Winter Park Resort, an alpine ski resort located on US 40, is 90 minutes away from Colorado’s Denver via car, operates with a total of 3,081 acres of terrain that has won them many awards. Having opened up in 1939-40, it has been running for more than 75 years, making the resort the longest continually operated resort in the whole of Colorado. The territory caters to the needs of all tourists, from beginners to Olympians. Black diamonds and groomers facilitate the Winter Park Territory; the Eagle Wind Territory takes glade skiing to another level; the Parsenn Bowl Territory has panoramic bowl riding/skiing. Terrain Park Territory has been fitted with Jibs and jumps, the Vasquez Ridge Territory is unique for its powder stashes and path, Cirque Territory has deeps and steeps, while the Mary Jane Territory is already world famous.
‘Home Mountain’ is what the Denver locals call the place, with it being so close to Denver International Airport, and located 67 miles to Denver’s northwest. The annual snowfall averages up to 320 inches, and sunshine measuring up to 300 days. With long cruisers, Ski Plus Ride School and groomers, it is a perfect retreat for families who need an escape from everyday life and a rush of adventure. It has a total of 3 peaks connected to each other and seven territories who all share a common lift ticket
The 18-foot superpipe spread throughout the park system has 80 constantly modifying, progressive and innovative features to achieve maximum creativity on the slope and parks make this resort a place to hang out for the beginners and a place to practice for the experts. However, everyone must really earn their way into the Dark Territory. If you want to know what an ‘off the beaten Park’ is, Vasquez Ridge Territory will provide you definition with super persistent powder stashes. Many hidden pockets of untouched snow await you, and irrespective of your skill level, you can expect a few days of adventure like never before.
Parsenn Bowl is the highest six-passenger chairlift in North America and ascends into majestic sceneries and picturesque views. Although it presents grand 360-degree vistas, it is also a high alpine experience, best for the intermediate adventurers who want to either relax or challenge their skills. A wide bowl welcomes you in, and beautiful glades escort you out. Mary Jane is truly a legend, known for tree skiing and word class bumps for the last many generations. Her welcoming atmosphere invites you over and over again; it provides the authentic taste of Colorado experience that embraces all in its bumpy, challenging and long terrain.
Eagle Wind also offers glades and liberating tree skiing and matches perfectly with its name, which is meant to honor its Native American Heritage. Here you will encounter serene powder, glade and tree skiing, with expert and side country resembling terrain going through eventful and challenging forests. The experience contributes heavily towards making you feel closer to the spirit of nature more than anything else. However, if you get the kick from backcountry skiing and riding in an un-groomed area, 399 acres of the extreme, and double black diamond terrain of the Cirque Territory is just the place for you. Although once upon a time, it was accessible only through hiking; it has recently been complemented by a Cirque Sled starting from the 2013-14 season. It is all the challenge that any expert rider or skier can want.
Until 2009, the Ski Train had been a 70-year-old medium for Denver residents to get to the resort, which arrived at the base of the resort having made its way through the Moffat Tunnel. The Railroad then terminated the train. The Winter Park is still the home of National Sports Center for the Disabled, which is among the world’s oldest and largest skiing programs for the disabled. The resort was taken over by Intrawest in the beginning of the century, who announced several changes like new lifts, renovation of food outlets located in the base lodge of West Portal, a new base village, improvements in parking structure. These are all economically beneficial but are threatening to the historic foundation of the resort, like the Balcony House, which holds great historic importance, is constantly under the threat of demolition. The architecture of this building matches a 1940-60 style called Googie and is a symbol and memory of Winter Park’s original history.
Winter park’s lifts operate even during the summer for those interested in Mountain Biking. An alpine slide becomes available in the summer which is serviced by the Arrow Chairlift, and the base is facilitated by a climbing wall, miniature wall, along with other such diversions.
With a summit of 12,060 feet, the base elevation of the resort is 9000 feet, while its vertical rise amounts to 3060 feet. It has 3060 acres of skiable area, with 143 trails in total. Of these, 9% are beginner, 34% are intermediate, while 57% are advanced. The lodging options include Fraser Counting or Founder’s Pointe, Peery Peak Lofts, Zephyr Mountain Lodge, and so on. The entire resort is air conditioned, with all possible facilities of Wi-Fi, indoor pool, free parking and free breakfast.
Base Elevation: 9000 feet
Summit Elevation: 12060 feet
Vertical Drop: 3060 feet
The resort has 25 lifts in total; 1 eight person cabriolet gondola lift, installed in 2008 by Leitner- Poma, 2 six passenger lifts installed in 2005 both of which are detachable and were the fastest six pack in the whole of America, until 2013, when Kensho Superchair was installed in Breckenridge Ski Resort. The resort further has 7 quad chairs that are high speed and detachable, namely the Eskimo Express, installed in 1999, the Gemini Express, installed in 1993, the High Lonesome Express installed in 1991, Olympia Express installed in 1996, Pioneer Express installed in 1986, Prospector Express installed in 1994 and Zephyr Express installed in 1990.
Then there are four triple chair lifts, namely Arrow, installed in 1997, Eagle Wind installed in 2006, Endeavour installed in 1993, and Sunnyside installed in 1989. Further, there are seven double chairlifts; starting from the likes of Galloping Goose, Challenger, Iron House and Pony Express, that opened up in Mary Jane in 1975, to Looking Glass that opened up in Rebel 1965. There are also three surface lifts, called Apollo, Lariat and Spirit Platte Pull. The last ones are the Conveyor lifts, constituting the Meteor Magic Carpet Comet and children’s Center magic carpet.
At Winter Park, you can also have the honor of meeting some legendary personalities who are settled here, like Elizabeth McIntyre, who is a freestyle skier and an Olympic silver medalist. Born in 1979, Ryan Max Riley is also a freestyle skier and has won a U.S. championship. Ryan St. Onge has also been a freestyle skier with a world championship and is a two-time Olympian. Lastly, Michelle Roark born in 1974, also known for his silver medal in World Champion, is also from Winter Park.
With winters just round the corner, there can be no better place to enjoy skiing. So plan a trip to the snow-covered mountain of Colorado, for some inspiration, some fun, adventure, majestic views and loads of quality time with family.
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