Vail Conditions Update Dec 15 – Dec 21

Dec. 21, 2013

Vail Zot Meghan Gruszynski

An early sighting of Santa’s Reindeer or more likely an elk enjoying the powder.

Saturday, December 21st. More snow blankets the mountain and we are up to nearly 3,300 acres of terrain!

TERRAIN UPDATE: With the recent snowfall, we are happy to announce that Blue Sky Basin is open for the season. With the terrain in Blue Sky as well as the addition of Lindsey’s and Giant Steps, we are now up to 3,294 acres of skiable terrain.

Vail conditions updateSkier MacKenzie Hanna in Sun Down Bowl this morning. Photo by Daniel Milchev.

After Friday’s 5am snow report of 1″, Vail received 7 more inches of snow throughout the day! As skiers lapped runs yesterday, the snowfall maintained a steady pace to lightly cover the tracks. Overnight, the mountain received an extra one inch of snow, making for 8″ at this morning’s 24-hour 5am report and providing plenty of untouched fluff for the morning skiers. Vail Ramshorn Meghan Gruszynski

Blaze your own trail in the spacious trees along Ramshorn.

There is now plenty of coverage in the trees so no need to avoid them just because it’s early season. The front side of the mountain provides open and accessible trees off of Lost Boy, Ramshorn, and Avanti. Just in case your legs want to take a break, all of these trees are located near to groomed runs, allowing for a great combination of challenging tree lines and cruisy groomers. Continued snow is predicted throughout the day with temperatures a bit cooler than days past, a potential high of 24 degrees. Cloud cover this morning and throughout the day from the winter storm. Be sure to dress for snowfall…and the potential for a few powder shots to the face.       Vail North Rim Meghan Gruszynski

Fresh powder in the glades on North Rim of Northwoods.

Friday, December 20th. Fresh snow is falling! New snow to report this morning. We had one inch of recorded new snow at the 5am report but more has accumulated throughout the morning. This equates to fresh tracks for first chair this morning and great coverage for the newly opened Blue Sky Basin. The run of the day today is North Rim in Northwoods. North Rim is the perfect mixture of fresh powder, moderate steepness, shelter from any wind, a few cliffs (that are avoidable), and trees to breeze through. Vail Chair 5 Meghan Gruszynski

The snow is calling in the Back Bowls at High Noon Express Lift (#5).

Temperatures should reach highs in the upper 30’s. With the snowfall, the light is a little flat, so plan on a low-light lens. Snowfall is now forecasted through the day into the evening, which brings potential for back to back powder days. It’s time to get out there and enjoy this early holiday gift from Mother Nature.   Vail Snowcat Meghan Gruszynski

Vail’s grooming team finishing up a long night of work

Thursday, December 19th. As the holidays approach, anticipation for the forecasted snowfall builds. TERRAIN OPENING UPDATE 10:30am – Blue Sky Basin is now open with Skyline Express Lift (#37), Pete’s Express Lift (#39) and Earl’s Express Lift (#38) turning. Patrol opened the terrain and snow coverage is good on shaded terrain but we’re hoping for more natural snowfall to bolster coverage on the connecting trails back to Blue Sky from China Bowl in order to keep it open. Be sure to thank a Patroller for getting the terrain open this early in the season – this is one of the earliest Blue Sky openings we’ve seen. Now think snow! Whether or not we receive the predicted light snow, there is still plenty of terrain to explore. With temperatures reaching a high of around 36 degrees, it is an excellent time to explore the mountain all day long. Vail Gold Peak Meghan Gruszynski

The morning sun rises on the Golden Peak Race course, playing host to the Nor Am Cup.

The run of the day is Ruder’s Run today over at Golden Peak, just off of Riva Bahn Express Lift (#6). Golden Peak is also hosting the final day of the FIS Nor Am Cup ski race wraps up with Men’s Giant Slalom.       DCIM100GOPRO

Vail’s Holidaze begins this next Friday 

Tuesday, December 17th. The Holidays in Vail are not only about skiing and riding. Beginning this next Friday Vail’s Holidaze festivities get underway with the “Winter Solstice on Ice presented by Alpine Bank.”Friday at 5pm world class ice skaters will come down to Vail Village to do single, pairs, and group performances at the Solaris Plaza. The list of amazing athletes performing, is topped by U.S. Figure Skating Champion Ryan Bradley. This event is free so there’s no reason to miss it. Just be sure to arrive early, especially if your group includes children, so you can get a good spot to watch all the skaters.

Hopefully the weekend brings more snow too, as the forecast is looking promising with snow possible Friday through Sunday. However if Mother Nature’s snowflakes are not enough, no need to worry as snow making has been going on at full steam. If temperatures continue to cooperate, there is the possibility of some terrain park openings this weekend. Stay tuned for details.


The Holidays are just around the corner


Vail Village’s Menorah 


Swingsville and the Gore Range 

Update 10am, Monday December 16th. It’s a perfect warm sunny day. The sun is softening the runs, and even though the holidays are here, the holiday crowds are not. A great day to have an outside lunch at the Buffalo Grill, or to sit down with the family and  enjoy the views at the 10th Restaurant at Mid Vail. DCIM100GOPRO

Holidays are in full swing at Vail’s Mountain Plaza, Monday December 16th

Monday, December 16th.  Today should be a sunny day, with temperatures hovering in the 30’s, and some light westerly winds. 25 lifts are up and running, and 132 runs (out of 193) are open. Today be sure to ride or ski Upper and Lower Simba. Snowcats were there this morning , laying on the groomed carpet, and due to it’s location in the far west end of the front side, Simba can get very little traffic, even during peak hours. The best way to get there is to take the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) out of  Lionshead, and then just take skiers left once you unload. For a full grooming report click here.

Vail Lost Boy Meghan Gruszynski

Morning turns on Lost Boy in Game Creek Bowl. 

December 15th. An exceptional day to close out the weekend and Snow Daze. Another incredible weekend morning with a few fresh snowflakes on the ground at the peak of the mountain. To wrap up the weekend, head over to Game Creek Express Lift (#7) followed with Avanti Express Lift (#2). Off of each of these lifts you will find velvet trails that have been freshly groomed. Surely they will bring a smile to your face for the beginning of this new week. If your legs are worn out from yesterday’s turns, you will find more moderate runs here to make some nice relaxed carves on. Vail Meadows Meghan Gruszynski

The Meadows overlooking Mid-Vail.

Today’s high is expected to reach a comfortable twenty degrees. This temperature, in tandem with full sun, should make for a very enjoyable day on the mountain. Don’t forget that the Snow Daze festival is down at Mountain Plaza next to Gondola One. This is a fantastic place to enjoy the weather and all of the festivities that the mountain has to offer.