Vail Conditions Update Feb 2 – Feb 9

Feb. 9, 2014

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Highline was skiing pretty deep this morning

Update 10:45am, February 9th, 2014. It’s snowing vigorously in the upper parts of the mountain, and chances are Blue Sky Basin and the Back Bowls won’t open–although there’s always a slim chance.

Everywhere else is skiing as another deep powder day. Highline lift (#10) had a near empty lift line, and it seemed to be receiving the brunt of the storm, with tracks getting covered as soon as they were being made. What a season this one has been, and the forecast calls for even more snow!

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A typical view of Sun Up Bowl this season; powder days and the winter sun 

February 9th, 2014. Most seasons, 6″ of snow in the past 24hrs would be considered a powder day. But this is not just any season! 

So far Vail has received over 200″ of snow and it’s only early February, with the two snowiest months ahead of us (March and April) this season is bound to break records. Yesterday, due to the latest winter storm, the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin could not be opened. Today, if there’s a window in the weather they could open, so I recommend keeping an eye for this, because if Ski Patrol is able to do the necessary avalanche control and deems the terrain safe, there could well be over a foot of untracked powder back there! Not to be missed. If the weather is still dropping more inches of fat flakes, no worries, as other areas of the mountain still have a cornucopia of powder stashes waiting to be ripped.

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Northwoods Express Lift(#11) provides a mixture of warm sun and fresh snow.

February 7th, 2014. Soft turns as more snow falls through the day.

As predicted, the snow began to fall yesterday and continues to drop through the day. Gusts of wind have made for great pockets of powder in more protected areas of the mountain. From what the forecast reads, it should be a phenomenal weekend to take to the slopes.

On low light days like today, a great way to improve visibility is by skiing in areas that provide some depth of field. This could simply mean skiing closer to the treeline of a run to give your body better perspective.  It could also mean pushing yourself a little further and heading into the trees for enhanced visibility. Although the wide open bowls are full of powder, it may be a little challenging visually since there are fewer points of reference in the wide open bowls. And, as always, one simple way to improve vision is by picking up a low light/high visibility lens before you hit Gondola One in the morning.

DCIM107GOPROSun Up Bowl lives up to it’s name

February 5th, 2014. 5″ in the past 48hrs, as well as freezing temperatures sucking moisture from the snow, have kept the mountain in great conditions. Tree skiing has been great and expect packed powder runs to screech as you ride by. Partly cloudy skies today and periods of sun, should make today a great scenic mid-week day to enjoy the mountain. Dress warmly though as temperatures should be very cold. If you have mittens today is the day to wear them, if not buy some hand-warmers before heading out.

DCIM107GOPROTimberline Ridge around 9am today 

Update, 10:30am, February 4th, 2014. Looks like the storm is moving slower than anticipated, this morning the sun was peeking through the clouds, but the storm was visible in the distance. It will probably snow through the day, most likely starting around noon. 

February 4th, 2014. Another day, another winter storm here in Vail. Up to 15″ re expected by 11 pm tonight; its been snowing since early this morning so expect more than the 2″ reported by the time lifts open. The National Weather Service has Vail under a Winter Storm Warning in effect until 11pm tonight. Today the mountain will see periods of heavy snow, most likely covering up runs before they can get tracked. Stay warm and enjoy–yet another–powder day!

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The sun rises on Lost Boy, making for velvety turns on the groomed run.

February 3rd, 2014. Soft, groomed runs and a chance of snow today.

After last night’s Super Bowl, go enjoy some fresh air and find your happiness again by carving on the mountain. With all of the snow from the past few days, the runs are soft and well covered. Lay your edges down and enjoy the cruisers.

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Game Creek Bowl offers something for everyone, from moguls to trees to corduroy.

Cloud cover this morning with a chance of snow this afternoon and evening. The sun will peek out during the day but dress warm. High of 22 degrees with west winds around 10 mph.

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Soft groomers just off of the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19).

February 2nd, 2014. Two more inches over the last 24 hours, landing on top of powder.

There is still some leftover powder from the big snowfall on Thursday and Friday, which was covered yesterday by a dusting of new snow. Today, some of the best spots to find your slice of the powder will be in the trees. Game Creek and Blue Sky Basin both offer varying slopes with glades, so whether you’re an intermediate or an advanced skier, there will be something for you.

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The sun rises on pockets of powder in the frontside trees.

Layer up today, it is cold. Starting the morning with 0 degrees and moving up to a high of 20. Wind will be a big factor today with wind chills getting up to -20 degrees. Watch for frostbite and be sure your face and extremities are staying warm. If you do end up skiing in Game Creek, head over to Wildwood Smokehouse to warm up with bbq or to Two Elk Lodge if you’re skiing in other Back Bowls.