Vail Mountain opens selection of new trails
VAIL — The Meadows trail made its debut at the Vail Recreation District’s annual 5K and 10K at 10,000 Feet trail running race on Sunday.
The much-anticipated extension of the Radio Flyer mountain biking trail also officially opened over the weekend after undergoing work throughout the summer by Momentum Trail Concepts.
Running the new Meadows Loop on Sunday, Eagle resident Peter Dann said the Mid-Vail area trail will be an instant classic for trail runners.
“It’s new, so it’s still soft, and it’s curvy with some rolls to it,” he said. “It goes through the trees and gets kind of dark … That’s what trail running is about, the variety.”
Dann is also a mountain biker, and last year claimed world champion status as an age division competitor in the Xterra off-road triathlon championships in Hawaii. He said he was excited to hear about the new Radio Flyer opening.
“I’m going to do the Outlier race here on Vail Mountain in September, so I’ll probably come by a few times over the next couple weeks and ride it,” he said.
PTARMIGAN RIDGE EXTENDED, TOO
Vail Ski Patrol director Julie Rust said getting the Radio Flyer extension and the Meadows Loop open before the end of the season was a goal set by Vail Mountain this season. With Gondola One and the Eagle Bahn Gondolas running three days per week into October this year, there will be plenty of riding to enjoy for weeks to come. Gondola One runs every day until Sept. 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and then will run the same hours Friday through Sunday only Sept. 9 to Oct. 2. The Eagle Bahn Gondola will run the same days with slightly longer hours, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We also extended the Ptarmigan Loop trail slightly to connect with Ridge Route and Grand Escape,” Rust said. “It connects all the trails at the top now. It’s a cool loop because it’s an unbelievable view of the original Back Bowls of Vail, it’s got this incredible view of Blue Sky Basin and Mt. of the Holy Cross and Beaver Creek, and then next thing you know you’re coming around the bend and looking at the Gore Range, so you get a little bit of everything.”
PACKING THE TRAIL
As a new trail is often soft, the Vail Rec District’s 5K and 10K at 10,000 Feet trail running race was a perfect way to pack it down, said Kip Tingle with the Vail Rec District.
“And it gives everyone a chance to check out the new trail and promote it a bit,” he said.
About 255 participants participated in the 10 Kat 10,000 Feet race.
Haley Brewster of Edwards, 13, ran it with her dad.
“It was fun, and really beautiful,” she said.
Andrew Graham arrived in Vail from Seattle on Saturday. He said he wanted to do the 10K at 10,000 Feet as a way of getting to know the mountain and the trails.
“Also I was curious what the change in elevation would do,” he said. “I’m used to running by the beach. I don’t know if it was the elevation as much as the elevation gain in the race, but it was tough. Good, though, it was a great experience.”