Change is in the air at Winter Park, CO. Brand new gondola in the pipeline, new pass affiliation, music in the lift lines and definitely more groomed black runs across the mountain. But thankfully, one thing that hasn’t changed is the variety and awesomeness of the terrain, especially on a powder day.
The storm that crossed Colorado last night was kindest to Winter Park. Emerging winners, with 10″ since lifts stopped Thursday, it was still dumping with poor visibility as we took the soon to be retired Zephyr Express.
We headed straight to the Mary Jane side, dropping into Drunken Frenchman off the new Sober Englishman track. The snow was light and bottomless, the bumps soft pillows with hardly any tracks on them.
Avoiding the line at the Super Gauge, we headed back to the Zephyr and stayed on the Winter Park side for a couple of hours. The snow was still falling, but beginning to slow down a little giving blue skies an opportunity to show themselves. Our usual powder haunt, Vasquez Ridge, was inaccessible, the Pioneer lift wasn’t running. Tomorrow will be sweet over there with all that fresh powder…
Hi-Lo trees were sweet if a little too deep and untracked to get any decent pace. Not that I’ll ever complain about too much snow though! After that, we headed to Eagle Wind, steep, bumpy tree runs. We managed one run over there, finding so much untracked, light and deep snow with some nice pillowy boulders to bounce around on.
The wind then caused the lift to prematurely close, so we headed up the Panoramic. Wind and an almost vertigo-inducing whiteout up there led us to the sheltered glades. Well tracked out but powder up to our knees on the treeline at the edge of runs. The snow was awesome, soft, light and easy to move about. Do-or-Die trees to finish the morning were epic.
After a quick coffee and warm-up, we returned to the Winter Park side, hitting Balch, Retta’s and Bradley’s Bash and the trees to the sides. Bumps were still buried, powder deep and light. And the sun was coming out.
After a sunny week and temperatures well into the 40s, it was awesome to see winter again.
Deep powder, cold temperatures, poor visibility and howling winds closing chairs. Epic, more please.