Today is last chair for Blue Sky Basin and 5 of the 7 Back Bowls, so we won’t tell you about the freshies we got in China and Tea Cup Bowls. The good news is the snow has been so deep this spring that Vail’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Jarnot decided to extended the season one additional week—the resort will keep the entire front side open along with Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls, some 2,500-plus acres, though Sunday, April 17.
We caught up with Jarnot for breakfast while we were in town, and you can be sure nobody is more psyched to keep Vail open than the COO. A Vail Valley lifer, Jarnot has worked for Vail and Beaver Creek for more than 30 years, beginning his career manning the parking lots during college breaks. “It’s too good right now not to stay open and give our pass holders the gift of another week to get out and enjoy what has been an amazing season at Vail,” Jarnot said.
Conditions in Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls were spectacular for April. Give the sun some time to bake Sun Up Bowl and then hit Headwall, The Slot, and Mitt’s Face for soft surfy snow. Over in Sun Down Bowl, Morning Side Ride and Ricky’s Ridge (pictured above) soften up first and then follow the sun to Windows, Wow, and Forever runs on the western aspect.
This is also your last chance to ride Chair 17, Sun Up Lift, the last whack-you-in-the-ass, slow-mo, triple chair left at Vail (pictured above). It’s being replaced by a high-speed quad lift this summer, which will increase uphill capacity by 40 percent and take pressure off of Chair 5, High Noon Express.
The front side is excellent for April, especially the steeps on the resort’s eastern edge—stay high off of Northwoods Express Lift (pictured above) and Highline Express Lift to get the best snow. This being Vail, you can count on the groom to keep it crisp in the mornings, and bluebird days soften the runs by 11 a.m.
Vail isn’t the only Western resort staying open deep into April—some mountains in the Rockies will be skiable into May. Check out Mr. Luxury Ski for the scoop on snow conditions across the West, along with intel on the hottest parties and best spring après-ski scene…Because, it’s always après ski somewhere.