© Creative Commons / Ryan Holst
Winter Park Slopes
Winter Park has plenty of terrain for all levels of skier, with its 1,248 hectares (3,060 acres) of terrain split between different areas. There are four main ski areas here: Winter Park, Mary Jane, Vasquez Ridge and Parsenn Bowl. There is also a fifth, smaller area, Vasquez Cirque, which is suited to advanced skiers.
There is an unusually high percentage (57%) of the runs rated ‘most difficult' for advanced skiers in Winter Park. In fact, there are a staggering 61 black trails in total; many of which are found on Mary Jane Mountain – which is named after a legendary local lady of ill repute – and the recently added Vasquez Cirque off-piste zone, home to the long moguled run, Outhouse.
Groswold's Discovery Park is a huge area especially for first timers at the base of Winter Park’s slopes, who can learn without having the distraction and danger of more experienced skiers whizzing past and using them as slalom posts. The Mary Jane area, in particular, is a haven for beginners looking to put their newly-found knowledge into practice on a number of green runs.
Intermediates have most of the area to enjoy, including the popular Parsenn Bowl and fast, long runs such as Mary Jane Trail. Many blues also lead from the Mary Jane and Winter Park ski area down to the base villages.
There are six terrain parks plus a superpipe for freestylers and snowboarders of all ability levels to enjoy. Among these is Rail Park, which is home to the superpipe and a range of other features such as rails, jibs and boxes.
Snow reliability is good in Winter Park and there is snowmaking on a large percentage of the runs. As a consequence, the ski season in Winter Park is relatively long, running from late November to mid-April.