1. You are at altitude! Drink plenty of water leading up to your vacation and during the drive up to Vail. Vail Resort is 8,120 ft above sea level. To maximize your time on the hill and apres scene, drink plenty of water and avoid excessive drinking. A hang over at a mile and a half up can be extra agonizing, especially when we get a sneaky Vail powder day in the Back Bowls the next morning.
2. Don’t get stuck on the pass. Highways close in the High Rockies. Last year, a February 9th storm extended the commute from Denver to Vail to eight hours. The cause of this delay was 22 accidents. 19 of the vehicles involved in accident did not have addequate tire tread.* Make sure your vehicle is equipped with snow tires or four-wheel drive. Use sites like http://www.cotrip.org for up to date road conditions and http://opensnow.com/ for the best weather focrast.
3. Avoid Vail’s congestion. Vail is a massive ski resort with some big congestion shortfalls. Mid Vail (Top of Gondola 1) is the easiest to avoid. Grab an early Gondola ride out of the village or simply access the the upper mountain and backside via Golden Peak or Lionshead. High Noon Express (Chair 5) services both Sun Up and Sun Down bowls. In other words, more terrain than most east coast ski resorts funnels to one high speed quad. Those turns down Forever and Windows may look luscious, but pick your moments carefully or you may be heading into a an hour plus wait. Lastly, don’t forget about those deceptively slow Vail catwalks. Skiers be especially conscious to the snowboarders in your party or you may be giving up your poles to aid your friends.
4. Download Resort App (http://www.resortapp.com/index.php). One app, all the answers. Resort App helps you find your friends and family, in town or on the slopes. It will list local deals on lodging and meals. it will even help you find a parking space!
5. Head out of the resort village for some fun. Looking for an exceptional meal? Head to Northside Kitchen in Avon for breakfast, lunch or the best dinner in the Valley (http://www.northsidecoffeekitchen.com/). Nova guides offers snowmobile and snow coach tours of the Rockies out of historic Camp Hale (red Cliff, CO) (http://novaguides.com/). Need someone to watch the kids while you explore? Contact Care 4 Kids http://www.babysittinginvail.com/.
*Wong, Melanie. “Unprepared Drivers among Interstate 70 Problems?” Vail Daily 15 Sept. 2014: n. pag. Vail Daily. 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 15 Sept. 2014.