Hitting The Slopes

Winter Park has two base areas from which to start the day. Each is about a 15 minute drive from the condo. I recommend that on your first day you start at the Winter Park base as it has a complete range of services. More on the second base area, Mary Jane, below. The two mountains are connected at the top so at the end of the day you can ski down to the base where you started.

Getting there - Take Rte. 40 east through Winter Park and 2 miles east of town you will see a secondary entrance to the resort. Keep going to the main Winter Park entrance, turn right and follow the signs for parking. A cabriolet (mini-gondola) takes skiers from the main lot to the WP base; buses run frequently between the ski base area and other lots. The Mary Jane entrance is 2 miles further east on Rte. 40.

Trails - Overall the resort has a nice distribution of beginner, intermediate and expert slopes. Much of the Winter Park mountain trails are easy or intermediate while many Mary Jane trails are expert. Mary Jane is renowned for its mogul runs - it’s motto is “no pain, no Jane”. Above all is Parsenn Bowl, 12,060 ft. high and above the timberline. Here you will find a great view in all directions, deep powder and glade skiing - intermediate and expert trails. It is often windy and cold at the top of the Timberline lift but the view and powder are worth it. And for the truly brave, the back-country Vasquez Cirque (double diamond) opens around Feb. 1 each year.

Food - There are three lodges on the mountain complete with food, beverage and good cheer. These are recommended over skiing back down to the Winter Park base for lunch. Bring your wallet - the prices are almost as high as the altitude.

Enough talk, let's ski!

When

8:30am-4:00pm Saturday/Sunday/Holidays; 9:00am-4:00pm Weekdays

Where - Trail maps at each base and most lifts.

How - Daily and multi-day lift tickets can be purchased at the base of both ski areas or via the internet.

How-to - Lessons for all levels can be arranged at the Winter Park base.

jpt2000@optonline.net Jim Thompson 2012