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Beaver Creek & Vail Jan 6-10

Amie H

Angel Diva
Not my first Beaver Creek trip, so I won't get into the lodging, etc, as I stay at the same place each year.

Last year, even in ideal conditions (fresh snow both groomed and natural) I struggled with my Nela 80s (only my second outing with them.) Poor @MissySki had to listen to my kvetching about not feeling good skiing, blaming everything but the skis & how I used them. :wink: My noticeable "good time" on them was a blue mogul area near the Elkhorn lift. Alas, I saw that that entire Elkhorn area was still closed during my scheduled visit. It was one of my initial itinerary items to revisit "Home Run" and the other blues over there but wasn't meant to be.

My initial trouble with the new skis has since been resolved by practice, practice, practice at my local hill. Had conditions been different, I'd have brought the Nelas on this trip, as I had a blast on them in Brian Head last April. But with Elkhorn being closed, and hardpack on the horizon, I made a snap decsion the day before I left.

Beaver Creek had what I'd call early season low snow, mixed with very cold temps in the teens and single digits. I knew ahead of time I'd be dealing with hardpack. I decided to bring my K2 True Luvs) which I refer to as my "hardpack heroes."

This BC visit I skied better than ever. Totally confident, felt great, able to do longer, steeper runs than I have pursued there before (and multiple laps of them!) I ripped runs ALL DAY on Sunday. It was exhilarating and I was really proud of myself! Was out on the snow much of the day Monday, too; only went an hour early because of the cold. Was able to get in a rhythm on whatever I was skiing and enjoy it rather than worry about it.

I switched up my personal itinerary to explore the Arrowhead area as I have not in the past. It might be my new favorite spot. Wide, long, blue cruisers with hardly anyone on them. "Cresta" , which takes you to the Arrowbahn chair may be my new favorite run. I got to it by taking Primrose (essentially a very long cat track) from the area near the top of Strawberry Park express (skier's right as you exit that chair.) If you want to get to the "good part" skip to 3:20 on the video.

I lapped this run and another series of blue runs from Arrowbahn to Bachelor Gulch which got a little steeper and faster before the runout to the Bachelor Gulch chair. Really fun - I was elated. (Note: started to have issue w camera mount, so this video not as instructive bc you mostly see snow. )

Tuesday I decided to go to Vail, as I'd never been there before. That was in the back of my mind the prior Saturday evening as I treated myself to dinner at Coyote Cafe after 4:30PM Mass at the Chapel at Beaver Creek.
As a solo diner, I was seated in the bar area at a table already occupied by a younger woman. She offered to move but I said, "No, you can stay, no problem."
Long story short, we hit it off, shared some tacos and talked all night. Her name is Sarah, a local, who, like many before her, moved to Colorado from the Midwest for outdoor pursuits and mountain living. She offered to pick me up and ride Vail with me Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, Sarah pulled up to my hotel in her excellent 1990 Acura hatchback, and immediately reassured me, "No worries, I have awesome snow tires on this car!" She was driving stick, so I had no concerns that she knew what she was doing! We shoved my skis and boots in the back and away we went.

Visiting a new ski resort is SO helpful with a local. We parked in the Lionhead area garage, and made out way over toward the gondola but it was temporarily closed. Took the adjacent chair instead and then another chair to do a top to bottom run. By the time we both got back down we were freezing (it was single digit termp that morning.) Took a break at a cafe to share a snack and warm up. Gondola was running again so we took that up. We skied all around the frontside. Two things not in our favor: much lower snow coverage (grass peeking out often) and much larger crowds than BC (on a non-holiday Tuesday!) I took a video of this top-to-bottom, but again, my camera mount was not cooperative so you can't see much although the grass peeking through is interesting. I've read that they have gotten much more snow since then. No matter, we had a great time. Thanks, Sarah, for showing me around Vail!


Amie H

Angel Diva
Side note: Yes, I made those terrible thumbnails on Microsoft Word! :rotf:


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Love your report and videos. I also really enjoy Arrowhead area too because of those cruisers and lack of people. Yes, you need someone with legit knowledge in order to get around at Vail and enjoy it. Thats so cool you met a local AND got a ride in an old school 1990 Acura. Acura was only 4 years old then! Love seeing older models on the road. Thank you for sharing!


Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I enjoyed this TR and videos too, thank you! We’re just wrapping up the week at BC and have had a blast! Staying at Arrowhead this time which is so convenient. We’ve been beginning and ending each day on Cresta, it’s a fun one!

Yesterday we overheard a resort employee saying Raven’s Ridge on Grouse Mtn was groomed so we decided to hit that. The views up there were worth the ride alone. It’s steep but not as steep as ripsaw, bonus was there were not a lot of people on it.


Diva in Training
Thanks for this wonderful trip report! I got to ski BC for the first time this season, and can't wait to try it again next year, and I'll review your videos then too. The Arrowhead area was my favorite also, and toward the end of the day, it really cleared out, so I was able to really relax into those blues (I usually only enjoy greens). Reading about your solo-dinner-turned-skier-buddy-outing warms the heart. The skiing community is so kind.

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