by Kristen Lummis, braveskimom.com
If you haven’t been to Winter Park yet this season, now’s the time. The snow is soft. The snow is deep. The temperatures are warming and Springtopia is in the air. “It’s been a tremendous season in terms of snow at Winter Park Resort and it’s showing no signs of slowing down,” exudes Steve Hurlbert, the resort’s PR and Communications Manager. “We’ve already reached 300 inches and are over two feet ahead of average for this time of year. Considering that March is typically our snowiest month, we could easily reach 350” before the season ends, which all adds up to amazing conditions for spring skiing.”
An Annual Two Day Party
Springtopia is Winter Park’s annual closing weekend festival. This year, the two-day affair is on April 19th and 20th.
In addition to fantastic spring skiing, the big news on Saturday the 19th is a free concert by Colorado favorites Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Winter Park base. Or, you can be a VIP for $50 and take in the tunes from a special viewing area, get two free drinks, appetizers and a t-shirt, as well as an opportunity to meet the band.
The next day, Sunday, is Easter, and the while the mood switches from full-on party to eggs and bunnies, the music continues that afternoon with another free concert by Dumpstaphunk. This, following a full day of Easter egg hunting, spring splashing and pond skimming, a kids ski race and a mid-day non-denominational Easter service at the top of the Zephyr lift.
But Don’t Wait That Long
Of course, you really shouldn’t wait until closing weekend to get your spring fix. Winter Park has been in a celebratory mood all year, with their new Season of the Seven initiative.
One of Colorado’s largest mountains and oldest ski areas, Winter Park holds a special place in many peoples’ hearts. Still, as the mountain grew and changed over the years, lots of skiers and riders had no real concept of the terrain beyond Winter Park and Mary Jane.
“We found that even loyal customers weren’t familiar with all seven territories on our mountain,” explains Jodie Silva, Winter Park Vice President of Marketing and Sales. “We realized that we needed to build awareness for the variety of terrain at the resort, and we’re doing that by unbundling the mountain into seven territories and declaring this season, The Season of the Seven.”
The Seven Territories
If you’re having trouble counting seven territories, here’s a quick list: Winter Park, Mary Jane, Vasquez Ridge, Parsenn Bowl, Eagle Wind, The Cirque and the Terrain Park. Each of these territories has a strikingly different personality and profile.
To help visitors figure out which territory they want to ski, the resort created a “Chill to Challenging” feature on their website that provides statistics and “Seven Must Do Experiences” for each territory.
When asked which territory is the most challenging, most of us would probably answer, without hesitation, Mary Jane. Wrong. It’s Winter Park’s Cirque, a double-diamond experience with 1,332 acres of extreme inbounds terrain. While accessing this territory used to require a hike, this season just $10 will buy you a pass for the Cirque Sled, and you’ll get a ride.
Dialing back just a little, will land you in the hidden glades of the Eagle Wind territory. And then, of course, Mary Jane, which in addition to famous bumps also has a lot of intermediate runs.
Dead in the middle between challenging and chill are the resort’s terrain parks.
If your tastes run more toward shill, start with the obvious, the Winter Park Territory. But when it’s time to move on, you’ve got your choice of riding the mellow powder stashes in Vasquez Ridge, or the high-alpine Parsenn Bowl.
No matter which flavor you choose, check out the new signage, Season of the Seven drink specials, and lodging deals. Take a Season of the Seven “selfie” at kiosks around the mountain and share your spring fling.