Vail and Breckenridge    December 2007
With some good luck I was able to get out to CO for a couple days of skiing before the end of
the year. It was a quick trip, just 4 days and by myself by fun nevertheless. I stayed and skied
a day in Breckenridge and then drove the 45min to Vail for a day of skiing there.
The views from the top of the mountain at Vail was incredible. Every run and every turn had something
absolutely stunning to see. The sense of scale does not convey from these photos, so let me just
say, Vail is big, really big, really really big.
The room at the "Village at Breckenridge" was very nice and I'd recommend it. What you should know
before you go to Vail is they have no lockers or facilities to for changing, so you had better dress
in your ski attire before you go. And yes, I can now say that while it's possible to change in your
car, it's not desirable.
Some of the Best from Vail and Breckenridge.
The Picture of me (really it's me, really) is from the top of the Bar lift at Breckenridge.
The temperature was -17 with the wind chill so I was leaving nothing exposed. Pictures 1 and 2
are from the front slopes at Vail, Number 5 from the top, and 4 and 6 are pictures of the Back
The Back Bowl at Breckenridge and the view from Peak 7. If your an advance skier the back
bowl is a great area to ski. The snow is a little softer, and your out of the wind due to the
little valley. If your and intermediate, Peak 7 is perfect. The Columbine is an excellent
run with groups of trees all over the slope, far enough apart so you don't feel constrained
but enough of them to both make the run interesting and separate the skiers from clumping
together in groups.
The "Ore Bucket" ski slope. I saw this run on the trail map and got curious. A single black
diamond run on peak 7, as far on the side as you could go. Thing was is that I could not
remember ever seeing it. So this time, start skiing down slow and keep going left every time
I could. After I found it with the help of the sign I could see why I missed it previously.
In the picture the slope entry is to the left of the sign.
And as for the slope, short, steep and right through the trees. Very fun. You start off through
the trees and then break into a clearing for a short steep down hill, at which time you slow
down REALLY quickly for more skiing through the trees. Not nearly as bad as it looks and recommended
if you've never skied in the trees before. You can see format the picture the downhill and start
of the trees again.
The Top of the Bar at Breckenridge. One of the major reasons to ski Breckenridge is to ski
above the treeline, and the way to get there is a Bar lift that starts where most of the
other skiers are starting to go down. The view is wonderful, but the wind is almost always
howling and yes it was about 5 degrees without the wind and -17 with. If you go and can't ski
the blacks, there is 1 way down thats a blue, but you have to look on the map real close
to see it. It's worth it for the view alone.
In the first picture you can just make out the people on the Bar. In the second, you can can
get a feel for the speed of the wind. It blows so hard you get almost a fog off the ground.
The "Psyco Path". Why yes that is a ski slope up there, and yes it does get REALLY NARROW,
and no, you can't tell that before its way to late, and yes thanks for asking that bruise
on my hip is doing a lot better now.
The town of Frisco and the drive to Vail.
Did I already mention this place is "how the hell to do I get back to my car" big? They are
so big they even have their own mascot who rides on a snowboard. The first picture is from the
top of the front side and is one of my favorites. The Third is the ski village at the bottom.
The back bowls at Vail. Truly a site to see. The sense of scale just does not register at this
resolution of picture. On the middle picture, the skier is the dot to the right of the tree in
the very middle. Notice how far he has already skied, and notice I could not fit in the bottom of
the ski run at this level of zoom. It takes a LONG time to get down.
Vail's new "Blue Sky Basin" ski area. Once again it's beautiful, and once again it's big. The
big draw here is the tree skiing. the slopes are more "suggested slopes" and the only real
direction of import is down. Picture 3 is where I started wondering "where the hell is the slope?".