What's in this Area?
Lou Dawson refers to this line as a "Big-ol-strip-o-snow" in this book Colorado's Fourteeners Volume 1. The slope of this couloir is surprisingly consistent over it's entire length. It's incredibly wide (100+ feet), and fun line that seems to go on forever. It's also a very straight forward descent. What you see is what you get, because in fact, you can see the entire line from the top. This line may not easily go from the exact summit, so some down climbing over talus may be required. Both Lou Dawson in his 14ers guide book, and Bill Middlebrook on 14ers.com have excellent write-ups on this route.[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