Milk Run Protocol

Milk Run Protocol

As Ski & Snowboard School employees at Vail we have the incredible privilege to use lifts before the mountain opens to the public on days that we’re scheduled to work.

This winter there have been numerous reports of instructors abusing the morning milk run by accessing disallowed chairs and terrain, and changing into freeride clothes after accessing the lifts in uniform.

Your failure to comply with the following guidelines and all rules in the R&G will result in disciplinary action and could jeopardize this privilege for everyone!

General Rules

  • You must be scheduled to work and in uniform.
  • You must show the lift operator your pass.
  • You may only ski and ride on the chairlifts specifically mentioned below.
  • Under no circumstances are you allowed to bring non-Ski & Snowboard School friends with you.
  • In the event of a powder morning, the lift may not be ready at the designated time. Please be patient and realize that you may not be able to load prior to the public opening. Any assistance you can provide, such as ski packing the maze, is greatly appreciated.
  • We recommend that you ski/ride with a “buddy” when on a milk run. This is for your safety.
  • Obey all signs and rope closures.
  • Runs you are allowed to ski/ride are mountain specific. We do not want our guests to think that their favorite runs are being tracked out before the official opening of the lifts each day. Please be sensitive to this. DO NOT SKI/RIDE UNDER ONE, BORN FREE EXPRESS, CENTENNIAL EXPRESS, EAGLE BAHN GONDOLA OR ANY OTHER PRIMARY LIFT CORRIDORS.
  • Please wait until AFTER the official opening time to re-load any base lift.

From Gondola One:

  • You may ski to the bottom or access Chair 4 only after Patrol has gone up.
  • Wait for Patrol to set baffles and signage in the Mid Vail area and only load behind them.
  • Help with ski packing the maze in the case of new snow.
  • You must ski in the Chair 4 area back to 4 or return to the base.
  • There is no Milk Run access to Chair 3, 5, 11, or any other chairlifts.
  • Runs in the Chair 4 area may not have had their daily inspection. Exercise caution! Notify Patrol of any issues. Remember the mountain is not open – Pre-Ride, Re-Ride, Free Ride.

From Eagle Bahn (Gondola 19):

  • You may ski back to Lionshead or Vail Village avoiding primary lift corridors (Chair 8, G19).
  • If you go to the Village, do not attempt to load Gondola One in front of the public.
  • Exercise caution! You are likely to encounter snowmobiles, snowcats and uphill skiers/snowshoers in this area.

Please help us keep Milk Runs by sticking to the established terrain guidelines, and helping enforce proper milk run behavior with your peers.

This is not a privilege any of us want to lose.