Best of Vail — Chairlift: High Noon Express Lift (Chair 5), Vail | VailDaily.com | VailDaily.com

Chairlift: High Noon Express Lift (Chair 5), Vail

1. Avanti Express Lift (Chair 2), Vail
2. Northwoods Express Lift (Chair 11), Vail (tie)
3. Rose Bowl Express Lift, Beaver Creek (tie)

It’s a surprise powder day in Vail: “Oh shoot, it looks deep out there.”

Wow, that gondola line looks long. You think it’s going to take forever, but it disperses quickly once 8:30 a.m. rolls around.

You take it to Chair 4 and make a straight shot for Apres Vous. The pitch is the perfect steepness to keep you moving through the deep snow and there’s no obstacle in the way, just an open powder field. The trees in front of you provide enough backdrop to prevent vertigo, and as you funnel down the bowl toward the Sunup catwalk, you save enough strength to hit the final dip in terrain with no problems.

As you make your way toward the lift, you admire the large fir tree that greets you near the bottom. In line, there’s powder on everyone’s faces, and five minutes later, you’re all back up at the top of the mountain, ready to do it again.

You’ve just had the Chair 5 experience that makes High Noon the top-rated chair at Vail. Now go do it again!

— John LaConte