Vail 2/3/12

03 Feb, 2012

After taking a day off to relax at the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa, it was time to hit the slopes today to finally explore Vail Mountain. One of the most amazing parts about Vail is when you look at it from hwy 70, it doesn’t look like much but what’s hidden behind that first slope is a massive resort filled with everything you’d want. In one day, I rode park, groomers, leftover powder, steeps, bowls and trees.

This morning, I grabbed my snowboard gear from the valet and got my ticket at the ticket office right out in front of the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa. Chair 20 – Cascade Lift is right outside the door so I hopped on the lift and headed up. The first lap was a mix of groomers until I found the park on my way down to the Lionshead base at Vail. I met up with Sara at the base and started my tour for the morning.

A huge thanks to Sara (@mtnPRgirl) who was my tour guide for the morning and took me around the mountain to explore China Bowl, Blue Sky Basin and the front of the mountain. It’s always great to meet fellow women riders who like to charge the mountain and have a good time doing it.

The morning kicked off with warm up runs to ourselves. I kept wondering, where is everyone and remembered it was a Friday on the mountain. Well the snow was soft and coverage was good. Vail didn’t get more than a dusting in the latest storm but the groomers were in good shape.

Once you get up to the top of the mountain, you can see the massive amount of terrain that surrounds you.

A collage of images from China Bowl riding

Vail is known for grooming and as we reached the China Bowl there were groomers coming up the slope. We waited a minute and got the softest most perfect groomers for us to carve down. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time.

A look back at the fresh groomers we just rode and now getting attacked by everyone else

Probably my favorite picture from the day that I put up on Instagram (Shayboarder) was this shot of Sara cruising in China Bowl making fresh lines on the ungroomed snow off the track. It got bumpy later on but this was where the snow was smooth and soft.

Cruising on the front side of Vail with pretty much groomers to ourselves. It was a blast being able to ride fast and cruise around the mountain with tons of terrain open. For the majority of the day we were riding runs by ourselves.

Loved riding and seeing the bridges around the mountain, there were a ton of creeks and natural slopes that looked amazing!

At the end of the day, I hung out in the Lionshead Village for a bit before deciding to take the gondola up the mountain and ride back to the Cascade Lift. It was fun to download and get the full view of the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa.

With a late check-out of 2pm, I made it back to the room to pack up my luggage and hit the road to Denver. The latest storm mostly hit Denver and we endured some traffic near an accident on the way back. Crazy to think Denver got all the snow, hoping the mountains get some more from this latest storm.

Today was another great day and it was really fun to be back in Colorado. This state is always home to me so it was fun being able to travel around and ride great mountains on my visit. Until next time, CO!

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. hannah
    February 03, 2012

    love me some vail.

  2. L.E.D.
    February 03, 2012

    Blue sky is where we got some fresh last week. Dropped the ropes just as we were unloading. The cat track getting back there was SO long!