Vail Valley receives first Major Snow Storm

VAIL, Colorado — Vail got its first blast of snow Monday, inspiring many local skiers and snowboarders to check out Arapahoe Basin's opening day.  Only problem: Getting there was pretty epic in and of itself.  Stuck in standstill traffic on Interstate 70 Monday morning, Eagle resident Eric Tarkanian hit a snag in his trip to A-basin.  Earlier that morning he looked at the mountain's web cam and liked what he saw: Lots of snow and not-too-large crowds. So he set out to try A-basin's new chair lifts — and enjoy winter's sudden arrival.  “I've been waiting a long time for this,” the 38-year-old skier said. “It came on so quickly. I couldn't pass it up.”

Getting over the pass was another story.  With many cars and trucks getting stuck in the snow, eastbound traffic on I-70 between Vail and the top of Vail Pass slowed to a crawl and, periodically, a dead standstill, throughout the day, Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Shawn Olmstead said. “The road are just nasty,” he said.

Although neither Vail Pass nor Eisenhower Tunnel closed, traffic traveling east from West Vail to the top of Vail Pass had been traveling at 20 to 30 mph on average from about 11:30 a.m. to at least 3:30 p.m. Earlier in the morning, traffic slowed to a crawl east of Vail from mile marker 179 to 180.5. Olmstead said drivers should check their windshield wipers and carry proper supplies in their cars, now that snow is officially here.

Winter is here to stay, so it is time to book your ski vacation with Dean Johnson Management.