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Winter Park — Mountain layout

Mountain Layout—Skiing

Though the mountain is completely interconnected by lifts, it has separate base areas: Mary Jane and Winter Park. So in this section, “the Winter Park side” refers to the portion of the resort to the trail-map right of the Zephyr Express chairlift. Heres a larger, more detailed trail map.

Expert, Advanced:

Visitors who have read about Winter Park arrive expecting a good intermediate resort with plenty of lower-intermediate and beginner trails. Yes, thats all here. What is surprising is the amount of expert terrain. Vasquez Cirque has nearly 700 acres of steep chutes and gladed powder stashes accessed by a hike along the ridge from the six-passenger Panoramic Express which is now the way to access the expert terrain on Vasquez Cirque.

Use the Eagle Wind Chair, a triple, to ski Left Hand, Black Coal, Thunderbird and a few others on Vasquez Ridge that comprise a collection of shorter, nicely pitched and sometimes gladed black-rated runs. The chair also allows for an easier return to Mary Jane for those skiing Vasquez Cirque.

Mary Jane is where youll find the famous bumps and super-steeps. Try the chutes accessible only through controlled gates: Hole in the Wall, Awe Chute, Baldys Chute, Jeffs Chute and Runaway, all reached by the Challenger, Sunnyside, High Lonesome or Supergauge Express chairlifts.

For advanced skiers, the most popular lift on the Winter Park side is the Zephyr Express. It provides access to Mary Jane (via Outhouse), or the advanced runs on the Winter Park side—Bradleys Bash, Balch, Mulligans Mile, Rhettas Run, Outrigger and Hughes. From the top of Zephyr, Outhouse is now a split-groomed trail, offering fans of big bumps or steep groomers a route to the base of Mary Jane.

At Mary Jane, head for the black runs off the Supergauge Express. If you
e still standing, you
e ready for the runs off the Challenger chair—all black diamond, all ungroomed with monstrous moguls, and all tough as a bag of nails.

 

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Intermediate:

Parsenn Bowl has more than 200 acres of open space. If you hit Parsenn on a good day, you
e in for a treat. The upper part is above treeline, medium-steep with spectacular views, while the gladed bottom is a delight, especially if you
e just learning to ski between trees. Though rated blue and blue-black on the trail map, wind and weather conditions can make the bowl a workout. Winds occasionally close the Panoramic Express lift, which provides the only access. From the Panoramic, you can also reach the excellent intermediate gladed cruising runs Perrys Peak and Forever Eva.

 

Vasquez Ridge on the Winter Park side has an excellent collection of cruising runs. The only drawback to Vasquez Ridge is a long runout down the Big Valley trail; the Buckaroo trail lets you avoid it. To change mountains, green-circle Gunbarrel takes skiers to the High Lonesome Express quad and the Mary Jane area.

The Sunnyside lift on the Mary Jane side has excellent runs for intermediates. If you can handle these with no trouble, try Sleeper, one of Winter Parks “blue-black” designated runs that help intermediates improve to advanced.

 

 

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Beginner, First-timer:

The Winter Park base area serves most of the beginner trails. Beginners can ride to the top of the mountain to Sunspot and then ski down March Hare, or they can ski all the way back to the base using the Cranmer Cutoff to Parkway. When these become easy, try Cranmer, Jabberwocky and White Rabbit.

Winter Park is one of the best ski areas in the nation for novices. Discovery Park is 26 acres of gentle, protected learning terrain served by a double, a triple and a high-speed quad, which slows down for loading and unloading. Another 5 acres of beginner/teaching terrain can be found next to the Gemini Lift. Two moving carpets and one surface lift allow children and adults to make repeated runs without getting on and off a chairlift.

 

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