Yes, it’s true. The face of Vail, Colorado, that you know best might feature snowy slopes, people-watching in lift lines and a ramble along its charming, alpine-like streets. And yes, you might already have a natural high just from inhaling that good clean air, all the crisper for the town’s elevation at 8100 feet. Will it take your breath away? Sure. But, dear ski enthusiasts, there are more ways to spend some time in the powder than just frequenting this attractive town’s three faces (and we mean mountain faces).
For example, consider ski biking. That’s right, ski biking. Sign up for a tour to run day or night at Adventure Ridge and get a helpful introduction to this unusual sport. Helmets aren’t required but you’re encouraged to bring one if you’ve got it, no bike bell or basket needed. Prefer to stick with more traditional transport? Test your skills against fellow skiers and snowboarders zipping down Vail’s NASTAR course, the surest way to silence your critics - provided you’re really as good as you say.
Looking for some outdoor activity to appeal to the younger set? Consider a showshoeing tour around the Nature Discovery Center or take the family cross country skiing for a day. Not only is it good exercise but it offers a healthy alternative to lift line burn-out. Evenings during peak ski season, there are also regular programs at the Nature Discovery Center featuring creatures of the night (no, no connection to the bar scene), which just might persuade all involved that a moonlit showshoe outing is in order.
But wait, there’s more. For a bit of speed, try tubing at Adventure Ridge on the tubing hill, or a few hours of mushing a dogsled for the effort of a short trip to Eagle, west of Vail, Colorado. And if you’re looking for a bribe to keep your offspring in line, the reward of choice might very well be some time at Blizzard Speedway on special, kid-sized (and kid-safe) snowmobiles.
Between the long list of activities on offer, the shopping and the après-ski scene, you might just forget about the slopes altogether. For a day or two, anyway.