Mary Jane Is Open (And She’s Lookin’ Good)
If you haven’t heard the news, it’s been DUMPING snow in Colorado over the last month (November 2015).
As a result, we’re enjoying the best early season skiing in years; so much so that Winter Park was just placed in Snowbrains, Top 10 Snowfall Totals In North America Right Now.
Since opening day we have seen 80 inches of fluffy, perfect powder fall from the skies and currently have 72 trails open between Winter Park Territory & Mary Jane Territory; and with another storm heading our way this weekend, we suspect that it won’t be long before even more of Winter Park territories start opening up.
With all this open terrain in mind, we thought this would be a good time to do a quick refresher on the Seven Territories Of Winter Park Resort, so that you can spend less time studying the map, and more time seeking out those powder stashes!
Expert Only: 0% Most Difficult: 20% Advanced: 32% Intermediate: 21% Beginner: 27%
Winter Park Territory begins at the main base area and shoots up to a staggering 10,713 feet via the Zephyr Express. From here you can take your pick of green/blue/black groomers, tear up incredible terrain parks, test your speed on the Nastar, or join in a lesson with the highly acclaimed Ski & Ride School. Given its diversity, Winter Park Territory is very popular with families and groups, so can tend to be one of the busier areas of the resort during peak ski times.
Expert Only: 0% Most Difficult: 51% Advanced: 3% Intermediate: 36% Beginner: 10%
This little gem is often one of the quietest areas in the Resort and an absolute playground for the advanced intermediate skier. Accessed via a cat track from the base of the Olympia Express lift, Vasquez is a great mix of blue/black groomers, with some really fun, short tree run options. Most of the runs in this area filter back into a very low angle cat track to get back to the main Pioneer Express chair lift, so snowboarders should be prepared to do a little skootching , or better yet, borrow some poles from a skiing buddy to help with the run out.
Expert Only: 1% Most Difficult: 59% Advanced: 15% Intermediate: 19% Beginner: 6%
Mary Jane’s legendary bump runs don’t need a lot of introduction, but this curvy lady has a lot more in her armory than Volkswagon sized moguls. Beginners and intermediates will love the long Mary Jane trail to Arrowhead groomer and the cruisy blues around Sunnyside lift; and more advanced skiers can build up bump skills on a variety of short pitches around Golden Spike/Sterling way and test their stamina on longer runs like Trestle and Drunken Frenchman. For the expert skier, Mary Jane definitely delivers, with leg juddering mogul runs (yep, those VWs again), steep and technical tree runs galore, and the Double Black chutes – arguably the most technical terrain at the Resort.
Expert Only: 0% Most Difficult: 20% Advanced: 49.7% Intermediate: 30.3% Beginner: 0%
Parsenn bowl is the perfect introduction to skiing ungroomed terrain for intermediate level skiers and riders. Ride the aptly named Panoramic Express to 12,000 feet and take in the incredible views of mountains all around, then ski down 1714 feet of vertical drop via blue groomers that dip their way through perfectly gladed forest, or make your own trail and test out your powder turns down the wide open face of Parsenn bowl. The Panoramic Express also serves as the access lift to get over to The Cirque and Eagle Wind territories.
Expert Only: 0% Most Difficult: 96% Advanced: 4% Intermediate: 0% Beginner: 0%
Eagle Wind is all about the tree skiing – good, steep, powdery tree skiing! This ungroomed area sits across the valley from The Cirque and is an absolute blast after (or during!) a snow storm. Served by the Eagle Wind chairlift, skiers and riders traverse along the top of the ridge to take their pick of pillowy lines through the steep pockets of trees and valleys. All of the ski runs end at the lower egress cat track, making it easy to get everyone together if you lose each other in the woods.
Expert Only: 25% Most Difficult: 75% Advanced: 0% Intermediate: 0% Beginner: 0%
Touted as in-bounds with an out-of-bounds attitude, The Cirque offers close to 400 acres of ungroomed, double black diamond skiing through steep, technical terrain. Skate, hike or ride the Cirque Sled (extra pass required to take the sled) along the top of The Cirque until you find the perfect line and then take the leap. While all of the terrain in this area hits the bullseye for a double-black rating, some lines are more forgiving than others, so expert level skiers shouldn’t be intimidated by how it looks from Eagle Wind – it’s a really fun spot and if you have the skills, it’s well worth the effort. As with Eagle Wind, all of the Cirque runs will dump you out on the Egress cat track, where you’ll need to take the Eagle Wind chair back up to Parsenn Bowl/Eagle Wind territory, or continue on the Egress to go all the way to the Pioneer Express and Vasquez Ridge territory.
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