Report from April 15-16th, 2023
This past weekend, I got some spring riding in and saw almost everything April can deliver. Conditions included a variety of dust on crust, fluffy pow, and spring slush.
Saturday, April 15th, Winter Park received around 6″ of snow overnight. The mountain rode more like 3″ in most places due to the wind and extremely crusty layer beneath the fresh goodies. It seemed that the west end of Eagle Wind was riding the best as snow stacked over there. The wind wasn’t giving us a break in the morning, delaying the opening of the Panoramic Lift and making traverses pretty miserable.
After lunch, we stuck to lower elevations and below the tree line to avoid the wind and cold. The second half of the day provided some nice sunshine, softening the snow and making the post-lunch park sesh delightful.
The week before, Winter Park hosted the Bucket Banket Slalom, and we decided to take advantage of the course. The banked slalom snowboard race and fundraiser was held in memory of Grand County native and Winter Park Competition Center alum Ben Lynch. Proceeds benefit the Grand Foundation’s H.O.P.E. Fund (Healing Opportunities through Prevention Efforts). The H.O.P.E. Fund is dedicated to supporting and expanding Grand County mental health advocacy and services, substance abuse prevention and recovery services, and access to outdoor recreation as a protective factor to support mental and physical well-being.
Sunday brought a nice warm bluebird day. The slopes got slushy quickly, and the mountain was a ghost town with no lift lines.
We took a trip up the Panoramic Lift for the incredible view and found some of the best lines of the weekend. Smashed some small natural hits and found wiggly, slushy lines through the trees to construct a great lap top to bottom.
Unfortunately, some of my favorite terrain under the Pioneer Lift was closed for a valid reason… Red Bull Cascade. This freeski competition is designed to challenge every discipline of skier as it snakes along the Pioneer lift, loaded with no shortage of monster hits and rails. Red Bull describes the competition.
“Twelve riders will drop into the two-mile course at Winter Park in Colorado on April 20-22nd, including legends like Torin Yater-Wallace and Alex Hall, alongside other up and coming athletes from both the park and big mountain scene. Athletes will work with filmers to capture the runs they map out, with a head-to-head elimination round on the final day.”
As the season winds down, getting some final laps at Winter Park was nice. Colorado might not have had the legendary season that areas in California and Utah had, but I will always be grateful for the opportunity to spend the day ripping with the crew. Takin’ it one season at a time!