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

This year we had a bit of a late start with snowfall but have been making up for it in a big way with these last few storms. While the recent accumulation has helped us get closer to opening the Back Bowls this year, Ski Patrol must first assess and do control work before any terrain opens.

“Getting the Back Bowls of Vail open is a big deal,” says Brice May, Assistant Ski Patrol Director, “we know this is the number one feature that makes Vail stand out from every other mountain out there. It’s not as simple as waiting for it to snow and dropping the gates and going and skiing…”

Get the full story on what it takes to open the Back Bowls with this video we shot with Patrol last year: