Trailing Off

My family loves to ski and explore new resorts, but sometimes tackling a new mountain on your own can be daunting.

Sure, you can read the trail map.

EpicMix Dashboard

But what you really want is a local’s perspective.

That’s why we’re all in on the Epic Mix Guide, a new feature on the Vail Resorts’ Epic Mix app.

The idea: A customized start-to-finish route across the mountain that links chairlifts and trails for your sampling pleasure—all easily accessible on your mobile phone.

We tested it out on a recent visit to Vail.

The verdict?

Super handy.

Way cool.

Here’s how it works:

Step One.

Download and open the Epic Mix app on your phone, then choose Guide.

Step Two.

Choose the mountain you’re skiing, then select your starting point—the base area and lift where you’ll begin.

Plan your adventure!

Scroll down and select your ability level.

The options range from “First-Time Skier” to “Looking for Expert Runs,” with everything in between.

Choose how long you’re skiing: a few hours, a half-day, or a full day.

Step Three.

Agree to the disclaimer.

Notice the ad for the Ski and Snowboard School.

Think to yourself, “Hmmm.

I’d really like to up my game on the hill.

I’ll look into that.”

Step Four.

Your itinerary uploads and you’re good to go.

Why We Love It

1. Local Beta.

Each itinerary is crafted with input from local snowsports instructors, with an eye toward helping guests explore the mountains in a unique manner.

While the Guide won’t give up powder stashes and favorite local lines, it will direct you to runs that you might not choose on your own.

Explore using your EpicMix Guide

2. So Many Options.

You can mix up the routes each day by picking a different starting point, level of difficulty, and length of time.

Choose double black runs one day.

Relax on intermediate groomers the next.

3. Less Discussion. More Skiing.

If you ski with your family or in a group, you know that sometimes it’s hard to decide which runs to take.

It seems like half your ski day is spent huddled around the map at the top of the lift.

Using the guide eliminates discussion.

While we deviated occasionally from the Epic Mix Guide when we used it at Vail, the outline of the route kept us happy, satisfied, and on the move all day long.

Portions of this post originally published at

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