Vail opens Pete’s Express in Blue Sky Basin |

Vail opens Pete’s Express in Blue Sky Basin

Pride Express lift also starts running for 2021-22 season

A view from Pete’s Express (No. 39) Sunday on Vail Mountain. The lift opened for the season on Friday, offering access to the highest-elevation point on Vail Mountain.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

VAIL — Friday’s opening of Pete’s Express (No. 39) means Blue Sky Basin is now fully accessible via chairlifts at Vail.

While skiers and snowboarders are still waiting on Earl’s Express (No. 38), the terrain available after a ride on Earl’s Express can also be accessed via Skyline Express (No. 37).

On the other side of Blue Sky Basin, however, Pete’s Express provides access to an area only serviced by that lift. Friday’s opening of Pete’s Express meant skiers had access to that terrain for the first time this season.

The top of Pete’s Express is the highest elevation point on Vail Mountain at 11,570 feet. In addition to being at high elevation, the terrain is also shaded by trees and north-facing, which meant it was Vail’s last pocket of unspoiled powder prior to Friday’s opening.

Vail had received 134 cumulative inches at the time of the chair’s opening, and snowy conditions that day brought another 4 inches of fresh powder to the slopes, for 138 total inches this season.

Also on Friday, Pride Express (No. 26) opened for the season, offering guests at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Vail access to Eagle’s Nest and lifts 2 and 7 following a ride up the Cascade Chair out of the Hyatt.

Previously, with Pride Express closed, those guests would have to ski back down to Lionshead Village after exiting the lift.

Cascade Way is now offering egress from the mountain as well, so guests hoping to access the Grand Hyatt or the many homes in Cascade Village can now do so on snow, without the need to download a chairlift.

With the opening of those lifts, Vail guests are now waiting on only the Mongolia Platter (No. 22) for access to the final remaining piece of terrain that is serviced by a lift on Vail Mountain in Outer Mongolia Bowl.

But that terrain is technically open; guests looking to access Outer Mongolia Bowl can hike up the Mongolia Platter line on foot.

Vail has not offered a target date on when guests might be able to use the Mongolia Platter this season.

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