Outdoors: Winter Park Resort

March 6 2012, 11:18 AM

I am not a powderhound.

I realize that this is a sacrilegious statement in the Centennial State, but growing up on the East Coast, I learned to ski on super-hardpack and, more frequently, on straight-up ice. When I moved to Colorado more than a decade ago, I was unaccustomed to all the fluff. To this day, I still can’t seem to float through the freshies like I should. But I’m learning—one caught edge at a time—to love it. And a full day of making fresh tracks at Winter Park Resort/Mary Jane last week solidified my desire to get even better.

Must-Try Trails: For gladed intermediate-level terrain with plenty of powder and fewer crowds, don’t miss Parry’s Peek and Forever Eva on the far-east side of Mary Jane. Both trails are relatively new, having opened during the 2007-2008 season. Served by the Panoramic Express lift.

For an intermediate run with a killer conclusion, check out Roundhouse Upper. This semi-steep run has plenty of geography and ungroomed white stuff to play with, but the supersteep—and bumpy—final pitch is a real quad-burner. True intermediates (read: me) might want to take the escape route to the right; advanced skiers will love the lumpy finish. Served by the Sunnyside lift.

On a powder day, you can sometimes find pristine snow still available on Jabberwocky—even when all the other nearby runs seem scraped off. Served by the Olympia Express lift.

Getting There: Head west on I-70. Take the Exit 242 (U.S. 40 West) toward Empire/Granby. U.S. 40 swtichbacks its way up and over Berthoud Pass. Once over the pass, you’ll drive a few miles until you see the sign for Winter Park ski area on your left.

—Image courtesy of Winter Park Resort.