Vail Adding Third Lift to Access Back Bowls

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After spending several evenings over dinner analyzing and discussing the long range forecast (a large five day high pressure was on its way to Gulamrg) we had to put together a plan because the upper mountain was still not open. We all knew how fast it would get shredded once it was. We had to beat the public.  We discussed the plan of getting out and spending a night or two out in the alpine, a little walk-about in the backcountry with the goal of shredding some early morning lines without the competition of the rest of the resort.  After greasing the right wheels and getting the OK from the snow safety guys and patrol, it was on. The plan was to get up the gondola early when patrol was doing some of the control work and go to work on a zone off the resort while patrol opened the rest of the resort. Then catch one of the last gondola rides up in the late evening and hike the half hour to the top of Apr  a Shangri-la and set up camp.  We planned to rise early with the sun, skin into position as the early morning light hit the Shark Fin zone.  Then shred it before the first gondola riders could get there.

Vail, CO, Aug. 28--The nation's largest ski resort, Vail Mountain, will increase its grandeur this season by adding 125 acres of trail skiing accessed by a new high-speed quad chair-lift in Pete's Bowl. This new terrain accesses approximately 80 percent of the total 885 acres of Blue Sky Basin's terrain, home to Pete's Bowl.

"This new area will balance out the ski experience with additional intermediate terrain, broadening the appeal to out guests," said Bill Jensen, chief operating officer for Vail Mountain. Approximately 47 percent of the total terrain in Blue Sky Basin will be intermediate with the remaining 53 percent rated as advanced or expert.

Not everyone's enthusiastic about the project, however, with complaints stemming from environmental groups enraged over the destruction of habitat for the endangered Canada lynx. In October 1998, arsonists set fires that caused $12 million in damage to protest the project.

But Vail's counting on the additional terrain, which is scheduled to open before Christmas, to help the resort climb back to the top and regain its title as the nation's busiest resort.