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Winter sports are very popular with VC50 members and include Alpine Skiing, Backcountry Ski Touring, Snowshoeing and Uphill  Skin and Spike.

Members volunteer to be Day Leaders for the different levels of Alpine Skiing, Backcountry Ski Touring and Snowshoeing. A brief description of each sport follows.


Alpine Skiing



Desi Desmairis

Vail Assistant Organizers:Joni Forman, Geoff Smith and Mart Matthews
Beaver Creek/Bachelor Gulch/Arrowhead Contact: Eric Noreen
Latte Skiing Contact: Joni Forman
NO sign up

Tuesday and Thursday at Vail; Monday at Beaver Creek/Bachelor Gulch/Arrowhead. Helmet is required -- no one will be allowed to ski with a VC50 group without a helmet.

Members who bring guests must ensure their guest has completed the Guest Liability Form.  The Form can be accessed by clicking the green button below. When you click the button, the form will appear in a new window.  Click on the small printer icon in the grey banner to print.   Present signed form to the ski-level Leader that morning.
.     Guest LiabilityForm 
Forms will also be available at the morning meeting place.

Members meet in the morning at a designated place and self select into ski level: blue, blue/black cruiser, blue/black bumpers, black and double black. The volunteer leader of the respective level announces her/his plan for the day and asks for a volunteer to be the sweep. Each group then proceeds outside, dons their gear and meets at the designated lift.

The “Latte” skiers group meets later in the morning. As a group, latte skiers decide where to ski that day.  Lunch break is optional.

At the end of a Tuesday or Thursday ski day, all skiers gather for après ski at one of the local venues in Vail.

The more informal group who skis on Monday at Beaver Creek/Bachelor Gulch/Arrowhead will be lead by Eric Noreen and others. The ski level is generally blue/black cruiser but may break into smaller groups to ski trees or bumps if conditions permit. See important details about lunch on each Monday ski event description available to members.   Parking is free at Arrowhead, but it fills up quickly so skiers are encouraged to arrive early.

NON-MEMBER and interested in Vail Club 50?
If you are interested in VC50 and would like to ski with us for 1 day before you decide on joining, click the green button below and email us.  A VC50 Leader will respond to your inquiry.


Helmet Required.
Earbuds HIGHLY DISCOURAGED for obvious safety reasons.

Realistically evaluate your ski ability and choose a compatible group:

Green:  VC50 does not organize skiers who only wish to ski green slopes.  If you are interested in learning names of other members who like to ski green slopes so you can self-organize, please contact Nancy Young, Winter Sports Director.

:  Intermediate and advanced beginners, blue and some green runs, mostly groomers.

Blue/Black Cruisers: Intermediate skiers, no moguls, no deep powder.

Blue/Black Bumpers: Intermediate and advanced skiers, moguls, powder optional depending on conditions and Leader.

Black: Expert and advanced skiers.  All terrain, deep powder.

Double Black: Expert skiers. All terrain, trees, deep powder and faster skiing than single black group.

  • Show up promptly and listen to Leader's instructions.
  • Self-select into ski ability group.
  • If any group is larger than 10 skiers, the Leader has the discretion of splitting the group and a 2nd Leader will be selected to lead the additional skiers.
  • Try to stay behind the Leader and always stop below the Leader to avoid collisions.
  • Ski single file or at least far enough apart from other skiers in your group.  Multiple aggressive skiers using the whole slope tend to ski into each other on open slopes.
  • If you decide to go your own way, tell, text or call the Leader BEFORE you leave the group.
  • Understand you are out there for enjoyment and SAFETY – first one down the slope is NOT the winner.
BackCountry Ski Touring 

Jamie Harrison

Starts January 3rd

  Fridays: Alpine Touring--Intermediate and Advanced (All Terrain and Telemark equipment)  
  Mondays: Cross Country--All levels (check event calendar to determine events appropriate to your level.
(More traditional cross country outings using wider metal edges skis and fish scales.)

VC50 does NOT have events using track style equipment.

Signup required.
Members --Click on the Event Calendar to sign-up.

If gliding through quiet forests on fresh snow is something you yearn for, the club's backcountry ski program is packed full of weekly opportunities to do just that.  Under the leadership of experienced skiers, backcountry participants can look forward to exploring nearby trails and jeep roads in the beautiful mountain environment of Summit, Lake and Eagle counties. There will be outings on Fridays for more advanced skiers with All Terrain (AT) or Telemark equipment.  On occasion, there will be opportunities for Novice participants to increase their skills and confidence with practice sessions offered by VC50 volunteers at local Nordic ski areas.

