I'm tired of sitting in ski lift lines at Vail, any recommendations on how to avoid so many people.
Most long lift lines at Vail can be avoided if you know your way around the mountain. One way is to begin your dqay by going straight back to Blue Sky Basin and then slowly working your way back to the front side by the end of the day. Avoid Mid-Vail from 11:00-2:00 and don't go in Game Creek Bowl unless you check the lift line signs to make sure you can get back out with only a short wait.
If you're going at a peak season, almost all major resorts will be as busy as Vail (on a reletive basis taking into account Vail's size). So, the trade off is going to a smaller resort with less resort like activities to compliment the skiing. Montana has a lot of decent choices (Bridger, Big Sky), Snowbasin, Utah is a great option, Solitude, Utah is a great option, and Telluride may be a great option. All of these are typically less crowded than Vail, but there are trade offs if part of what you are seeking is a resort experience.
It's relatively easy to avoid lines at Vail. As the previous post said - avoid Mid-Vail and Game Creek. Blue Sky Basin, Tea Cup Bowl, China Bowl, Chair 26, Chair 10 and Chair 3 all almost never have lines longer than 5 minutes or so.
One other tip....ski Beaver Creek on the weekend and ski Vail during the week. There are never lines during the week at Vail and also remember that unlike most resorts, all the chairs (except 10) at Vail are high-speed quad lifts. The lines move much faster than a similar line at a resort using fixed-grip lifts!
You don't have to go as far afield as Montana or Telluride, although both are lovely and great destinations in their on right. Steamboat and Aspen/Snowmass just a little too far from Denver to be fighting for elbow room with all the people who have inexpensive front range ski passes so lift lines are very short. I'm also told Beaver Creek is just a little further than most day skiers go, but I haven't personally tested that theory out.
Smaller resorts have less lines. I go to Arapahoe Basin alot because it isn't that crowded or Mary Jane at WInter Park. Both A Basin and Mary Jane have more expert terrain though, so if you don't like black and double blacks,maybe don't go there,.Telluride and Monarch also have less people because they're further from Denver than Summit Co.
If you stay away from the bottom of the mountains at Vail,you can avoid lines. Head up to the back bowls,you'll avoid crowds. Unfortunately,if you just want groomed slopes that are mostly greens/blues,you'll hit long lines.
Beaver Creek. If you don't want to visit Colorado at all? Park City, Utah. It all comes down to quality of skiing...you can't beat Vail. Sum up a bit of patience and you can ski the best of the best. Avoid Christmas to New Year, President's Weekend and the entire month of March. All other dates? cake. All you will run into is us locals!
We always start at Golden Peak (ch 6) it is the only spot where the town bus takes you right up to the chair ( both village and lions head bus makes you walk quite a bit). never a line at 6 which takes you, via ch 11 and 14 to china bowl and blue sky. There is plenty of blue terrain and no lines. ski orient express (ch 21) and pete's lift at Blue sky and you will never see a line. later in the day, work your way over to chair 6 (Avanti) where the lines are short as well. ALWAYS eat lunch before 11:15 or after 1 and stay away from MID VAIL all day! I have skied every major resort in Colorado and there is nothing like Vail.
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