CO: Vail’s Up and Coming Gay Ski Week

Published Date Author: , October 29th, 2011

Colorado’s most famous gay ski weeks are held in Aspen and Telluride, in mid-January and late February respectively, but over the past few years, Vail Gay Ski Week has begun drawing serious crowds. The gathering takes place in late March and includes the usual mix of fun on the slopes and hobnobbing back around the fireplaces and hot tubs. In winter, skiing and snowboarding may be the region’s big draws, but it would be unfair to describe Vail and nearby Beaver Creek as mere ski towns. These scenic communities in the heart of the Colorado Rockies offer plenty of diversions.

Another misconception about Vail (www.vail.com) is that it’s a crowded, freeway-side ski park. True, the resort’s Front Side can get busy on weekends and does overlook Vail’s bustling villages and I-70, and this facility is one of the largest in North America, with some 5,300 skiable acres and nearly 200 runs. But there are many places on Vail Mountain to escape from the crowds, and skiers of all abilities will find challenging, varied terrain.

For more solitude, ascend to the upper slopes of Vail’s Front Side to access the fabled Back Bowls, a glorious — and vast — swath of less-trammeled runs that descend down the back of the mountain. From there, additional lifts carry those seeking truly secluded terrain into Blue Sky Basin, a stunning patch of wilderness developed by the resort in 2000. In reality, from the majority of Vail’s ski runs, you can’t see a single mile of freeway or village infrastructure. Just avoid the Front Side, which is possible as long as you’re comfortable with intermediate terrain.

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