My first day of the season was one of the best days I’ve had in the past few years.
We left Denver just before 6:00 AM and the snow from the night before left all the side streets in a mess. The main roads were plowed but what used to be 4 lanes turned into 2 or 3 with no clear idea how much room we should leave for each other. The highway was slow moving and US 6 already had traffic and a safe average speed around 40 MPH. Cars (and even a bus) trying to exit the highway ended up stuck in waist deep snow banks preventing anyone else from being to get off. When we reached the Colorado Mills mall, the far right lane to exit onto onto I-70 west was already backed up and nearly stopped as people took the long curve very slowly. This was either going to be the best day ever. Or one of our worst.
Luckily, everyone heading up I-70 before dawn maintained safe distances and speeds and we exited to US 40 towards Winter Park as the sun started rising. Driving up Berthoud Pass was uneventful and the plows were making their rounds all morning.
We parked at Mary Jane’s around 8 AM, loaded up, and headed down to the Super Gauge Express where hundreds of our new friends eagerly awaited the 8:30 AM start. There was so much powder and snow in the lines so we knew this was a good sign.
We jumped back down the Sunnyside of Mary Jane and were met with nearly a foot of fresh powder everywhere we could see. Every run, in the trees, everywhere was amazing. I had to re-learn how to ski in powder this deep after taking my first fall on my first run. I barely felt a thing.
There was so much untouched terrain, even an hour or two after the lifts started running.
We found new tree trails and steep and deep stashes without even trying.
I even double-checked the snow report and confirmed 10+ inches of fresh powder using my Open Snow snow stake.
After non-stop skiing and riding at Mary Jane we ended the day at 11 AM with 8 runs, 8,721 vertical feet and over 800 calories burned and were home by lunch.