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Ski Biking In Vail, CO

I came across ski-biking ( snowbiking ) a few years ago while researching about another new winter activity - airboarding.

Though both of these activities could be experienced in our neighboring Oregon at Hoodoo ski area, for the past 2-3 years, I simply couldn't find time to make a trip down there. And honestly, to me, ski-biking seemed a bit like kids snow scooting. I thought it would be fun to try, but didn't think it was worth driving for 5 hours.

But during my trip to Colorado I had a chance to jump on this great opportunity, and combine skiing at one of the epic ski resorts in US with trying out a new adventure.

Colorado state has become one of just few places around US where you can try ski- biking. Though I was told that several ski resorts around Colorado offered this new winter activity, I only found two that provided gear and lessons.

Where To Ride : Aspen Snowmass offers ski biking ( snow biking )  during its Ullr Nights.
Every Friday night December 19, 2014 – April 3, 2015 in honor of the Norse God of Snow, Ullr, Elk Camp at Snowmass is transformed into a nighttime winter wonderland with such fun winter activities like tubing, ice skating, and ski biking.

Due to my schedule  and unpredictable weather during my visit, I had to opt for trying out ski biking at Vail.

Adventure Ridge located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola offers guided ski biking trips when skiing is over ( after 4pm ).

There are two ways to try ski biking at Vail :

If you plan to ski/ride at the resort anyway, you can purchase a lift ticket, rent the gear, get a complimentary lesson, and be on your way to enjoy this thrilling adventure in less than 30 min.

Or if you want to do just ski biking, you can wait till 4 pm, take a FREE gondola ride to Adventure Ridge, and partake in a guided tour with all the gear and knowledgeable guides included for just $80.

NOTE: Regardless of your choice, you'll need to be an intermediate or advanced ski/snowboard rider. Most of the terrain on this tour is down blue/black diamonds. Kids should be of age 10 and up, and also intermediate/advanced level. If you still haven't got the idea behind ski biking, click on this link to learn more.

When To Ride : The guided tours at Adventure Ridge are offered 4:45 p.m., 5:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m. & 7:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

As I've mentioned above, there is no skiing after 4pm at Vail ski resort, which allows you not only to have a safe experience, but also more fun ! You won't have to share your gondola rides with skiers/snowboarders, the slopes are being freshly groomed during this time, and there is still plenty of secretly stashed pow that your guide will find for you !

I took the very first tour ( 4:45 pm ), and boy was I glad I did ! While it was still light, I felt safe and confident to learn how to ride a ski bike. Besides, you can still enjoy the surrounding views while you're riding.

But once the darkness ascends on the slopes, it turns into a completely different experience !

Gear You'll Use:

As I wrote in my previous post, ski biking consists of a snow bike, and skis, also known as snowblades ( ski blades ) that are attached to regular ski boots ( included in the package if you don't have your own ). You're also provided with a helmet and a mounted flash light.

How Hard Is It To Learn To Ride A Ski Bike ?

To my surprise, the learning curve for this new winter activity turned out to be relatively short. After just 15 min of basic instructions we were on our way down the slopes. But keep in mind, you still need to be an intermediate/advanced rider.

The snow bike doesn't have brakes, and you use the motion of your body ( hips to be more exact ), and snowblades to stop/turn. Even though we rode on blue/black diamonds, moguls, among trees, and in knee deep powder, it was easy and safe to use the ski bike. 

How Long Do You Get To Ride ?

The guided tours last about an hour and a half. During this time you'll manage to put in at least 3 runs ( depending on the size of your group and their personal skill levels ).

But trust me, even 3 times will be enough to get you stoked, and may be, even hooked on this thrilling activity ! 

Bonus : During the night, the town of Vail turns into a beautiful Christmas-themed fairy tale. Plenty of lights, music, bars and restaurants to celebrate the night. After a day on  the slopes, you can enjoy your well deserved meal/drink/coffee at one of many places in town, or stay on top of the mountain to dine at Bistro Fourteen or Game Creek restaurant.

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