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All eyes are on Vail’s Back Bowls as snow continues to pile up in a bountiful early season snow cycle that shows no sign of letting up any time soon.
But it’s all hands on deck for mountain ops crews as they continue working feverishly to get new chairlifts in Game Creek and Sun Down bowls online.
“Splice Splice Baby! Chopper ops are cool, but there’s nothing that gets us more excited for a new chairlift coming to life than the haul rope splice. Game Creek Express is progressing nicely! Now the crews are focused on moving equipment so we can get you Wildwood Express (Chair 3) within the week!” Vail posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday.
Game Creek is getting a new six-passenger lift to replace its former quad to relieve crowding, and a new chair is being installed out of Sun Down Bowl (from the base of Chair 5) to bring skiers to the Wildwood area where the Game Creek Express drops off.
All of that construction, stalled by the supply chain issues plaguing the nation, means there’s still a lot of equipment in the area of a new Wildwood restaurant and the drop-off point for Chair 3.
Still, the vast majority of the front side of Vail is open for the season, with more than 50% of Vail Mountain available to snow riders, 15 0f 34 lifts running and 142 of 275 trails.
On Thursday morning, Vail was reporting 2 inches of new snow, 5 inches in the last 2 days, 24 in the last week and 98 on the season. Snow was falling steadily as of 9:30 a.m., Thursday, and forecasters are calling for more next week.
“Wednesday’s snow fell mostly in the southern mountains, then on Wednesday night, the storm moved across Colorado and most mountains saw an additional 2-4 inches of accumulation with up to 8 inches at Sunlight,” Opensnow.commeteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Thursday morning. “Now on Thursday, we’ll see snow showers in the morning, with mostly dry weather from late Thursday through Sunday. Then early next week is when the next storm will hit Colorado.”
Editor’s update: Vail opened Chair 10 on Thursday morning.