I don't have any Video posted yet - my camera battery wouldn't hold a charge, but I should start having some video of the trails soon. I rode Vail this weekend (just saturday) for the 1st time in 3 years. Many of the old trails are no longer open - pirate trails have all be effectivly shut down.
Where to stay -
Vail is not cheap - there's no way around it.
The roost used to be a good, cheap place to stay (50-60 per night) but they now have new owners and it's not very clean. They also stopped allowing pets this year - so pooch can't crash here. There is some camping not to far away (hard to find - do your homework). otherwise be prepared for a drive or to pay some cash.
On to the riding info for all the DH'rs out there!
Going out of your Way -
Lionshead is still under construction (for the rest of the summer) - so you can't ride directly to the bottom of the gondola. The rumor mill says that the vista bahn (lift on the east side) will be taking bikes up the hill starting this weekend. The Vista Bahn is directly at the Base of the Vail Village (alternative dumping point for getting down the mountain). Eagle Bahn is accessed only by riding through vail village to Lionshead - or by riding the road down to the west part of the village and then back up to Lionshead.
On to the Trails!
The 94 DH course -
close to the same as 3 years ago - some changes have been made to the bottom of the course, but they where probably neccesary for maintenence. the top of the course is not too difficult, but provides a fun warm up or cool down ride (for the end of the day arm pumped up too much runs). Small drops, little bit of speed, some optional hips on the side of a fireroad. Defintly ridable on a 6 inch bike - but DH bike's can ride it much faster.
Magic Forest -
This trail makes up the upper part of several trails that connect to create a VERY fun DH ride. Magic Forest starts our with some fast turns (small berms) and small jumps with some ladder and wood worked into the trail. This trail has the fastest speeds available on the mountain (most of the trails aren't speed freak trails). This trail will get you to Old 9
Old 9 is my fav trail in the I-70 area right now. It's short and steep - and has some real fun roots and loose dirt. This trail does have some optional drops (nothing to big) and tight turns, so be ready!. Tips for riding this trail include counter steering some corners, momentum (some quick rooted ups) and not falling (there's some wood that doesn't look comfy to fall on). There are lots of small options and variations, and none of them are wussy - but none of them are un-ridable.
This ride has some good berms, some pumping, smaller jumps (table top-ish things), and an all around good time. It's not too much on the arms after you've been riding for a while and the arm pump is building up, but it's still an entertaining ride.
Over all - Vail's got some good trails! It's definetly worth the $$. They have 5 pass packs for $100. I would definetly buy one! It's very different from Keystone. I'd say that keystone is a lot faster, but Vail is a lot more twisty and tight. I personally like the tigher trails more, but I appreciate Keystone's style as well, I'm a big fan of boht of these places! There are lots of options for making it to the bottom. I encourage people to ride part DH trail, and part XC trail on the way down as long as it's singletrack. It would be hard to not have fun here!
Dh folks - definetly take Magic Forest to old 9 to Mane Lane. It's a ton of fun!
I'll post up a review of keystone and winter park in the next week or 2 as well! I'm a working guy, so paying the bills comes first...
Let me know if I should include any other points in my next review - or if this review sucks and needs to die a horrible and painful death.
BTW - did you see the post of the guy with the finger at keystone? OUCH!
What happens at Keystone, erm, doen't stay at Keystone.....
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Thread: Vail DH Ride Report