wgo

Putting on skis
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Hi All,

Getting ready for my first trip out West in 13 years. We (me, wife, 2 kids) will be at Winter Park the first week in April. Prior to having kids I skied out west a fair amount, and I was lucky enough to spend several years skiing in France (Les Grands Montets FTW) during grad school, but at this point in my life I am not looking to do anything too extreme. Can anyone suggest a few solid black runs at Winter Park that will offer some challenge but are not too high on the pucker scale? Would also appreciate recs for nice blue cruisers for the family. Kids are 13 and 10 and have both been skiing since 4, wife has been skiing since she met me, but almost all of our skiing for the last 13 years has been within a few hours Washington DC. We did ski Killington this season and had a good time but obviously being out west will be another step or 3 up.

Also, am I correct in thinking that historically Winter Park has been nearly fully open the first week of April? I know that it is higher in elevation than many other Colorado resorts so I am hoping that will help.

Thanks for any input you may have. Looking forward to finally getting out to the big mountains again.
 

doc

Getting on the lift
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WP's estimated closing date is May 5. The last two years its stayed open until the last week in April or first week in May, so you should be OK.
Black runs possibly meeting your criteria:
Bash
Balch
Aces and Eights
Gamblers
Trestle (on MJ side; the middle section does have a bit of a pucker factor)
Mulligan's Mile
Upper and Lower Hughes

Blue cruisers: pretty much most of WP side (especially off the Olympia lift), except for the blacks listed above. Cramner is the classic blue cruiser I think all of CO has skied at least once. Also, the whole family might enjoy some of the runs off the Pano(ramic) lift at MJ, if its open that is ( a mere puff of wind will shut it down).
 

headybrew

surrender to the flow
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Yes most of or all of the resort should still be open 6 weeks from now.

The black runs on the Jane side are going to be bumpy along with Aces and Eights and Gambler on the WP side. The black runs under the Gondola on the WP side are going to be steep but are groomed pretty regularly so not bumpy. Both WP and MJ have a lot of easy blue tree runs which can be fun to ski, you can find them under the Pano lift, High Lonsome, and Sunnyside.

Come see me and have lunch at Pepperoni's at the base of the Jane one day, a whole pie is something like $24 and beers are $6.50 so it's an affordable place, you can also bring food from the cafeteria down if you have picky eaters in the family.
 

Seldomski

Paralysis by analysis
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Watching thread also... we may do a trip same timeframe. How does WP snow compare to other nearby resorts for spring skiing?

Specifically Keystone, Breck, Abasin, Vail, Breck, and Copper? I am guessing Beaver Creek/Vail are significantly worse given their elevation?
 

Magi

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Watching thread also... we may do a trip same timeframe. How does WP snow compare to other nearby resorts for spring skiing?
Judging by the last 4 seasons - our snow will either be great spring conditions, or solid midwinter. Around that time of year we've tended to be low 30s, sunny, plenty of base and almost everything open.
 
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wgo

wgo

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Thanks for the replies. Stoke level for this trip is already high and will continue to rise throughout the month. I did have a couple logistics questions for anyone willing to respond:

1) Equipment. We have our own gear, but rather than go through the cost and hassle of checking everything in we thought we would just rent for the week - that seems like it would actually be less expensive. Does anyone have a favorite place to rent from? I have been looking online but it would be good to get some informed opinions.

2) We are flying in to Denver on 3/31, but our flight is not scheduled to arrive until 10 PM. So, the plan is to spend the night in a motel near the airport, get the rental car in the morning of 4/1, and then head out to Winter Park. Realistically, is there any chance of getting any skiing in that day (keeping in mind that we will need to get our rental gear).

Thanks again!
 

Paul Black

At the base lodge
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I had my two best days skiing ever at WP the third week of April in 2016, 12-18 inches of fresh overnight for two nights. I would consider that you may have powder days if that affects your choice of renting vs bringing your own equipment.
 

Nathanvg

Getting on the lift
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WP in April is great. WP has ideal northern exposure and high elevation. Really all the nearby areas are good too.

Skiing on 4/1 is practical as long as you get moving at a reasonable hour. I'd rent the car the night before just to get it out of the way and avoid backtracking
 
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wgo

wgo

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I would consider that you may have powder days if that affects your choice of renting vs bringing your own equipment.
That's a good point. My skis are 86 mm underfoot, narrow by western standards.
 

Slim

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WP in April is great. WP has ideal northern exposure and high elevation. Really all the nearby areas are good too.

Skiing on 4/1 is practical as long as you get moving at a reasonable hour. I'd rent the car the night before just to get it out of the way and avoid backtracking
I just showed up at the car Rental place at 6:30,picked my family up from the airport hotel at 7:00. Few minutes of traffic delay in Denver, but stil gets you to the Mountain for plenty of skiing time.

