Vail Mountain closes Blue Sky Basin, but Back Bowls remain open |

Vail Mountain closes Blue Sky Basin, but Back Bowls remain open

Resort claims ingress won't hold up in coming days

Crowds gather Sunday in the Belle's Camp area of Blue Sky Basin on its final day of operation for the 2022-23 season.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Vail Mountain closed Blue Sky Basin for the 2022-23 season on Sunday, claiming warm temperatures won’t allow ingress to the area in the coming days.

The Mongolia Poma (No. 22) also didn’t open on Monday, preventing lift access to Inner and Outer Mongolia bowls.

In a Facebook post, Vail Mountain said Blue Sky Basin’s Dec. 19 opening this season was “three weeks ahead of schedule,” implying that the mountain had scheduled an opening date of Jan. 9 for Blue Sky Basin this season. The mountain cited plentiful early-season snow as the reason for opening Blue Sky Basin on Dec. 19.

“We opened Blue Sky three weeks ahead of schedule thanks to early season snow, but with persistent warm temps and overnight temps above freezing, we won’t see the ski and snowboard ingress hold up,” Vail Mountain wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.

In years past, Vail Mountain has given other reasons for closing Blue Sky Basin ahead of Closing Day.

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A press release from Vail Mountain in 2013 cited not just snow conditions, but “limited guest volumes” as an explanation as to why operations are cut down in the final days of the season. That season, Blue Sky Basin remained open through Closing Day as “an enormous thank you to our passholders for a great season,” said Chris Jarnot, Vail’s COO at the time.

Jarnot said the decision was made not only due to good late-season snow conditions, but sub-stellar conditions the season before. During the 2011-12 season, Vail’s patrol headquarters snow stake reported just 206 inches of cumulative snow. The following season, Vail was at approximately 309 inches heading into closing weekend, and the season ended on a 13-inch powder day to bring the cumulative snow total to 322 inches.

“After the conditions we experienced last season and the first half of this one, we felt it would be a shame to close down terrain as we typically would with the great snow we still have on the mountain,” Jarnot said in 2013.

Vail Mountain is currently reporting a base depth of 70 inches following 337 cumulative inches of snow recorded on the mountain’s mid-mountain snow stake this season. That total makes this season tied for the most snow since 2010-11 (another season in which Blue Sky Basin stayed open through Closing Day), according to Vail’s mid-mountain snow stake.

Vail Mountain spokesperson John Plack did not respond to an email request for a final lift operations schedule on Monday.

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