Vail drops rope on Back Bowls as resort rings in 60th anniversary |

Vail drops rope on Back Bowls as resort rings in 60th anniversary

Resort has received 18 inches of fresh snow during recent storm cycle

John LaConte
Vail Daily

VAIL — Vail Mountain rang in its 60th anniversary on Thursday by dropping the rope on the Back Bowls, opening portions of Sun Up, Tea Cup, and China bowls.

Vail Mountain, which first opened on Dec. 15, 1962, recorded 18 inches of new snow in this week’s storm cycle as of Thursday morning, and more continued to fall throughout the ski day.

The opening of the Back Bowls on Thursday amounted to 2,000 acres of new terrain available to skiers and snowboarders, bringing Vail Mountain’s total terrain offering to 3,200 acres.

Now open on Vail Mountain

  • Sun Up Bowl and Sun Up Express (#9)
  • Tea Cup Bowl and Tea Cup Express (#36)
  • China Bowl and Orient Express (#21)
  • Siberia Bowl with connection via Silk Road
  • Inner Mongolia Bowl (available as hike-to terrain)
  • Outer Mongolia Bowl (available as hike-to terrain)

In addition to the large terrain opening, Vail Mountain launched its new Ice Bar at Eagle’s Nest atop the Eagle Bahn gondola on Thursday. The ice bar is an homage to Bill Whiteford’s infamous ice bar from Vail’s 1963-1964 ski season.

A complimentary champagne toast was held in which dozens gathered to toast in honor of Vail’s 60th anniversary season.

Guests were given pins celebrating the occasion; the 1-inch by 1-inch pins say “60 years” with Vail’s original logo from 1962.

The logo can be seen in many locations this season, and in the Wildwood Area atop Chair 3, a large sign says “This is Vail, open for skiing, December 1962” mimicking Vail’s sign from its first season of operation.

A second Ice Bar is scheduled to open in the coming months in the Wildwood Area, which is much changed this year as a result of the installation of an entirely new chairlift, the Sun Down Express (No. 17). Vail officials are hoping to have the new chair open by the end of the month.

The storm closed down interstate 70 on Vail Pass for a couple hours on Thursday before a small break in the weather allowed crews to open the highway again.

Thursday’s cold and snowy weather was expected to be the tail end of a strong system which moved through Colorado this week.

Colorado ski meteorologist Joel Gratz with said Thursday’s storm could bring “a few inches of fluff” before Friday. On Friday, temperatures will remain cold. Another storm could hit the area at the end of next week, Gratz said.

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