Keystone Impresses and Vail Bowls are Awesome

Keystone impresses but Vail Bowls are awesome.

Fluffied Bro at Keystone. That’s Breckenridge in the background.

Catching up again – due to the very slow internet here I have not been able to post daily.  Today we are taking a breather – after skiing 5 different resorts in 7 days.  We also traveled from Nevada to Colorado during this time, so we have been busy. Two days ago, we skied Keystone and yesterday we skied Vail – a first for both of us at both places. All I have to say is that Keystone impresses and the famous Vail bowls are awesome!

But first – we need to continue our clarification of the key terms we are using to rate the resorts we’re visiting. Today we’re going to cover the Gnar scale.  Gnar stands for gnarly, which per the urban dictionary means “you’ve gone beyond radical, beyond extreme, it’s balls out danger.” In terms of skiing a 1 on the Gnar scale is a slope that is almost flat, smooth, easy. If you look over the edge of a slope and you get a fluttering heart and slamming pie-hole puckering – it’s about an 8.  If you look over the edge and you uncontrollably scream “Are you frikken’ kidding me!!” – I think you have a 10.  Alright, with that out of the way, let’s move on.

The Keystone bowls are greaat looking.

One part of the Keystone bowls.

It has been colder then a well diggers butt here over the last few days.  We “fluffied-up” two days ago and headed to Keystone.  Even though we had so much on we could hardly put our arms to our sides – we froze. We tried hard not to whine like little 5 years olds – but we probably didn’t succeed.

Anyway,  Keystone is quite an amazing place. Good incline to most of it’s runs, really good grooming and some awesome looking bowls.  There are 4 or 5 different Cat trips you can take out to these bowls and these really open the resort up. We took a small hike at the top to get a taste of some of the bowl skiing available.  It was really good for the little amount of new snow they had – but would be absolutely awesome with some deep snow.  We decided not to take the Cat out further as it was not really worth the $10 you have to pay for the 2-3 inches of new snow.

We skied the whole place and enjoyed it immensely.  With the good grooming, the Hoback score was about a 1.  The Gnar score was a 5 – taking in the bowls that are available.  The Foo-foo score is a 5 – it is there, but not really all in your face.  Overall, Keystone is certainly a place we’d love to ski again – well worth skiing.

Vail Bowls Are Awesome

Let me get this out of the way right off the bat. Vail ranks very high on the Foo-foo scale – like an 8.  To get to the lifts, you are forced to walk through a winding village of high brow shops. That sucks.  That is not what skiing is all about and we hate it.

The Vail bowls are massive and go on and on!

Heading up Sun Up bowl lift. It’s cold!

That being said, once through the crap – the skiing and the lay out are awesome.  The place is huge.  It took us all day to cover only about 1/2 of the resort in our first day of skiing there.   We’re going back in a couple of days to take in the rest of the place.

Vails back bowls are off the charts for sure.

In the glades getting some knee lube.

Eager to get it going, we headed right to the the famous Vail bowls – and we were impressed.  They are big, expansive and a gas to ski.  The resort had about 5-6 inches of new powder and we proceeded to cut it up.  We skied the Sun Up bowl, and even with varying conditions, we had a gas.  We took to the glades in the China Bowl and found some great uncut powder.  Took a bit of a break in the trees to liberally apply some much needed knee lube. (Got to keep our joints working – right?)  Heading to the Siberia bowl we found some uncut poo and left our marks throughout. Man was it great.

It was time to refuel so we ate lunch at the Two Elk Lodge at the top of the China Bowl.  That place is a massive wood lodge, which serves hundreds of people at a time and they had great food. Once fully replenished, we skied some of the front side.

The front side is mostly intermediate skiing.  The few black diamond runs we skied there were really just glorified blue (intermediate) runs.  We skied about 1/3rd of the front side before we were done for the day.

I gave you the Foo-foo score above, so I will move on to the other scale rankings for Vail. The place ranked about a 2 on the Hoback scale, only because some of he varying conditions in the Sun Up bowl.   The resort ranks about a 4 on the Gnar scale. The Vail bowls are huge and impressive, but they are not really steep or hair raising.

Great couple of days on the slopes at Keystone and in the Vail bowls.  We are one week into our trip and we are having a great time.

Here are some more pictures from our days at Keystone and Vail.  Enjoy!

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