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Winter Park pointers (Dec-Jan)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

We are headed to WP today!  Excited to get the family out for the fist time of the season and it looks like the snow gods have been kind over the past few weeks.


Haven't been to WP/MJ in ages and was hoping to get some pointers.  I will be skiing solo much of the time and with my wife and kids some of the time.  


Anything I need to know before showing up?


post #2 of 9

Check the resort guide page; there are some reviews and info there. If you tell us what kind of skiing you like, we might be able to give you pointers for the mountain. Are you staying at the base area or in town?


briefly: Parking is still free at Mary Jane. It is less crowded in the mornings than the WP side. if the base and C-lots are full, you can park on the road by the Challenger lot (C-lot) and walk across the street. Otherwise, the next lot up requires a walk up a small but steep hill for access.


They've gotten good snow lately, but it's still unlikely that the Cirque or the chutes will be open.


The resort has changed a lot due to the very sad bark beetle infestation. The silver lining is that there are multiple glade areas now open.


Eagle Wind lift on the far side of Parsen has terrific steep tree skiing. best lines in my opinion are as far skier's left as you can go before dropping in.


there is another way to get to this are besides taking the six-pack up from the Sunnyside area. Look on the map, it is accessed from one of the greens that go from MJ to Winter Park.


If you have a car and want some more upscale apres, take the family to Devil's Thumb Ranch. Great spa, but also great dining. They have a bar with dining that is a smaller replica of the famous lodge at Timberline. i think they have a cheap eats night, but can't recall which night it is. Very, very beautiful out there. Service can be spotty, but the huge fireplace and live music make it worth it.


There is a relatively new and good food BBQ place in Fraser on 40, right  hand side as you are leaving town toward Tabernash. The Tabernash Tavern on 40 (left side in the middle of "town" is very good, great atmosphere, but be warned, not cheap.


The Community Center at Granby Ranch between WP and Fraser is FANTASTIC! Great work out facility, classes, pools hot tubs, sauna, steam etc. You can get single entry passes I believe.

post #3 of 9

Agree with all the above, thought I'd add a few things:


The Mary Jane side has basically two things: trees and moguls.  If you bring your family over to that side note that the only front side runs on MJ that are groomed are Sleeper and Mary Jane (though Village Run does take you back to the WP side).  If you like moguls and a challenge you'll be in heaven on the MJ front side.  They range in difficulty but some get pretty steep and tough.  Another option is Parsenn Bowl.  It's not particularly hard but it's navigable for a competent intermediate.  You can also pick harder lines through the trees and ski a different route in the same bowl all day.  It's a nice introduction to bowl and tree skiing for those who may not be ready for the harder stuff at other resorts.  My family and I have spent entire days in it.  Eagle Wind is also great though a good step up from Parsenn.  Like Parsenn there are loads of tree options, which imho is the best thing about WP/MJ.


There is free day parking at WP as well, right when you enter the resort.  You take a cabriolet lift into the village and unfortunately Intrawest's design layout has you wind through the village which is sort of annoying.  The WP is a very different feel: more groomers, most of the easier runs, more resort-ish feel, and terrain parks.  With the exception of Parsenn you'll find MJ much tougher, simpler as far as base services, and more local.


Not skiing there this year (switched mountains to align better with extended family and friends) but it's a great place.  You'll have a great time. 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Sieggy and Mom,


Thanks for the pointers.  We just got back and I really appreciate the tips.  I will respond with a bit more detail when I get some more time, but did want to thank you both for taking the time to reply.  I wasn't able to take advantage of all of your advice, but certainly benefited from a lot of it.


Great trip, and I will hopefully do a TR in the next few days.

post #5 of 9

They are currently running a 96 hour sale on all lift tickets.  Just picked up one for next Tuesday, costing $70.  They have some $60 tickets there as well.  It's been going on for about 12 hours now I think.  Just head over to their website.

post #6 of 9
I'm at WP now, skied yesterday, today and tomorrow. My brand new skis are now rock skis...very thin conditions.
post #7 of 9

I was skiing up there yesterday as well.  Didn't find it as bad as some.  I spent most of my time on the MJ side and had some pretty great runs.  You're right though, you need to be mindful of the thin areas as I did get my ski's stuck on nature a few times.   Hopefully this storm coming into the state gives them some fresh powder.  Don't know if it's going to reach there or not.

post #8 of 9
Yes, conditions at MJ better than on WP side. Hope incoming storm produces some additional base for many CO resorts.
post #9 of 9

looked like 5" all early this morning. then sun and scudding clouds. coooold and breezy.

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