Early Season Tips for Beginner Skiers

Early Season and Beginners Guide to Skiing at Vail

We want everyone to be prepared and have a great early season experience at Vail Mountain. We’ve been stacking up early season snowfall but early season conditions still exist. Early season conditions just take a little more planning – especially for our first time visitors and beginner skiers and snowboarders – so here are some tips!

Where should I ski and snowboard if I’m a beginner?

If you’re new to skiing and snowboarding, our best suggestion is to head over to Lionshead Village and ride Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) to the top. Vail Mountain’s early season beginner terrain is awesome because it’s at the top of the mountain so you can get all of the amazing views on day one! From the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19), walk to the terrain just to the left serviced by Little Eagle (#15). Here’s your best bet for nice and gentile Green slopes.

How do I leave the mountain when I’m done?

;If you’re at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) and finished for the day, it’s really important to know that the trails get noticeably more difficult once you leave this area, even if they are labeled Green. Our best advice? Ride Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) back to the bottom, right into Lionshead Village. We promise, it will be a much better end to your ski day. Later in the season, we have more Green terrain available at lower elevations so this shouldn’t be a problem.

What if I’m feeling more confident?

If you feel like you’re ready to graduate from Little Eagle (#15) we actually recommend downloading Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) this weekend, and catching a free bus over to Vail Village for Gondola One. From there, you can take Mountaintop Express (#4) to Swingsville. One important note about Swingsville – we’d consider it a more challenging Green run. This is a nice way to graduate from the Little Eagle (#15) while still staying on Green terrain. It’s a designated family zone, so take it slow and easy. The bottom pitch of the run gets a little steep – so take it slow! We don’t recommend starting out and learning on Swingsville.

Why shouldn’t I ski or snowboard between villages this weekend as a beginner?

You’ll find that many of the Green trails can vary in how steep they become and your routes to some of those trails will be on what we call “Catwalks” which are essentially snow covered roads that access different parts of the mountain. Sometimes these catwalks can be challenging because of how narrow they are. Before you journey on a catwalk this weekend, make sure you feel comfortable with narrow runs. One other note – these runs are thoroughfares and so they can feel more congested to beginners. We want you to feel safe and comfortable, so downloading is okay!

Just remember the lower you go on Vail mountain this weekend, the STEEPER the runs become and the more catwalks you’ll need to navigate. More than anything else… have FUN out there!