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VIDEO: Chair 2 now open at Vail Mountain

WATCH: The Vail Daily’s John LaConte delivers a moving report from Vail Mountain’s Chair 2 area, which just opened for the season.

Skiers and snowboarders at Vail enjoyed three lift options and a beginner’s area over the weekend with the opening of Avanti Express (Lift No. 2).

From the top of Avanti Express, at an elevation of 10,769 feet, skiers are being directed to MidVail via the Kangaroo Cornice, Meadows or MidVail Express runs.

To reach Chair 2 again from MidVail, the Upper Lion’s Way road provides connectivity.

Vail Mountain’s 2021-22 season offering now includes approximately 320 acres of terrain on more than 2,500 feet of vertical.

The Eagle Bahn Gondola is running and taking skiers to the Eagle’s Nest beginner area, but the Eagle’s Nest Ridge ski route is not open yet, so that area can not be accessed from Chair 2.

Chair 2 on Vail Mountain opened for the season over the weekend, and the upper portions of nearby runs Giant Steps and Lindsey’s now offer skiers a second egress route off the mountain by providing connectivity to Gitalong Road.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

The Eagle’s Nest area provides beginner terrain via the fixed grip three-person Little Eagle (Lift No. 15), along with the Thunder Cat Carpet (Lift No. 35) moving sidewalk.

Accessing the beginner terrain requires uploading the Eagle Bahn Gondola (Lift No. 19), followed by a download on the Eagle Bahn gondola to exit the mountain.

On the east side of the mountain at Golden Peak, ski racers have been training on the run known as Fall Line via the Golden Peak T-Bar, which is not open to the general public.

On the other side of the mountain, in Lionshead, no egress route is yet available to skiers and snowboarders.

But while there was no access to Lionshead Village as of Sunday, a second on-snow egress route was made possible over the weekend with the opening of Upper Lindsey’s and the top of the Giant Steps run, as well as the portions of Gitalong Road and Post Road, which connect to Middle Born Free.

The Gitalong Road option presents an alternative to the Lower Lions Way egress route, which was the only option to exit the mountain previously.

WATCH: Ski & Tee in Vail, Eagle County

I believe there’s a rule, somewhere, that seasonal changes cannot be described as “serendipitous”. Though that’s exactly how it felt on a weekend where Vail Mountain opened to the skiers, and Eagle Ranch Golf Club closed to the golfers.

As someone who finds himself on the links often in the warmer months, the transition was palpable, with a passing of the torch confirmed by early sunsets and frosty mornings. Meanwhile, the golf bag is dirty, tattered and highly disorganized (though, luckily, still containing a few balls) while the boards are freshly waxed and the bindings are set.

Jeffrey Zwolenski tees off hole number five at Eagle Ranch Golf Club on closing weekend.
Sean Naylor/snaylor@vaildaily.com

But before we officially hang up one for the other, Eagle County residents are among those in the mountain west who can enjoy both in one day, if only for short periods during the late fall and late spring. And there are some of us who really like to ski & tee.

Vail Mountain had some decent patches of snow on opening weekend.
Sean Naylor/Vail Daily

The order isn’t what’s important; you can do it in the reverse method too. I’m a twilight golfer, so I like to be out there until the sun goes down anyways. Yet with earlier sunsets come time constraints, so we took our time on the mountain as we joyfully lapped Ramshorn and Swingsville before we showed up for a 2:24 p.m. tee time, and got nine holes in just before the sun set on Eagle Ranch Golf Club’s closing weekend.

November conditions were sunny and warm for the closing weekend at Eagle Ranch Golf Club.
Sean Naylor/snaylor@vaildaily.com

It’s not too late, there’s one last holdout

It should be noted that even though Eagle Ranch Golf Club is now officially closed, there’s still some time left to do a ski & tee at Gypsum Creek Golf Course, which is just 35 miles west of Vail.

According to Operations Manager Christy Martin, the valley’s last holdout for golf will be open through Thanksgiving, as they typically close the following Sunday. “After that, the grass stops growing, and a divot is a divot,” Martin said.

As the season winds down, tee times lessen. Gypsum Creek is currently booking tee times daily between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Carts are currently due back by 4:30 p.m., according to Martin. “The sun is going down just a little before 5 p.m. down here and we don’t want our staff out there when it’s dark and cold,” she said.

Martin says though things have been busy all season at Gypsum Creek, the ski and tee crowd is just starting to migrate their way.

“On the shoulder seasons, people will come from as far as A-Basin, but to honest we haven’t seen the ski and tee crowd much yet.“

Now that Eagle Ranch Golf Club is closed for the winter, Martin anticipates some of the flock to head their way, and has been starting groups on the back nine so they can get more sunlight.

“We’ll be happy to take their group pics with skis and golf clubs,” she laughed.

 

 

WATCH: Light flurries falling at Beaver Creek as Grouse Mountain opening awaits (On the Hill)

The Vail Daily’s Ross Leonhart enjoys a nice, long run at Beaver Creek on Tuesday with light snow falling. Beaver Creek has 22 of 23 lifts operating, as Grouse Mountain awaits more snow coverage before opening.

To see the video of 20-month-old Les Streeter learning to ski at Beaver Creek, click here.

WATCH: Snow falling at Beaver Creek