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Which Skis for Presidents Day Weekend at Winter Park

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am heading out to Colorado for Presidents Day weekend to ski with some old friends.   I can only bring 1 set of sticks and was hoping to get some advice.  We will be skiing winter park starting this coming Friday through Monday.  I own a pair of Head IM78s and a pair of 2010 Gotamas.  Looks like the will be getting a few inches every day this week and then go pretty much dry once I get there.  I don't know how well the snow stays light or stacks up with wind.  If packed down crud off trail and low friction snow on groomers is all I will see, the choice is clear.  Thoughts on which pair to bring?  Thanks everyone!
post #2 of 5
Bring the goats if a lot of that mountain is north facing.  Otherwise there probably isn't enough snow for them to be loved.  But out of those two, I would probably bring the Goats to CO no matter what. 
post #3 of 5
I hit a lot of rocks there on Sunday so I'd advise whichever pair you are less attached to. 
post #4 of 5
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post

I hit a lot of rocks there on Sunday so I'd advise whichever pair you are less attached to. 

I've heard the same from others.

Here's a post from the bumpapalooza thread that may be of great value if you're planning to hit the Jane:
Originally Posted by WhiteRaven View Post

Snow/Bump Condition Report.

OK, I hope this doesn't hurt too much . . . You might want to bring some rock skis.

I have been skiing MJ all season, and would gently like to remind people that conditions are not like they usually are. Usually, the cover is very good to excellent on all the runs by this time of the year, but we have had marginal snowfall all season, so far.

There are still two weeks to go, but right now you will hit stuff (mostly rocks and small trees) in the bumps. The lower parts of a few runs are still dotted (every few feet) with small trees. Side note: Though lots have done it, I still don't think the trees are safe enough to risk. IMO, we need at least another 50" snowfall for the trees to become "safer."

On the positive side, successfully navigating all the obstacles makes you a better skier. Skier visits are down, and most of the runs are empty during the week. A long lift line is 10 people! I don't know about the weekends, since I usually only ski Mon - Thurs.

Also, There is much better coverage up top in Parsenn Bowl, once you get down below timberline. The Panoramic lift line has excellent coverage and nice bumps, even though it is a blue run. The tree runs up there are very skiable with very few obstacles left.

I have not skied Eagle Wind yet, and have heard coverage is thin. Plus it's a slow lift with much less vertical than Super Gauge.


Balch, on the Winter Park side, IMO has better coverage than most trails at MJ, the best (largest and smooth, not quite zipper-line-type but more high speed GS type) bumps on the mountain, and the least people skiing it for excellent soft snow.

Outhouse has lots of rocks showing on the top steep section, an obstacle course of willows at the very bottom, and the most firmly packed snow on the hill. The bumps are very large and (as usual) are very far apart along the left side of the run. Tighter bumps on the right.

Drunken Frenchmen, IMO, has the best bumps on the hill right now. Very large, but nicely spaced to allow for lots of speed. The top section has very good coverage, and the snow has been nice and soft on the entire run, but the bottom half is an obstacle course. Have to be careful for rocks in the troughs, and many small trees to tear off a ski when you least suspect it.

Gandy Dancer has reasonable coverage, only a few rocks here and there. It needs snow at the entrance (the steeper pitch) to the run to fill in the early season hacked up funky bumps. Once past that (3 turns at most), there are some nice lines.

Sterling Way is in pretty good shape, since it's higher up and has better exposure. Skiers right edge still has lots of rocks to find. The bumps on the left side are probably best on the hill right now for zipper-lines. The middle of the run usually has untracked snow the longest.

Upper Golden Spike/Upper Arrowhead Loop have lots of rocks in the troughs. Once onto Spike proper (past the narrow tree section) the bumps are huge and soft. Some rocks but not too bad.

Middle Arrowhead Loop (as seen in the video above) is in great shape.

Rifle Sight Notch has nice, shallow bumps, nice rhythm, but quite a few rocks on the top section. The lower portion (to the right of Feeble Minded) is an obstacle course of small trees in the bumps. Feeble Minded doesn't really have any bumps worth mentioning yet.

I won't ski Super Gauge Trail yet, that's how bad it looks. Much better runs elsewhere anyway.

As for the other liftlines, Pony Express line might still be closed. Freeriders (C Liftline) is OK, and Iron Horse Line still has some rocks.

Sleepy Hollow is a fun obstacle course of bumps, rocks, trees, and willows. At least the snow stays soft.

Phantom Bridge has some of the best bumps and snow conditions at MJ. The steep pitch at the bottom is a wonderful blast to fly down.

Upper Rail Bender is in pretty good shape. Large bumps, soft snow, OK rhythm. As long as you know where the rocks are (mostly left side troughs) you can have a blast.

Upper Derailer gets groomed now and then, and I avoid it, even when there are bumps (infrequent grooming makes for sucky bumps).

Middle Rail Bender has good coverage, but only the right side is left ungroomed. Shallow bumps where it is not steep.

Lower Rail Bender has nice soft snow, but is still an obstacle course. Not really any good, long lines in the bumps, but very easy to ski (if you can avoid the junk).

Lower Derailer still needs more snow. Crusty in the troughs due to the wind, and lots of obstacles as you get lower.

Needles Eye, once you remember where all the rocks are (maybe a couple of dozen places on the run), is really nice. Good large bumps and nice soft snow. Bottom of the run does have lots of rocks in the troughs.

Disclamer: I ski most of the above runs usually at least once a day, and make laps on the ones I like the most. Frenchman, Rail Bender, Needles Eye and Sterling to Gandy are the routes I have found the best snow and ski the most.

I've only been down Boiler a few times since there were so many rocks and bumps with horrible rhythm.

Cannonball, Long Haul, Short Haul, Brakeman and Coupler AVOID (if open) at all costs - you will destroy your skis.

I don't ski the Sunnyside trails. I hear all the groomed runs are crusty but do have good coverage, but wouldn't know since I don't go down them.

I'll do my best to post updated conditions in about a week. Let's all visualize LOTS of SNOW.

Best wishes to all,
A White Raven
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info everyone.  Sounds like it has been a rough year out there so far.  Hopefully you see some moisture like we have been getting in the Sierras.  Seems like some of the runs would be best navigated on my mountain bike right now.  Trees sound iffy and doesn't seem like I would need the float anywhere else.  I want to bring the goats, just because they are so fun to play around on, but I love them too much to mess them up.  Unless I hear somebody say it has gotten better, I'll bring the IM78s, they are already chewed up from December.
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