A full moon skin with Cripple Creek Backcountry

Image: Jack Affleck

Word on Vail’s heated streets is that the best après scene in town revolves around the taps of Lionshead’s hole-in- the-wall backcountry ski shop, which also happens to host (free!) guided full-moon uphill ski tours on Vail Mountain every month. Cripple Creek Backcountry can supply everything you need (starting at $50)—or you can bring your own gear—to try the unique experience of sliding up the mountain via skis affixed with specialty bindings and climbing skins via blue run “Simba” to Eagle’s Nest or as far as your legs (and lungs) will take you. Once you’ve ripped the skins o your skis and locked the heels of your bindings for the descent, on cloudless nights the light of the moon (or, when overcast, your headlamp) will illuminate Vail Mountain’s immaculately groomed corduroy trail back down to Lion- shead’s twinkling base area below, where a pour of local suds from a trio of taps awaits at Cripple Creek (6 p.m.; February 19, March 14, April 19). 970-510-0450, cripplecreekbc.com

ALSO TRY

Vail Athletic Club hosts a weekly morning winter trail run up the slopes of Golden Peak led by former Colorado Sportswoman of the Year Ellen Miller (who also holds the title as being the first—and only—American woman to summit Mt. Everest from both Nepal and Tibet), along with a die-hard band of locals, regardless of snow, sun, or subzero temperatures (Tuesdays, 7:15 a.m., free for members, $20 for non- members). 970-476-7960, vailathleticclub.com

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