Season starts on January 4th and continues into March. The full schedule with date, day leaders names, locations, level of difficulty, approximate distance and specifics of each trip are on the events calendar available to members and available for sign-up mid-December.  

Please review trip descriptions carefully and assess your ability to participate.  It is critical to the safety and enjoyment of all on each outing that individuals are honest with themselves about their ability level.

Be aware that backcountry ski outings require good physical conditioning (similar to conditioning level needed for marmot and hare hiking), the appropriate equipment and former XC ski experience.  While the trails are usually packed out, conditions vary with the weather, thus trails may be icy and hardpicked or covered in fresh powder requiring breaking trail.  The terrain is better suited to wider cross-country skis with metal edges and textured bottoms and not the narrower skis appropriate for track skiing at Nordic centers.  Telemark and AT (all-terrain) skis can also be used although necessitate the use of skins for uphill trekking.  

If you are considering buying equipment for the first time or upgrading, we urge you to speak to an experienced backcountry skier before purchasing.  The skis available at the local golf course Nordic center are NOT appropriate for VC50 backcountry outings.

Guidelines for evaluating your XC level of expertise:
Hare  Extensive backcountry touring experience and excellent physical conditioning; strong kick and glide skier; ability to negotiate icy trails and/or break trail in deep snow; ability to control skis going downhill; has appropriate equipment and ability to climb/descend steeper terrain as well as stamina for long distance ski.

Marmot   Some backcountry touring experience and good physical condition; ability to kick and glide on skis; comfortable following in tracks that are broken through snow; has appropriate equipment; ability to stop and turn on skis; stamina to ski 4-5 miles.

Tortoise  Some experience on touring skis and physically fit; desire to strengthen kick and glide skills; comfortable following in tracks that are broken. 

Novice   New to the sport of ski touring with desire to learn; has appropriate equipment.



Organizer:  Chris Thompson
Wednesdays. Starts in December if the snow is good. Check the Event Calendar in early December.
Sign-up required. Click on the Event Calendar button to sign-up.
Three skill levels: Tortoise, Marmot and Hare.

Day LEADERS from past seasons are encouraged to contact Chris Thompson prior to the Winter Kickoff event if you already know date(s) and location(s) of snowshoes you'd like to lead.

Get away from the crowds. Climb a steep snowy slope. Commune with nature. Admire the gorgeous views. Share the day with the VC50 snowshoers!

The snowshoe group is looking forward to making all of the above and more happen with another active season  this winter.  We plan to have outings from the beginning of December to mid-April and hope to have enough Leaders to offer an outing every Wednesday and Saturday of the season.
We will again offer some snowshoe social events. The popular full moon snowshoe will be back so watch the social event calendar for details.  We plan to have some on-mountain clubhouse dining events such as Game Creek snowshoe/lunch and Arrowhead Yurt -- members be sure to look at the social event calendar for those dates and details. 

The Tennessee Cookhouse shindigs are popular and fill up quickly so members sign-up as soon as info is posted on the website.  We will have the traditional end-of-season snowshoe at Gore Creek.

Uphill skiN AND SPIKE

Organizers:  Kate Pennella

Saturday mornings at 7:30AM. Starts: Late December (depends on snow conditions)
No sign-up required, just show up.

We start at the base of the Arrowhead chairlift promptly at 7:30. You can park in the Arrowhead parking lot.

Try something new: go UP the hill on skis OR spikes and THEN ski or ride the chair down. That is what makes this discipline unique and worthwhile.

Participants from past seasons describe it as “fun,” “exhilarating,” “goal fulfilling,” “heart-pumping but worth it!" You can go as fast or as slow as you wish; the goal is to make it to the top and, more importantly, to have fun doing it. Then you can enjoy well deserved breakfast or hot chocolate with fellow members at the Arrowhead cafe!

Special ski equipment is required – skins on the bottom of your skis and bindings that release at the heel. (AT or Tele gear). This equipment can be rented. OR you can simply use microspikes and hike up.

Bring a pack with room for shedded layers, hydration, dry gloves & hat,  goggles, along with another upper layer to put on for the downhill after sweating uphill. If you are riding the lift down - it can be very cold! Or, you can wing it and figure out what you need as you go!

Event Calendar