Vail will open Nov. 18 with skiing out of both Lionshead, Vail Village

Snowmaking crews 'killing it,' allowing more terrain, gondola for opening day

By David O. Williams
Real AspenNovember 10, 2011
Above-average, early-season snowfall and snowmaking crews that have been “killing it” the last few weeks will allow Vail to open on Friday, Nov. 18, with access at both Lionshead and Vail Village. Typically, Vail opens with access out of Lionshead and skiing on Born Free trail only.

Ski Team athletes like Ted Ligety have been ripping it up at Vail's Golden Peak. The public gets a shot on Friday, Nov. 18.
Jack Affleck/Vail Resorts

“We're still eight days out from opening, and things could change between now and then, but we have made such great progress with snowmaking that we can say with confidence already that we will be able to open both the Vista Bahn out of Vail Village and the Lionshead lifts for access on opening day, and we wanted to let everyone know,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain.

Beginning at 9 a.m. snow riders will be able to ride up the Born Free Express Lift (Chair 8), the Little Eagle Lift (Chair 15), the Vista Bahn Express Lift (Chair 16) and the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Born Free and Bear Tree trails will be open, as well as a top-to-bottom skiing on Columbine, Lodgepole and Born Free from the top of the gondola.

Paul Fillion, senior director of mountain operations, said that crews have been “killing it” and have made more progress at this point of the year than any other time in his 30 years of making snow at Vail.

Go to for up-to-date terrain openings and snow conditions.

Forecasters are calling for more snow starting Saturday, with predicting 2-4 inches at Vail during the day Saturday; another 2-4 Saturday night; 1-2 inches Sunday; 1-2 inches Sunday night; and a couple of more inches Monday and Tuesday.

Breckenridge opens on Friday, giving Epic Pass season pass holders three of the five Colorado resorts to ski, including Arapahoe Basin and Keystone. Vail will make four of five on Nov. 18; and Beaver Creek completes the set on Wednesday, Nov. 23. The Epic Pass is available to adults for $669 through Nov. 29.

Conditions have been so good so far that Winter Park ski area will open four days early on Saturday, instead of its originally scheduled opening date of Wednesday, Nov. 16.

Beaver Creek today announced it will stay open one week longer this season, extending closing day to April 15.

comments: 1 Comment on "Vail will open Nov. 18 with skiing out of both Lionshead, Vail Village"

adenton – Nov. 11, 2011, at 10:04 a.m.

I remember growing up in a ski town and having the opportunity to ski for $3.00/day if I remember correctly (which included all day ski school if we paid a one time annual fee of $25 to be in the local ski club). Slopes have so much to offer youth, and just seems like the sport is beginning to become out of reach for the average kid. I have a heart especially for urban youth to be able to get out of the city and enjoy the pristine beauty of Creation, and the character formation that outdoor recreation can provide. It would be great if areas such as Tahoe could parallel their effort to appeal to the corporate audience with a genuine effort to offer skiing/boarding at an extremely low price for youth to make it more accessible to kids... we already have a problem with too many youth staying home, playing video games, and learning the ways of the couch potato... I'd love to see some more leadership in the ski/boarding industry to make the slopes more accessible to youth like the Aspen Ski company did for me when I was a young kid. Just something to consider.

Comment Form Info  Comment Information
Real Aspen encourages you to post comments on our articles and blogs. Logged in email is required for monitoring purposes. Your email will not be published and will not be distributed to any third-party. Abusive, obscene, profane, threatening, libelous or defamatory comments are prohibited. By posting a comment, you agree to this policy and our terms of use. To report an abusive posting, please contact us.

To make a comment, please log in or create an account. This helps us prevent spam and other malicious attacks.

Please log in to comment


Create a user account to comment

Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
More Weather Reports
Vail powder day snow snake
Airing it out at Crested Butte
Feb. 17, 2011 Surprise 14 inches of Fresh Powder