The Road to Vail

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I just returned from six days in Colorado late last night, and if this trip didn’t have me wanting to pack all my belongings and move to the mountains, nothing will.

It was our second experience skiing in Coloradoβ€”our first was last March in Keystoneβ€”and I love how even a “bad” snow year (as locals will tell you) is some of the best snow I’ve ever experienced in my life. Colorado, you continue to impress, my friend.

Vail Ski Resort specifically boasts 5,289 skiable acres and 31 lifts. More than half of this is expert terrain, much of which was mogul-covered to my snowboarder husband’s dismay.

I’m used to skiing Heavenly, which is a massive resort by Tahoe standards with 97 runsβ€”but Vail had a whopping 193 trails. I doubt if we even covered half of the mountain during our three days there.

The mountain’s base elevation is 8,120 feet, and the peak towers at 11,570 feet. I could feel that altitude, boy; coming from just above sea level, we were huffing and puffing up even the easiest flight of stairs.

While none of the country has experienced much precipitation this winter, Vail was christened with fresh snow the night before we arrived as well as two of the mornings we were on the mountain. After a nearly snowless trip to California last month, it seems my luck has turned!

All in all, from the weather to our first-class experience with the Four Seasons’ concierge service, it was a glorious weekend escape. I wouldn’t be disappointed if this little weekend jaunt out to Colorado became a part of our annual routine, not one bit.

**Since some of you asked, no I did not take my nice camera on the slopes. All these photos were shot with my iPhone and processed in Camera+ or Instagram (or left untouched), believe it or not!
COMMENTS
  • February 17, 2012

    I’ve never skied in Colorado (I’ve only ever skied once, actually, and was TERRIBLE at it), but it is at the top of my list of favorite states in general. Its gorgeousness (is that a word? hmmm…well, it is now) is breathtaking. Love.

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      Mine, too! I think if job and family weren’t an issue and I could live anywhere, Denver would be that place. And I’m so jealous that Denverites (a word? doubt it) are within two hours of dozens of ski resorts! Not fair.

  • February 17, 2012

    Mmmmm, snowy mountains. My favorite! πŸ™‚

    xox

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      You’re so close to them, too! Jealous.

  • February 17, 2012
    k

    I’ve never skied in Colorado. But it is on the list. So much to look forward to when I finally graduate and have $$ again!

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      You’re right: It is not a cheap hobby! Scott and I are stragglers in the morning–we get up early but don’t get going for awhile–so I like the slopes that have the half-day deal, as we’re usually only good for about three or four hours on the slopes each afternoon.

      • February 17, 2012
        k

        I wish they had those half price deals in the morning. I want to get out and get the good snow, then come home and take a nap!

  • February 17, 2012
    Ris

    The only places I’ve ever skied are Colorado and New Mexico and I think I’m pretty much ruined and will be disappointed by everything else from here on out. I’ve heard they have “skiing” in Pennsylvania, but I doubt it would compare. Maybe if I were in the Alps…

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      You’re right, you are ruined! I’m glad I started out “skiing” (that’s a stretch) in North Carolina, Indiana and other places in the region, as you really only can go up from there πŸ˜‰

      I skied Vermont once, and Killington was nice, but it was just way too icy for my liking!

  • February 17, 2012

    I can’t believe you took these photos with an iPhone! I love that first shot that you took out the car window – very cool!

  • February 17, 2012

    AHHH I MISS THE SKIING SO MUCH! But if you can believe it, in my 12 years in Colorado, I never went to Vail. Always got the Winter Park/Copper Mountain pass!

    Oh well, now I have the beach nearby. Good trade off, if you ask me πŸ™‚

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      That’s not hard to believe given that you have approximately a bazillion awesome resorts right outside of Denver! Plus, Vail is one of the furthest away (but totally worth the drive).

  • February 17, 2012

    beautiful pictures, can’t believe they were shot with Iphone !!! I wish I was there……I really love snow πŸ™‚

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      Since getting an iPhone last month, I’ve found myself being incredibly lazy and not taking my DSLRs anywhere! Convenience trumps professionalism, I suppose πŸ˜‰

  • February 17, 2012

    Blown away that those are iPhone shots. Amazing. We’re also big fans of Colorado!

  • February 17, 2012

    Incredibly gorgeous photos! Love Instagram!

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      I love my iPhone, period. Especially after five years of frustration with a BlackBerry and Droid! My digital life has completely changed.

