What's in this Area?
The descent can start from the summit if you're eager to huck your meat off a 10 ft ledge into the couloir. I imagine most people choose to start at the prominent notch just below the summit ridge. Initially the slope is fairly mellow, but rolls over mid way down the couloir for an exciting short pitch of 40ish degree skiing. The snow in the couloir may be kind of chunky from wet slide debris from the SE facing wall above and climbers right of the chute. Not to worry though, the upper portion of the couloir itself is nicely sheltered from early morning sunhit.[more]
Vail Pass has a variety of terrain that is great for skiers. The south side of highway 70 is accessible to snowmobilers, and the terrain for skiers is very diverse. There are mellow meadows and large cliffs. From Wikipedia: Vail Pass (10,662 feet, 3249 m) is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. The pass was named for Charles Vail, a highway engineer. Vail Pass lies on the boundary between Eagle and Summit counties, between Vail on the west and Dillon on the east. It provides the route of Interstate 70 (and earlier U.S. Highway 6) between the upper basins of the Eagle River and the Blue River, both tributaries of the Colorado River. Black Gore Creek, a tributary of Gore Creek, in the watershed of the Eagle, descends from the north side of the pass towards the town of Vail. West Tenmile Creek, in the watershed of the Blue, descends from the south side. The pass is significantly steep on either side (7 to 8%), and two runaway truck ramps are available on the west bound side for truckers with brake failures. The pass was not a traditional historical route of the Rockies. Prior to 1940, the most common route westward was over nearby Shrine Pass, just to the south, which leads to the town of the Red Cliff in the upper Eagle Valley. In 1940, the construction of U.S. Highway 6 bypassed Shrine Pass in favor of the current route to the valley of Gore Creek.
How to Get There
From Denver: Take I-70 West for about 80 miles. From Utah: Take I-70 East