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Vail for Beginners??

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Kentucky
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2,136 posts
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Vail for Beginners??

We are thinking of booking a trip to Vail but I as I am looking at the trail map, I am wondering about the green runs.

I have skied several times (in Indiana if that tells you anything) but still prefer the green runs. We went to Winter Park last year and had fun, but Vail looks very limited for the beginner.

Any one who can put my fears to rest? We were looking at the Vail Casdcade Resort & Spa, which is ski-in, ski-out, but will there be any way back to the Resort on green runs? Doesn't look like it to me.....

Maybe we should change our destination? My boyfriend is an advanced skier and I don't want to be stuck in the room.

Thanks in advance,

Kendra

Kentucky
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1. Re: Vail for Beginners??

bump

Vail, Colorado
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2. Re: Vail for Beginners??

You won't be stuck in the room. Vail has a TON of beginner and intermediate terrain. And the good news is that a lot of the beginner terrain is at the top of the gondola, so you will have the views and "mountain" experience (as opposed to some mountains with beginner terrain at the base of the mountain). Keep in mind that Vail is huge - 5,500 acres - so there is plenty for everyone.

You'll have to take the shuttle from the Cascade to Lionshead. Ski School is at the bottom of the gondola and then up the hill for lessons, etc.

Plus, Vail has a variety of great restaurants and the Cascade has a great spa and health club. You will have a great time.

Kentucky
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3. Re: Vail for Beginners??

Thanks Vailskier! That makes me feel better.

Also, I noticed a lot of the green trails were marked - - - - -, does this mean "flatter"? I don't want trails that you have to push your way along. That is definitely not fun.

I am not a COMPLETE beginner, so I don't like the easiest runs but I'm not ready (mentally) for the blues (as far as Winter Park went- one of the greens was a little challenge for me- I am a chicken-what can I say?). I really would like to be more in control of myself before I venture too much!

Thanks for the info, I think I'll be jut fine there.

Bbi
New Haven...
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4. Re: Vail for Beginners??

Vail is the very best place for beginners, in my opinion. I've brought new skiers to many places over the last 30 years. The key here is to take advantage of the ski school if at all possible - either group lessons or private. The instructors are top notch.

Wash. DC
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67 posts
18 reviews
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5. Re: Vail for Beginners??

Vail is great for beginners (although I don't think I would characterize it as the best). The dashed lines on the trail map are typically "catwalks" that can be used by beginners to get down the mountain. Some of these are flat and would require a fair amount of poling. This is especially true if you are a somewhat hesitant skier who doesn't like to enter the catwalk with some speed to get you through. To me, the key to enjoying Vail as a beginner is simply to use the gondola to get back down the mountain at the end of the day. This way., you will avoid the catwalks on the frontside all together (which can be tiring). So, at the end of your day, ski over to the gondola and ride it back down the mountain.

In addition to helping your skiing, the ski school will also teach you the best ways to get around the mountain as a beginner and avoid the flatter catwalks. Just pay attention where your instructur takes you and what lifts you use.

Bbi
New Haven...
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6. Re: Vail for Beginners??

Re flat catwalks - I've been meaning to ask someone this. For years I avoided the catwalk "Brisk Walk' because it was so flat. But I did land on it inadvertently a year ago and it wasn't that bad. Is it my imagination or did Brisk Walk get regraded? Anyone know? I haven't tried it again.

Vail, Colorado
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892 posts
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7. Re: Vail for Beginners??

Vail is large enough that there are really a few different areas where you would be able to ski as a beginner and have a great time. Top of the gondola, Chair 9 and Chair 14 are all at the top of the mountain and have extensive beginner terrain.

The post about ski school is spot-on. Take a lesson - Vail's ski school is one of the best around, and you'll have such a great experience. Highly recommended. And check out the lift/lesson/rental packages for beginners on www.vail.com - you'll save $$$$.

Bbi
New Haven...
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8. Re: Vail for Beginners??

Vail Skier, thanks for mentioning the lesson/lift/rental packages. The following info might be helpful for anyone buying a beginner (levels 1-3) lesson. When I bought my adult daughter a beginner ) all day group lesson last month, the clerk was nice enough to tell me that about the combo lesson and lift ticket, which saved lots of money on the lift ticket. The deal was that as long as she was with the group lesson, she could take any lift on the mountain. After the lesson, the lift ticket limited her to chair 12 on the bunny hill. Since she was taking an all day lesson she wasn't planning on staying on the mountain after the lesson anyway. The next day when I bought her another lesson, the clerk did not mention the combo, and didn't even know about it. I remembered at the last minute and got the deal again.

Kentucky
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9. Re: Vail for Beginners??

Thanks for all the replies.

I will definitely NOT hesitate going to Vail. HOWEVER, we just found a GREAT deal to Winter Park and booked it for January 20 for 4 nights. We did want to try Vail this year but this deal was too good to pass on at the Zephyr Mountain Lodge. So next time, it WILL have to be some place different!

Boulder, Colorado
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2,070 posts
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10. Re: Vail for Beginners??

I do NOT recommend Vail for 1st time skiers unless you put ur kids in ski school. Best greens and blue groomers are at top either at Golden Peak or Lions Head gondola top area. Best recommendation is to take chair/gondola down to base when done. Most kids will hate catwalks after doing it once. It's boring and will take a good 30-45 minutes depending on age. Been there, tried that. HOWEVER, once kids and adults can ski intermediate level there is no place on earth like Vail.