Skied at Winter Park on January 26, 2018

Another weekday powder day for this lucky stay-at-home dad meant fresh tracks all morning!

This Friday in the mountains started as they usually do: attempting to park at Winter Park’s Bench Lot, finding that I was just about 5 minutes late to getting a spot, then turning around to park in the lower lot and walking all the way back to the village.

Five minutes earier and this was my parking spot

I then started on my normal route towards Mary Jane: head up Zephyr lift and ski down Gandy Dancer to warm up and feel some soft bumps. I was the first set of tracks this morning.

First tracks down Gandy Dancer

Now here’s where everything changed: instead of sliding right up to the Super Gauge (six person chair at the bottom of Mary Jane) I was greeted with hikers walking back up the hill to Iron Horse and the ropes tied up. Turns out the chair was down for “maintenance” (insert conspiracy theories from upset skiers and riders here). So, change of plans: time to go explore more than I usually have.

Super Gauge was down for maintenance on Friday

I wandered around in the trees and found plenty of fresh powder. This time with plenty to spare underneath it. There’s still stumps and rocks with nothing but a few inches covering them up, so I took it slow. After a bit I decided to traverse the whole mountain, just to see the scenery, and make my way all the back to the opposite side: Vasquez Ridge.

Single lane road down Vasquez

I had Vasquez all to myself. And even though the gates were up at the top so as to not go off the back side down the canyon, I headed down the run a bit and found plenty of steep and deep untouched stuff in the trees. I found rocks here again too. And fallen trees. But the scenery was amazing: it was quiet, snowy, and the trees looked amazing.

Looking back up Vasquez Ridge Territory at Winter Park

This post is part of the thread: 2017/2018 Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.