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January 16, 2009 | RealVail REAL-E NEWSLETTER loves it when the weatherman errs in our favor. A forecast calling for a dusting on Monday turned into 17 inches of new snow by the end of the day Tuesday, leaving us all so beat from skiing untracked lines down Genghis Khan and Rasputin's that we need a day off.

That's the thing about mid-week, mid-January powder days. The holiday crowds, which were only a little lighter than expected due to the economy this season, have gone home, and the lift lines aren't long enough to allow adequate rest between mid-thigh plunges into the Back Bowls.

So far this season Vail has received 218 inches of snow, only 132 off our seasonal average with three months of prime skiing remaining. We're on pace to reach or surpass last season's third-best historical total of 463 inches, and this season airline and lodging deals are even more abundant than the mid-week powder days have been.

Anyway, our need for some downtime comes right as Blue Note 7 Band comes to town to play an acoustic fund-raiser at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek tonight. Look for us there, and look for more information on what to do, where to ski and how much snow is in the forecast at

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