VAIL

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Vail deserves its billing as one of the world’s premier ski resorts. Vail boasts three distinct areas of the mountain, each with its own features, including three terrain parks, seven bowls and 5,317 acres of freeride terrain. Finding fresh tracks is as easy as finding elbow room. In fact, on an average day, there are only two skiers per acre, and on a busy day, only four!

The mountain face stretches over six miles from east to west and that’s before you begin to explore seven wonderful powder-filled “Back Bowls” on the far side of the mountain. No wonder Vail is a magnet for American skiers and an irresistible draw for Kiwi skiers for whom only the best is good enough. The front side of Vail Mountain is served by a superb and modern network of mainly high-speed detachable lifts and has terrain for all abilities. On the far side, Vail’s seven legendary Back Bowls are perfect when there is powder, which is more often than not. Blue Sky Basin provides a backcountry (mostly ungroomed) experience for intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders.

Vail is a large ski town with a distinctive European Alpine character, made up of 3 base areas; Vail Village, Lion’s head and Golden Peak. For the most part, these are all pedestrian-only and feature a wide array of shops and over 75 restaurants and bars. The après-ski is exceptional. In addition to fabulous skiing, the resort has a reputation for a laid-back style and great nightlife.

Non-skiers can try snowmobiling, dog sledding, hot air ballooning, tennis, swimming, sleigh rides, ice skating and horse riding. There is also a world-class Performing Arts Centre and at Adventure Ridge you can play all day and well into the night with ski bikes, kids’ snowmobile tracks, ice skating and tubing.

Vail also offers America’s biggest lift pass deal giving you an incredible amount of skiing for your money as you may also ski Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin on one ticket.

Mountain Terrain:

Beginner

18%

Intermediate

55%

Advanced

25%

Skiing Hours:

Varies – posted at the base of all open lifts

Summit Elevation:

3527m

Vertical Drop:

1,052 m (3,450 ft)

Skiable Area:

5,317 acres

Average Snowfall:

899 cm (354 inches)

Snowboarders:

Snowboarder Friendly

Lift Information:

  • 2 Gondola
  • 14 High-speed quads
  • 1 Fixed grip quad
  • 2 fixed-grip triples
  • 4 6pers. high-speed chair
  • 11 Surface lifts

Trails:

195 runs. Longest run: Riva Ridge, 4 miles (6.4 km)

Notes:

Golden Peak is home to the largest terrain park. Avanti Park is a beginner-specific park.

Photo courtesy of Vail Resorts