Being one of the largest ski resorts in the United States, there’s no shortage of variety on Vail Mountain. People who ski Vail know that no matter the snow conditions, there’s fun to be had somewhere on the mountain. From skiing powder in the legendary back bowls or ripping groomers on the front, you can always optimize your day to the conditions. ColoradBros has comprised a list of our favorite runs to ski at Vail under various snow conditions. By the end of this article we hope you’ll know how to ski Vail like the locals.
On a Pow Day
- Ghengis Khan – On a deep day, this is the run that just keeps on giving. On any given powder day, this run seems to be hiding in plain sight. Located just below the 36 Lift (Teacup Express) this run is the largest skiable face in Teacup bowl. Often times, crowds rush back to Blue Sky Basin (and get in the lift line), while the steep face of Ghengis will stay relatively untouched. Much like the king of the Mongol empire, there’s plenty to go around on ColoradBros favorite pow run.
- Chicken Yard – A classic run right off the mountain top, Chicken yard is another run that not everyone knows about. This run can be accessed by skiing along high noon ridge (access from chair 5) until you pass through an access gate. From here, this run rides like a giant wave, with the center of the run as the barrel. It’s easy to find a classic line on this run and paint some S turns all the way to the bottom. It’s also notable to point out the hit you can take on the skiers right of this run. Cut across the bowl towards the cliff face and launch down the fall-line into a soft pillow of pow!
- Seldom- This run is more accessible than it seems. Yes, there is a bit of traversing initially, but the terrain is worth it once you get there. Seldom is a run with a natural terrain park and has two sections of cliff bands perfect for launching on a powder day. After the first set of cliffs there is also a relatively large roller often suited for backflips. If you’re looking for a great powder run, but also like to get sendy, Seldom is the run for you!
No New Snow
- Northstar- If the conditions aren’t stellar in the bowls, pivot to fast groomers and stay entertained on Vail’s front side.This is ColoradBros go to groomer because it breeds speed. This run is easily accessed from the mountain top and funnels into Northwoods (chair 11). With rollers spaced evenly down the majority of the run, you’ll fly like a bird in no time.
- Big Rock Park- Located in the depths of Blue Sky Basin lies Big Rock Park . Ski past massive orange and red boulders strewn throughout this run. This already fun, cruisy groomer is even more beautiful with the stone racing gates. The run can be accessed via lift number 37 (Skyline Express) down the cat-track to the skiers left when you get off the lift. This run is exciting to ski with a large group after a springtime bbq at Belle’s Camp.
- Red Zinger- Though not always groomed, Red Zinger can be the fastest run on the mountain. Check vails grooming report often to make sure you don’t miss the days that snow mechanics groom this run. Located in the gut of Teacup Bowl, this run can be accessed from chair 5, 17, or 36. Release your inner Mikaela Shiffrin on this run and really open up those skis!
- Chair 4 Cliffs- Undeniably the most iconic jump on Vail Mountain, chair 4 cliffs put any skier in the spotlight. If you’re looking to really launch and show off your skills, this is the run for you! The cliff band runs directly below one of the most trafficked lifts at vail. Each passing chair acts as a private audience on Vail’s largest stage. After launching the cliff, there’s another hit in the runout perfect for floating 360s or backflips.
- South Rim- Underneath chair 11 lies a slightly smaller, but much more expansive cliff band. This rock is so long that it expands to the next run over (south rim) where the jumping can be equally as good. There are at least a dozen take-off zones where you can launch off this rock and pick exactly how big you want to go!
- Lover’s Leap- Located way out in Blue Sky Basin, this run is the designated spot for IFSA (International Free Skier Association) Competitions at Vial. Come do a dry run before the big day and scope out all of the massive jumps. Regardless if you’re skiing competitively or not, this is a great run to hone your air awareness and ski one of Vail’s steepest double black diamonds.
Whatever your skill, whatever your style, there are incredible runs to be had at Vail. With the season just getting started, go ski some of ColoradBros favorite runs and let us know what you think! Make sure to check out the following trail maps to reference each run!
Start the snowdance!
-The Bros at ColoradBro