If you go during the winter, you must get up early and ski the back bowls of Vail. They are, without a doubt, the signature ski runs for this mountain. After a night of snow, there is nothing better than making fresh tracks on these wide open bowls!
This is maybe a fine town to visit out to the west of Vail about 80 miles when o tourists are there. I came through here to take a look around and could not even get to the first main intersection (Labor DAy) without 30 minute delay. It was a madhouse and risky driving with vehicles going in every direction and not being friendly to the other tourists. I can only imagine the springs are nice, but could not even get close to find out. Taking pictures was too dangerous due to the traffic and congestion.
A trip to Vail is not complete without visiting Pepe's. An authentic Austrian wild game restaurant, Pepe's serves up the best dishes in the village. Warning: Vegetarians may want to pass on this place!!!! But for the meat eaters out there - strap on the feed bag and get ready to taste some of the finest bison, elk, duck, quail and vension around.
Don't be afraid to wash down this hunter's delight with a nice warm apple strudel. Wild Game Platter
A vail skiing guide for rookies + assorted extras
When the Conspirator arrived in Vail, he was a skiing rookie in every sense of the word. Seven days later, he was carving up the powder. Timothy Dalton would have needed more than a cello and a diplomatic passport to escape.
Well, not quite ... but the Conspirator *did* manage to ski a couple of blue runs by the end of the week, including skiing from the top to the bottom of the mountain in one run.
I'll offer some suggestions for rookies following in my ski-steps in my tips, but here are some high level thoughts:
- No fear. Confidence is 90% of skiing well. You probably won't be going fast enough to hurt yourself badly in the first week anyway, so just hit those slopes and enjoy yourself.
- Do a few days of ski school - you get a good package deal if you do 3. That will give you the technical groundwork to go out an enjoy yourself. If you skimp on this, you will probably ski like a chump.
- Do each green run many times. As the terrain becomes more familiar, you will become more confident and your skiing will improve a lot.
- Take at least one rest day in the middle of your trip. It is so, so much easier to tackle the steeper slopes when your leg muscles aren't burning.
A fine tradition. The Red Lion pub near the base of the Vista Bahn is a good choice, but I'm sure you'll find your own
I highly recommend apres ski cigar smoking, preferably with whisky. Sure, it will kill your throat and it's freezing outside, but damn they taste good.
I went out to Vail to visit my friend Dave and his wife Renee while they were working out there. It was a short trip, but well worth it. It was my first trip west of the Mississippi and I fell in love with it. While I didn't get to ski, (I got sick on the way out there). While Dave & Renee have moved on and down under (to Australia) I hope to make more visits out there as soon as is possible.
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