Sounding off on Vail and Beaver Creek’s merits
EAGLE COUNTY – Simply put, Kenny Griffin believes Vail Mountain outshines Beaver Creek. “For an every-day rider, you can’t say Beaver Creek is better than Vail,” said Griffin, who lives at Copper Mountain. A day on either mountain is a win-win situation, Avon resident Tom Dorman said. Still, he prefers Beaver Creek’s easily navigable slopes, tree runs and short hikes to days-old, out-of-bounds powder, although he refuses to disclose the exact location of powder stashes.”It’s like fishermen with their spots,” Dorman said. “It’s a pretty greedy sport as far as powder goes.”Snowboarders and skiers often choose their favorite mountain based on various merits. Glade skiing and snowboarding prompted Avon resident Michael Wilganowski to switch his home mountain from Vail to Beaver Creek.”The first time I hit the glades was all I needed,” Wilganowski said.
Sheer size is the reason Glenwood Springs resident Alex Leaming snowboards at Vail Mountain.”It’s bigger,” Leaming said. “It’s got all the terrain Beaver Creek has plus more.”The difference is considerable. People can ski or snowboard three times more terrain at Vail Mountain than Beaver Creek. And there is more expert terrain at Vail, while Beaver Creek is more intermediate oriented, percentage wise.Still, crowds sometimes drive Leaming to snowboard at Beaver Creek.”Some days Vail is too packed and you just want to go to Beaver Creek to get some powder,” Leaming said.As far as powder is concerned, Vail gets about three feet more than Beaver Creek each year. While the gap is relatively small, Glenwood Springs resident Russell Fiske perceives a considerable difference.
“(Vail) always has more snow,” Fiske said. “The powder is the main reason I like it more.”So far this season, mid-mountain snowfall totals at Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek have reached 55 and 43 inches, respectively. Although the mountains haven’t been pounded by the near-record snowfall of last year, the season is shaping up well by most accounts. “Last year was just a trophy year,” Wilganowski said. “This is the way it’s supposed to be.” Griffin gave Vail Mountain a top-notch rating on opening day, when the slopes were teeming with powder. On Sunday, Griffin rated the slopes average, although visitors who don’t ski or snowboard everyday might rate the conditions better. The on-mountain conditions likely will improve in the coming week. The National Weather Service predicts up to 13 inches of snow in Vail through Tuesday afternoon.Several people said they prefer Vail Mountain because they don’t like Beaver Creek’s seemingly elitist nature.”Beaver Creek is so high class now,” Eagle resident Brandie Yeik said. “It’s way too uppity. We have escalators for Christ’s sake. I liked it when we used to be able to ski to the buses.”
“I suspect Beaver Creek is a little more uppity,” said Zac Neumayr, who lives in Denver.Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 748-2928 or email@example.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO