Vail Closing Weekend
It’s Vail’s last week of the 2021-22 ski and snowboard season, so get out and ride before the lifts close at 4 p.m. on Sunday. In March, Vail Mountain announced extending the season into what they coined “until May” by keeping the trails open until May 1. The station also opened earlier than usual, on November 12, making it one of the longest seasons in Vail’s history.
While some of the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin have closed for the season, there are still plenty of trails out front to enjoy. From the base area, which is 8,150 feet above sea level, there can be patches of dirt, but climb up to Mid Vail and there’s always good cover.
Timing and temperature are critical in spring skiing. “Follow the sun” is a common phrase among the locals where you ski and ride the east facing slopes first. The freeze-thaw cycle means that it takes a while for the slopes to soften after temperatures dropped the night before. Let the sun sweeten things up by skiing and riding the slopes that face east and once those runs get too soft, ride the slopes that face west. Make sure your boards are tuned and have spring wax on the soles. If the snow gets too muddy, you can always download Gondola One (#1) and the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) and give your knees and thighs a break.
Once Vail closes for the season, you can still bike and ski traveling east. Breckenridge plans to stay open through Memorial Day, and Arapahoe Basin estimates it will close for the season on June 1.
Celebrate local athletes
It has been a great year for our local professional athletes. Whether at the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, XTERRA or the World Cup, these athletes have truly put the Vail Valley on the map. The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon is hosting a meet and greet event for the public on Saturday from 3-4 p.m. to celebrate its resident athletes and their accomplishments:
Shiffrin recently clinched his 4th overall World Cup title; she is also a four-time reigning world champion in slalom, a three-time Olympian and a three-time Olympic medalist.
Walsh won a silver medal in the giant slalom at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing and placed fourth in the super combined.
Middaugh is a 15-time XTERRA USA World Champion, 2015 XTERRA World Champion, 6-time USSSA National Snowshoe Champion, and 4-time Fat Bike World Champion.
Owens is a member of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Skiing Team and the U.S. Moguls Team. She was named 2021 Rookie of the Year.
Leith is a member of the 2022 USA Snowboard Team and a snowboard-cross World Cup competitor who has been making waves on the NorAm circuit since 2013.
These athletes can be spotted lifting weights, sweating it out during intense workouts using TechnoGym strength and cardio equipment, or even enjoying the hot tubs. You can see Mikaela at Studio M: Mikaela Shiffrin Performance Studio, a practice space inspired by Shiffrin.
The event will take place in the Westin Riverfront Lobby and although the event is free and open to the public, attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Vail Valley Salvation Army. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase in case you want to stay a while. For more information, visit AthleticClubWestin.com.
Skiing and Tee
Since it’s Vail’s last weekend and golf courses are open in the valley, it might be a good time to “ski and play,” as the locals like to call it, at Gypsum Golf Course. Creek or Eagle Ranch Golf Club.
Gypsum Creek Golf Course has one of the longest golf seasons in Eagle County, closing in late November and reopening in late March. This Pete Dye-designed 18-hole championship course currently has the first nine holes open for play as well as the driving range. Book a tee time at GypsumCreekGolf.com/BookTeeTimes.
The Eagle Ranch Golf Course features an Arnold Palmer-designed course and is also play-ready with all 18 holes open. The Eagle Ranch golf course attempted to open on April 15, but snow delayed the opening by a few days. It’s $49 per person and a $20 cart fee to play 18 holes and $30 to play after 3 p.m. and a $12 cart fee. Over the weekend, these rates rise to $62 for 18 holes during the day and $37 for late afternoon play. Book a tee time at EagleRanchGolf.com/BookTeeTimes.
If golf isn’t your thing, you can always ski or bike, then go fishing, biking, hiking, paddling, etc. It’s just funny to say that you combined a winter sport with a summer sport in one day. You cannot do this in most parts of the country.