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Vail, December 2016

On December 8, 15 people set off on an early flight from from DCA for the first ski trip of the season. We flew into Denver where a bus was waiting. Since we were staying in condos, our bus made a stop for groceries, wine, beer, etc. As we crossed the Continental Divide we were encouraged to see a tantalizing white environment with promises of more snow to come. We arrived at the Landmark Condos in Lionshead with plenty of time to get unpacked and rent skis before the welcome reception.

Our first day’s skiing was on powder and although most of the back bowls were not open, the coverage was very good for the early season and of course the slopes were empty. On day two, some of us were in the lift lines before they opened to get first tracks in the overnight powder. The same happened the next day too. We had about 10-12 inches. As our stay progressed more of the back bowls were opened, although because of high winds Blue Sky Basin remained elusive until partway through the last day. The consensus was that this was an excellent early snow year.

The Landmark is in the heart of Lionshead (a major access point to the mountain) and very convenient to shops and restaurants. It’s also only a quick shuttle bus ride from Vail Village with lots more shops and restaurants – some people found it an excellent source for Christmas presents, actual or wished.

The hot tubs were very popular and social after the day’s skiing. We also had three group dinners leaving little time to explore some of the other eateries. People are still talking about the fantastic meal we had at “Up The Creek” in Vail Village.

On the morning of our return, the roads were snowy, icy and slippery so the drive back to Denver airport was slow. Some of us were fascinated to experience first hand the technology of our new bus which had automatic chains – while others, given the early hour, slept.

This trip is definitely worthy of a repeat next winter.