Report from Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at Winter Park, CO: First Powder Day
Today was a special kind of powder day, the first real powder day of the season. Not only was this the first real powder day of the season, but it was also completely unplanned. After waking up to clear blue skies on the front range without any expectations to ski, an unexpected pow day was a nice surprise.
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A small storm cycle has been sitting atop the Colorado Rockies for the past few days, dumping on areas like Steamboat, Copper Mountain, and Breckenridge. While these areas have been blessed with large accumulations over the weekend, today it was Winter Park’s turn. Other areas all along the Continental Divide, like Loveland, Eldora, and Winter Park, enjoyed some of the biggest accumulations of the season today.
Winter Park had its earliest opening day ever this season, and with Mary Jane opening just three days ago, the season is only just getting started. Ten inches overnight jump-started early season stoke. It was the perfect early-season pow day – light and forgiving: the perfect kind of powder to jog your memory on just how good it is to ski pow.
After pulling into the lot around 10 – a late start, untracked freshies were not an expectation. We didn’t have any expectations. However, the snow did not disappoint. The conditions were fresh, soft, and forgiving, every run was covered in a fresh layer of snow. By now, a decent-sized base has formed, ridding most fears of damaging new skis. While almost everything had been tracked out, a few untouched patches of virgin pow remained hidden among the trees.
Mary Jane’s world-class bumps were a vision covered in fresh white powder. Almost all the tiny broccoli top trees were covered. It was beginning to look like full-blown ski season again. We surfed through Golden Spike and Drunken Frenchman, bopping off side hits and diving back into the soft bumps. We even ventured over to the Winter Park side to enjoy some carvey hot laps on Cramner. The stoke was high across the resort as patrollers began dropping ropes and opening completely untouched runs for the season.
With more snow in the forecast, it won’t be long now until the rest of the Jane is open for business. Ski season is in full swing, and today was the perfect sample of pow days to come.