The gondola starts at 8:30. Though one day I got in line at 8 with about 15 other people and they let us go ahead and go up. First tracks
I would say get there at 7:30, get in line at 8, and you will basically have the mountain with about 20 other people until about 10:30 or 11. Its worth getting up early. The same goes for most mountains out here. The crowds don't start till 11 or so unless its some kind of crazy powder day.
Edit: For your other question. I rent a condo with friends in silverthorne which is about 10-15 mins from Breck. So I would say if you are staying in Breck or Frisco, head out about 6:45 or 7 and you will get there for when the gondola starts.
I go up pretty much every morning for first chair in lionshead because no one hits the mountain until around 10. This includes the holidays. To get to the back bowls just go up vail village gondola ONE. Then take chair 4 and drop into sun up bowl.
on your smart phone will tell you the bus time. I'd get into vail by 730 and grab a shuttle to town from the north side frontage road in west vail. The parking down there on the road is free.
Last edited by Argo; 01-20-2013 at 06:43 PM.