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Back Bowls on tap; mountain lion spotted on Vail Mountain

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December 11, 2013, 2:15 pm

Portions of Vail’s Back Bowls will be open by this weekend, according to Vail officials, but snow riders may have to share them a mountain lion that’s been spotted recently on Vail Mountain.

mountain lion

A mountain lion in Colorado (Colorado Parks and Wildlife file photo).

“We are planning to have portions of Vail’s Back Bowls open by this weekend; most likely China Bowl and Sun Up/Sun Down,” Vail spokeswoman Liz Biebl said in an email Tuesday. “Vail Ski Patrol is working hard to open new terrain as soon as they’re able, so it’s possible that some of this terrain will open sooner than this weekend.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Vail was listing 1,422 of 5,289 of skiable acres open to the public. Additional terrain would come at a good time as snow riders descend on Vail for this week’s annual Snow Daze season kick-off celebration and just two weeks remain before the busy holiday period.

Vail Ski Patrol on Tuesday also reported it has recently received calls about a mountain lion sighting on the front side of Vail Mountain. No confrontations with the animal were reported.

“We share the mountain with a number of animals that live in the area and this is a good reminder for guests and employees alike to keep away from wildlife and report any mountain lion sightings right away,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.”

Snow riders who see a mountain lion on Vail Mountain should stay away from the animal and contact Vail Ski Patrol at (970) 754-1111 or Vail Mountain Security at (970) 754-3049. In the event of a mountain lion confrontation, experts advise facing the animal, trying to appear as large as possible and making noise. People should not attempt to feed any wildlife on Vail Mountain.

“Winter mountain lion sightings on Vail Mountain during the daytime are fairly unusual,” said Bill Andree, district wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. “It’s possible that the animal is just passing through in search of elk or deer.”

For more information about Vail Mountain visit www.vail.com, or stop by the Mountain Information Center or call (970) SKI-VAIL (754-8245).

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