  • February 17, 2012

    I think Colorado is one of the few places in the country that has nice snow right now. We don’t have any here in our local mountains. It’s yet another weird weather year.

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      Then it sounds like we chose wisely =)

  • February 17, 2012

    Okay, I have to know, how do you get the graininess out of the iPhone photos?!?! These, and the ones you posted of Heavenly, are amazing!! Mine ALWAYS turn out grainy. And mine ALWAYS distorts anywhere but the very center. My face and any face I take a photo of looks like it would in a circus mirror :/ . How do you avoid that?!

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      Do you have the new iPhone? Maybe that’s it. I have the latest model (4s), and I think the camera is 8MP. I honestly only take them on the phone, upload to my computer and then post–nothing done to alter the resolution. However, I have noticed that the few shots I used the zoom function for came out more grainy, so bear that in mind, as well.

      • February 17, 2012

        Yes, I have the 4s. Got it in November. Here’s an example of how grainy mine are: http://pinksundrops.blogspot.com/2012/02/heywood-hotel-grand-opening.html .

        I did notice the one photo I didn’t take (the one of me) isn’t grainy and the colors are bright, although you can see my foot is distorted a bit and looks out of proportion to the rest of my body. All the other photos I took in that post are grainy, even in bright light. So now I’m convinced I’m doing something wrong which is why they are all coming out grainy and sometimes really distorted! Only I don’t know what πŸ™‚ .

        That’s amazing that all you’ve done is take them, upload, and bam! I’ll have to be careful with the zoom and see if that helps any.

        • February 17, 2012
          Kristin

          I think yours look great! Also, I need to visit that hotel next time I’m in Austin!

  • February 17, 2012

    We’ve been DYING to make it out to Denver, both for the skiing and to see friends and family. (Somehow half my family and my best friend from college all ended out in Denver. Weird.) The only thing I’m afraid of is that we’ve been so spoiled at our home mountain that anywhere else is just going to piss me off. But we’ll definitely be making the venture at some point.

    • February 17, 2012
      Kristin

      Apparently, I have a ton of friends in Denver, too–who knew? I thought I’d have a whole lot of free time to just piddle around, but my days were filled with lunches and happy hours and Bingo galore (not that that’s a bad thing).

  • February 17, 2012

    Glad you finally got some good skiing in. The snow goddess was with you. πŸ˜‰

    • February 18, 2012
      Kristin

      And by that, you mean you were sending good thoughts up from Arizona, no?

  • February 18, 2012

    What?! These were all taken with your iPhone?? So impressed – I particularly love the one with SVV looking at the mountains. I’ve never been a big fan of skiing or snow, but daaaamn. I could get behind it if these are the views.

    • February 18, 2012
      Kristin

      Yeah, blows my mind, too, especially after having a Droid and BlackBerry for the past five years. I would never post anything on Twitter or Facebook with it, as I was too embarrassed!

  • February 18, 2012

    Amazing photos! Continually jealous of what the iPhone can do. I am obsessed with that second photo…. beautiful!

    • February 18, 2012
      Kristin

      Getting an iPhone last month was my single greatest accomplishment in the last year, HA. Also, it means all my DSLR equipment is getting sorely neglected.

  • February 18, 2012

    Vail is so photogenic!! My favorite!!

    • February 18, 2012
      Kristin

      We should coordinate our dates next year! πŸ˜‰

  • February 19, 2012

    So pretty! Maybe we need to take a family ski vacation down there.

  • February 19, 2012

    That 3rd pictures is incredible!!! almost makes me forget my fear of heights and want to jump on it πŸ™‚ I know i will have to get on that lift eventually but I will be extremely nervous (and dizzy) I really need to make a trip to see snow! i might be the only person over 30 who hasn’t seen it!

  • February 20, 2012

    Amazing photo’s, they really make me want to go there, even though I don’t ski.

  • February 20, 2012

    Wow those photo’s are great! I learned to ski last year in Vail and it was definitely a great place to learn! One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been and I’m from New Zealand lol. Sounds like you had an awesome time πŸ™‚

  • February 20, 2012

    Breathtaking photos, the *almost* make me want to try skiing!

  • February 20, 2012

    Beautiful winter shots! We were in Keystone last year too and visited Vail and nearby Beaver Creek. I loved walking through their villages. The drive there is also one of the most scenic. Colorado and Utah are definitely one of our favorite places for ski trips. I’m glad you had a great trip.

  • February 24, 2012

    So beautiful up there!

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