Vail's Blue Sky Basin Debut Short Lived

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Vail opens Pete's A-12/15/00

Vail, CO, Dec. 19, 2000--The much-anticipated opening of Vail's Blue Sky Basin was well worth the wait for those fortunate enough to get early morning fresh tracks. A brand new high-speed quad and an additional 125 acres of gladed intermediate and expert terrain greeted skiers and boarders Friday morning along with bottomless powder. However, the day ended short as 40 to 60 mph winds kicked up and shut down all the lifts throughout Blue Sky Basin andVail's famed Back Bowls by 1 p.m.

Just as it has all week, snow continued to fall when Vail opened China Bowl on Thursday and Blue Sky Basin Friday morning, bringing the total skiable acres to 4,745 acres, more than any area in North America. For those who tracked up Pete's Bowl in Blue Ski Basin, it was hard to contain the excitement of more than three-feet of untracked powder.

"It's beautiful," Adam Forman of Denver said about the new expansion. "There is so much snow, you can't beat it."

"It's great to be on a board back here because you can float over all this snow," said Cody Chalfin of Vail, who hiked and boarded the new terrain last season before the lift was installed. The idea behind the new expansion was to spread people out over the entire mountain, which now totals more than 5,000 acres. So far it seems to be working.

"This area back here has got a lot more expert terrain than other places in the Back Bowls," Chalfin said. "And the new expansion area spreads people out in the Back Bowls, and more people are able to have fresh tracks just like us today."

With the new terrain in Pete's Bowl, Blue Sky Basin will offer 645 acres of terrain, 18 conventional trails and three high-speed quads. Skiers and snowboarders will find 53 percent expert terrain and 47 percent intermediate throughout the area.