Vail is an intermediate skier’s slice of heaven. Vail isn’t considered a particularly steep mountain, Jackson Hole or Crested Butte standards, so it’s an ideal ski resort for intermediate terrain. Skiers can comfortably improve their technique and explore the Vail intermediate skiing. Trails are groomed daily, sometimes mid-day, for the pristine cruisers intermediate skiers dream about. Nearly 30-percent of Vail’s 5,289 acres are designated as intermediate terrain. The frontside of the mountain contains many long, sustained top to bottom intermediate groomers perfect for warming up for the expansive splendor of Back Bowls.
On looker’s right side of the mountain, from Lionshead Village, you’ll find iconic intermediate runs like Born Free, Bwana and Simba that run from the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola to the base. Showboat in Game Creek Bowl, the run beneath the chair lift, is also a great run for working on arching parallel turns. Off the Mountaintop and Wildwood Express lifts at Mid-Vail, you’ll find several intermediate runs, like Whistle Pig, Cappucino and Christmas that you can quickly lap. And off the Northwoods Express lift, don’t miss the Northwoods run, which is another wide-open groomer. And of course, the Back Bowls are absolute must, if only just for one run and take-in Vail’s grandeur. China Bowl offers the best Vail intermediate terrain, with runs down the gut of the bowl like Chopstick and Poppyfields.
A word to the wise for first-time Vail vacationers, this mountain is huge, so be sure to take advantage of Vail’s complimentary “familiarization” tours meet at the Game Creek Desk, located at the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola and from the top of Gondola One at the Mid Vail Ski School desk each morning promptly at 10:30 a.m., and the tours last about two hours.