available via Sun Up Lift (#17), Orient Express Lift (#21), and Tea Cup Express Lift (#36).


Enjoy freshly groomed runs on the frontside off of Sourdough Express Lift (#14).

The sun is peeking out this morning which is likely a foreshadow for a great weekend here at the mountain. Today we have temperatures on the rise and expected to reach the high-twenties. With areas of China Bowl, Sun Up and Sun Down Bowl open and the weather agreeing, it’s a perfect time to hit both the groomers as well as the newly opened bowls.

Create the experience of a lifetime with great terrain by day paired with great sounds by night, Snow Daze concerts kick off the weekend with Rebelution and opener Mimosa at Ford Park.


High Noon Express Lift (#5) is now open providing access to Sun Up and Sun Down Bowl.

December 12th.   It is official, the Back Bowls are now open for the season! Ski Patrollers dropped the ropes this morning on portions of Sun Up and Sun Down Bowl. For those that made first tracks on the mountain this morning, they basically had the Bowls to themselves. There is plenty of untouched snow on the backside for all to enjoy, with access via High Noon Express Lift (#5) meaning that you can lap Sun Down all day long. The openings bring us to over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain.

Fresh corduroy and powder are found in Sun Down Bowl today.

Temperatures are rising today, with highs expected in the mid-twenties. Looking at a bluebird day with the sun shining and plenty of great snow coverage on the mountain. This warmer weather and opening of the Back Bowls are making for an incredible start for this weekend’s big even: Vail Snow Daze.





Fresh corduroy beside Mountain Top Express Lift (#4) 

Update 9:45am, December 11th. Today is going to be a great sunny day to be out on the slopes! Old Man Winter took a break today and temperatures are finally above freezing for the first time in over a week. During the morning Mid Vail will offer some great corduroy, while tree skiing and moguls are still holding powder quite well. However today is a great day to just carve long turns on those groomed runs, and practice your Lindsey Vonn impression. By noon to avoid any possible crowds head to Sourdough (#14) for more freshly groomed runs. Ski Patrol seemed hard at work getting ready to open the Back Bowls, hopefully by this weekend, so stay tuned for updates!    


Mountain Plaza 8:00am, December 11th 

Update 8:15am, December 11th. Snow Cats were hard at work last night to groom as many acres as possible. Every open section of the mountain has plenty of freshly groomed lines to carve long G-turns into. On Game Creek Bowl, Lost Boy is groomed in it’s entirety, allowing you to get lost in your turns, not on any icy spots. On the other end of the mountain Sourdough lift (#14) had every single run groomed. Go an carve some tracks there this morning and I bet your legs will be burning before the corduroy is tracked!




Game Creek Bowl, December 10th, 9:30am 

Update 10:30am, Tuesday, December 10th. The Sun has come out and it’s warming things a bit. Mountain Top Express Lift (#4) is now open after a minor delay. Today is a great day to cruise down some groomed runs, particularly Riva Ridge–Vail’s longest run– which has just been groomed from top to bottom. Game Creek bowl is also skiing great, as there’s still great powder accumulating in areas after a windy night. The BBQ smoker on Wildwood was fired very early this morning and you can smell the siren song of pork-ribs goodness even before you unload Wildwood Express (#3). Be sure to try them out!

Sunrise over Vail Village, Tuesday December 10th 

Update 8:10am, Tuesday, December 10th.  An extra inch of snow fell last night, enough to freshen up the slopes, on top of the 3 inches that have fallen in the past 48 hours and the 19 inches that covered the mountain during the past 7 days.Temperatures will get slightly warmer with a high of 15, with partially sunny skies, but be prepared to see wind gusts at the top reaching 30 mph. Off the mountain Snow Daze is happening this week, with a Bar Party taking place in Tavern Square tomorrow between 3pm and 6pm, which should be perfect for your apre ski plans.

DCIM100GOPRO Snow Daze begins tomorrow with a Bar Party at Tavern Square



MidVail, December 9th, 8:40am

9:30 am update, Monday December 9th No new snow was reported this morning, but while riding the chairlifts it would be easy to  think this is a powder day.Moguls are soft, and there are windblown powder fields everywhere you go; I bet Marco Polo did not see these many silk roads! Every groomed run is buttery silk all the way down to the base. It still is plenty cold out there, so wear several layers, the forecast calls for a low of -1, and much less with the wind chill up top. Also Snow Daze begins today, with free concerts all week, so it should be a fun week all around. Stay warm and have fun!

DCIM100GOPROMountain Top Express Lift (#4), Monday, December 9th,  8:45am

DCIM100GOPRONorthwoods 9:00am 

11am update. Crowds are thin, unlike the snow coverage. Highline Express Lift (#10) opened yesterday to great conditions, and Northwoods Express Lift (#11) has lots of powder stashes yet to be claimed. Mid Vail is riding smooth as velvet, as groomed runs gathered a good dusting since the cats groomed this morning. It’s a bit windy, so Jack Frost is out nipping at your ears, so be sure to dress extra warm today. Small crowds and new snow; it hardly gets any better!

Vail_Cappucino_1208_RicardoMoreno_blogCappuccino 9:15am 

8:30am report: Vail is reporting 4 new inches of snow since 5am, but expect to see at least 2 more inches by the time lifts start running.

The storm system seems to be running slow, which means it will probably keep on snowing throughout the morning. But before you head out the door, make sure to listen to your mother and “wear a sweater before you go outside!”; temperatures are expected to be in the negative single digits, and probably lower with the windchill, so be sure to wear enough layers so you can stay warm and enjoy the great snow!



Lionshead, December 8th, 7am