Winter Park, CO Conditions Report: The Return of Pow

Marc Doherty | | Conditions ReportConditions Report
Long Day Skiing
Leaving Mary Jane behind after some packed pow fun

November in Colorado was a tale of two halves. It truly was in like a lamb, out like a lion. December seems to be shaping up the same way. After 12 days of no significant snowfall, a southwest flow hit the San Juan’s late on Saturday. By Saturday night, the flow shifted to northwest and the whole state was getting the goods. By early Monday morning, 18″ had fallen on Berthoud Pass. After skiing the pass on Sunday, we thought Winter Park and Mary Jane’s glades would be prime on Tuesday.

Winter Park
Mary Jane in the background. She’s filling in nicely.

Tuesday’s weather was cool, with highs in the low 20s and surprisingly calm winds. Clouds were rolling in and out with the occasional flakes. The skiing was soft bump central, so we definitely warmed up fast. We started the day with laps off Sunnyside, popping in and out of the woods and finding soft snow. Untouched pockets were small, but deep. Sluice Box was great and only one more storm should get the rowdy terrain under Iron Horse going. We then took Sleeper down to take laps under the sixpack, solidifying our badass reputations. Although still low tide, the skiing was great, the snow soft and the lines nonexistent. 

Powder Sidehit
Luke was not happy with his Method execution

Around 1 o’clock we headed to Winter Park and took a run down Outpost, which had excellent coverage, lots of air potential and soft steep bumps.

Winter Park Mary Jane
Terrain next to Outhouse
Winter Park Mary Jane
Pooch gets ready to pop in the Outhouse

Parsenn Bowl is likely to be the next big terrain opening at Winter Park. It looked like one more 12″ dump should get most of those glades in good shape. At the end of the day on Tuesday, ski patrol dropped the ropes on Trestle for a quick pack of the snow. We were warned of numerous sharks, but I only caught one and the snow was deep and steep. The deep was gone after one run but the soft lumps kept us satisfied for another lap or two.

Winter Park Mary Jane
As you can see, Trestle got skied off real quick…

The weather over the next week looks moist, but snowfall will be limited to a few inches due to low vorticity. Thursday may see an inch or so statewide, with favorable conditions over the northern mountains. A strong northwest flow looks to take over from Sunday until perhaps New Year’s. Although still far out in weather time, this storm track will bring cold air which might help to get the snow falling, especially at Winter Park and other locations that favor under this flow.



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