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Vail set to open just as winter weather returns for weekend, early next week

November 19, 2020, 5:29 pm

New snow is heading into Colorado following Vail’s opening day on Friday, and the ski company on Thursday announced its terrain for opening day.

First the forecast: “My best estimate is that the I-70 mountains, the central mountains, and the southern mountains have the best chance for 1-5 inches of snow from Friday evening through Saturday evening,” Opensnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz wrote Thursday.

Then there’s another storm lined up for next week: “On Tuesday, there should be a stronger (and colder) storm that moves through Colorado and most mountains could see low-to-moderate snow accumulations,” Gratz added. “Fingers crossed that the latest models are on to something and we do see this colder system with 3-6+ inches of snow.”

Now the Vail Resorts’ press release on terrain available for snow riding (if you have a reservation and a face mask) on Friday:

Vail Mountain Opens Friday with New Safety Protocols and 200 Acres of Terrain to Promote Physical Distancing for Skiers and Riders

  • With two feet of natural snow so far this month, plus the work of Vail’s impressive new snowmaking system, Vail Mountain opens with 200 acres of terrain to give skiers and riders the space they need to physically distance 
  • Mountain access reservations, face coverings and physical distancing are required this winter at all Vail Resorts destinations  
  • Opening Day through Dec. 7 is open exclusively to pass holders 

VAIL, Colo. — Nov. 19, 2020 – Following the successful kickoff of Vail Resorts’ winter operations at Keystone and Breckenridge earlier this month, Vail Mountain welcomes skiers and riders back to the slopes on Friday, Nov. 20 at 9 a.m.. Reservations and face coverings are required for mountain access and the mountain is open exclusively to pass holders through Dec. 7. Reservations for Vail’s Opening Day through Thanksgiving holiday weekend are now available to book on epicpass.com.

Thanks to the hard work of Vail’s snowmaking team and new state-of-the-art snowmaking system (plus more than two feet of early season snow from Mother Nature), Vail Mountain is proud to open the season with 200 acres of terrain, top-to-bottom skiing and access from all three base areas: 

  • Vail Village, with access to Mid-Vail trails from Gondola One and Mountaintop Express (#4). Egress skiing to the base will be open on Gitalong Road and Vail Village Catwalk.  
  • Lionshead, with access from Born Free Express (#8) and Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19), and egress to the base areas on Gitalong Road, Vail Village Catwalk and Born Free. Carpet #34 will also be open at Lionshead Base for Children’s Ski and Ride School. 
  • Golden Peak, with the Gopher Hill Lift (#12) and Gopher Hill learning area for our Ski and Ride School guests, and access to Gondola One on the connector trail between Golden Peak and Vail Village. Sherry’s Carpet (#33) will also be open for Ski and Ride School. 

Vail will continue to make snow at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit, working to expand terrain and open more trails. While many things may look different this year, one thing that will remain the same is Vail Mountain’s commitment to opening all terrain as soon as conditions permit.  

For snack breaks, on-mountain dining will be open at Express Lift in Vail Village Mountain Plaza, Mid Vail and The 10th at the top of Gondola One, Buffaloes at Vail Mountaintop and Eagle’s Nest at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19). Guests who would like to sit down to dine can book their table through our new Time to Dine platform on the EpicMix app– a convenient way to help you book your mealtime, so you can enjoy skiing and riding without worrying about the lunch rush. Due to limited capacity in all of our on-mountain dining establishments, we also recommend bringing your own snacks and water to the mountain this season. 

What to Expect for Winter 2020-21 at Vail 

Vail Mountain is committed to doing everything it can to prioritize safety and ensure a successful winter season from start to finish. For everyone’s safety, face coverings will be required to access the mountain and in all aspects of operations, including in lift lines, and while loading, unloading and riding in lifts and gondolas. To allow for physical distancing, access to the mountain will be managed through a reservation system that prioritizes pass holders and limits the sale of lift tickets. This system is designed to help ensure guests have the space they need no matter when they visit, and for the vast majority of days, the resort believes it will be able to accommodate everyone who wants to ski and ride. Pass holders will have exclusive early season access, including early access to up to seven advance Priority Reservation Days, all before lift tickets go on sale Dec. 8, and pass holders will also have access to as many week-of reservations as their pass type and availability allow throughout the winter season. Learn more about our commitment to safety and new reservation system on the Winter Experience page at Vail.com.  

Early Season & Uphill Access   

Please be reminded that early season conditions exist. Vail Mountain requires skiers and riders to observe all posted signs and warnings, have a face covering with them, and maintain physical distancing. Closed trails may contain hazards due to limited natural snow coverage and snowmaking operations. For the safety of all guests, please keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.   

Uphill access is currently closed at the resort. Our normal uphill routes are not yet open and hazards including snowmaking equipment and limited coverage still exist. Guests should always call the Uphill Access Hotline at 970-754-1023 before accessing the mountain, and can visit the Mountain Info page on Vail.com for more information on the resort’s uphill access policy, guidelines and designated routes.   

Get Priority Access with Your Epic Pass    

Don’t forget to lock in a 2020-21 Epic Pass for priority access this winter season before prices increase on Nov. 22! Pass holders have exclusive access to early season skiing and riding and can lock in reservations for the core season in advance. The entire lineup of Epic Pass options is on sale now for a limited time at epicpass.com.     

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