Few resorts can boast over half their terrain as expert. Think about it. Combine Vail’s 53-percent expert terrain with its monstrous 5,289 skiable acres and you’ve got an expert skiers promised land. The Vail expert skiing ranges from iconic leg burners, like Riva or Prima, to cornice entrances on Blue Sky Basin’s Lover’s Leap, and steep groomers on former women’s World Cup run International to ungroomed chunder in Mongolia and Siberia Bowl. It’s all there and it’s all ripe for the taking thanks to Vail’s mind- blowing expanse.
We’ve said it time and again, Vail is huge. So to get around quickly and get as much skiing in as possible, you’ll need to ski Vail like a local−especially on a powder day. If the snow is flying, you’ll find most expert local skiers starting they’re day off at Golden Peak’s Riva Bahn. From the top of the lift they’ll head to Northwoods Express lift, and take a couple runs on North and South Rim, which features moguls, trees and some flowy drops under the lift. From the top of Northwoods Express they’ll drop into the main Back Bowls catwalk, Sleepytime, and follow that into Tea Cup Bowl, staying high on skier’s right traverse into Morning Thunder. Drop into Marmot Valley and head up on the Skyline Express to get the goods in Blue Sky Basin. From the top of Blue Sky you can head skier’s right or left. Far right takes you into Scree Field, a rock littered powder field, which can be great if snow-pack permits. Or follow the lift towers and drop in into Lover’s Leap cornice for some GNAR points. You’ll be dropped off at Pete’s Lift, named for Pete Siebert, a 10th Mountain Division soldier who discovered Vail, and from there you can access well-spaced glades. Or you can bypass the lift and head back down for another lap on Skyline Express.
If you opt skier’s left, which is considered to be “Earl’s,” a co-founder of Vail, head into Champagne Glade, which is a leg-burning, gladed bump run that usually fills in quite nicely. This run drops you back off at Earl’s Lift.