I rented from the Adventure center at the base of the gondola for a day. Nice thing is they are the resort shop, so you can switch set ups during the day and even do it at Mary Jane if you want.

Week long rental might be better (cheaper?) off-mountain though.
 
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Slide of Hans

Getting on the lift
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I will be coming out early April also. What Rental car company did you use? All of them have pretty bad reviews out of Denver. It appears Fox is terrible. Anyone have any information on Payless?
 

my07mcx2

Booting up
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fiance and I are heading to wp on Sunday as well. skiing 5 days. picking up my mother in Genesee on our way up. First of April has been great for the past 4 years. Paul Black we were there for that dump. Heavy snow but great overall. Have safe trip. we are driving up from Tulsa so 10 hrs and we will be from this to that!)))
 

aerojack

Putting on skis
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May 4, 2017
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Hi All,

Getting ready for my first trip out West in 13 years. We (me, wife, 2 kids) will be at Winter Park the first week in April. Prior to having kids I skied out west a fair amount, and I was lucky enough to spend several years skiing in France (Les Grands Montets FTW) during grad school, but at this point in my life I am not looking to do anything too extreme. Can anyone suggest a few solid black runs at Winter Park that will offer some challenge but are not too high on the pucker scale? Would also appreciate recs for nice blue cruisers for the family. Kids are 13 and 10 and have both been skiing since 4, wife has been skiing since she met me, but almost all of our skiing for the last 13 years has been within a few hours Washington DC. We did ski Killington this season and had a good time but obviously being out west will be another step or 3 up.

Also, am I correct in thinking that historically Winter Park has been nearly fully open the first week of April? I know that it is higher in elevation than many other Colorado resorts so I am hoping that will help.

Thanks for any input you may have. Looking forward to finally getting out to the big mountains again.
You are going at a great time. Lots of snow and low crowds.

Echo what others have said regarding black runs. Most black runs are moguls, with the most prominent exception being the runs you see coming up the Gondola that are used for racing. Engledive on the front side has both bumped up sections and groomed. Sometimes I have been in Vasquez Ridge when the bump runs in there were groomed. The blue run in there is pretty steep in sections, but has a long run out that some folks don’t like.

My advice to WP is to explore - lots of fun in not obvious places. Ask folks for advice while there Even better, book @Magi for a half day or more to show you the good stuff. A guarantee to learn/see something fun.

A must do is taking the family to the top of Pano for pictures on a bluebird day and skiing down together. It says it is blue terrain, but anything blue is on the easier side.
 
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wgo

wgo

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We went with Alamo for car rental. We are getting into Denver around 10 PM on Sunday so we will just be staying at a nearby hotel that first night. That qualified us for a small discount on the Alamo rental. For ski rentals we decided to rent off site at Epic Mountain Sports - kid rental is free and with 3 days rental the 4th is free.

A few sprinkles predicted next week but hopefully it all comes down as snow.
 
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wgo

wgo

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Great first day at WP. Got on the slopes by noon, explored runs off of the gondola, eskimo Express and Olympia Express. Tomorrow we will be starting with runs off of Pano and pioneer Express if it is open - it appeared to be closed today.
 
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wgo

wgo

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Also wanted to mention that the ski shop set me up with a pair of Elan 96 ripsticks. Still trying to decide if I like them. They have camber on the inner edge, rocker on the outer, which is supposed to make them more responsive when turning. And they do seem pretty snappy. But they are on the lighter side, which I am not used to.
 

pete

not peace but 2 Beers!
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Also wanted to mention that the ski shop set me up with a pair of Elan 96 ripsticks. Still trying to decide if I like them. They have camber on the inner edge, rocker on the outer, which is supposed to make them more responsive when turning. And they do seem pretty snappy. But they are on the lighter side, which I am not used to.
Have a great time, don't burn out and drink lots of water, use moisturizer, eat well to avoid altitude issues. I would say as others noted, Panoramic lift is nice, I've liked just taking time off Perry's via Forever Eva's or other more open trees for the exploration, easy loops. Don't know what it's like currently so as others noted you can ping locals or patrol.

1, 2 and 4 inches in predictions ..

maps (daily groomer may be handy): https://www.winterparkresort.com/the-mountain/mountain-information/maps
 

my07mcx2

Booting up
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Also wanted to mention that the ski shop set me up with a pair of Elan 96 ripsticks. Still trying to decide if I like them. They have camber on the inner edge, rocker on the outer, which is supposed to make them more responsive when turning. And they do seem pretty snappy. But they are on the lighter side, which I am not used to.
Yesterday was our first of this trip since Christmas. snow is great and not crowded at all. really surprised that Vasquez Ridge was closed.
 
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wgo

wgo

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The lack of crowds is great, it was ski on all day. Hopefully pioneer Express will open at some point - could there be an issue with the lift?
 
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