Trapped in the snow
Getting stucked in four feet high powder. I needed 30 minutes to dig myself out of the fresh snow. Another 10 minutes to get on my board again and continue the run. Add 30 more minutes for the following break at a bar where I had a hot chocolate.
Skiing- Frontside, Northwoods/Highline
Northwoods is such a magical area that is vastly ignored. Something about the way the trees are- it's more of a winter wonderland than other areas in Vail. Starting from the lift, Northwoods Express/Lift 11, you'll note that at the end, the lift rises above a cliff- so don't hurry out of the safety bar. Under the lift, therefore, is some nice, steep, expert terrain, South Rim and North Rim. Steep moguls, good snow and all the people on the lift to watch you fall, make this a great run. North and South Rim both open onto the bottom of the black run, Firststep, and empty onto Northstar, another black you can run, as with all of this, via the Timberline Catwalk. Further down Timberline Catwalk are the blues, Northwoods and Snag Park. Again, this is a great area and isn't usually too full of people. The snow is good and if there's powder, this is the frontside area to be skiing.
You can access Northwoods via Trans Montane Catwalk (green) from Mid-Vail, via Prima Cornice (black) and Pronto (black), or via Flap Jack (green) and Roger's Run (double black) from Highline Lift/Lift 10. Highline services some nice runs itself. Primarily black runs, Highline is the farthest lift east in Vail. Roger's Run and Highline (double blacks) as well as Blue Ox (black) are not usually very popular, probably due to the slow chair, but are, nonetheless, really nice runs. If you take Roger's Run, you can access Log Chute and Klickity Klack, two blacks that are short but nice. Take Brisk Walk Catwalk (green) to Riva Catwalk or Mill Creek Road to get back down.
From the top of Highline Lift, you can also access Flap Jack and possibly Tin Pants, two greens that will take you to easier ways down or to Sourdough Lift/Lift 14. Sourdough serves a green area/beginner zone, also including Boomer and Soughdough. Flap Jack empties into the Northwoods area, and approaching the lift is a slow zone.
It's possible that the lift has been changed to a High Speed Quad since I was last there.
Northwoods Express Lift/Lift 11- High Speed Quad, 1544 vertical, 6 minutes, closes at 4:00 pm.
Highline Lift/Lift 10- Double Chair (HSQ?), 1762 vertical, 14 minutes, closes at 4:00 pm.
Sourdough Lift/Lift 14- Triple Chair, 517 vertical, 5 minutes, closes at 4:00 pm.
Campo di Fiori
This is one of the finest Italien restaurants in town. Great atmosphere (lively, bright, fun.....almost too noisey for some), the food is terrific and they have quite a nice selection of Italien red wines.
VAil-A Resort for All Seasons to Enjoy
"VAil is Spread Along US 70"
There is about 2 mile stretch for exits coming off US 70 highway, and 3 exits.They are for east, middle and west ends of Vail. This complex has continued to expand over the last 30+ years, and now is a thriving community with all the amenities, and then some. The attraction to VAil is the recreational sports activity, and it started with winter skiing. Now it is year round.
They have taken down a number of trees to provide first the ski lift areas. That has now expanded into also biking, hiking, and other outside sports that people like to partake.
"Perched View of the Vail Village"
The initial panorama view from the visitor center area allows you the opportunity to see the retail shops that are to be visited, along with the mountains as backdrop of the scenery
I didn't know what to expect from Vail because it was my first trip to a ski resort, but Vail was spectacular! It's the largest ski resort in America (they say there's 10 miles of trails) and it was just beautiful! The Rockies provide great scenery while you ski and the Vail pedestrian village was so charming. It's modeled after the Austrian ski towns and you definitely get the feeling that you're in a European setting!
My friend Neil and I were anxious to learn to ski. Fortunately ski school was very fun! We met tons of great people from all across the US and in the end we both skied the greens. The Rockies are so beautiful and the powder was awesome!
Keith, our ski instructor, was awesome! He's even sent me a postcard since I've been home! He offers private lessons (half or whole days) too, or you can just request him at ski school!
We were fortunate to have lots of snow and great conditions when we were there. Yes, it was very very cold, but fortunately there is a free shuttle that takes you from Vail Village (where our hotel was) to Lionshead (where the gondola was).