resort in Colorado, about an hour northwest of Denver
. It used to be part of the Denver park district, but has since been spun off into its own business.
Winter Park actually consists of four pretty distinct areas. First is Winter Park itself, the lowest, and front mountain. It's the oldest part of the resort, and has mainly easier terrain, with a few tough runs mixed in.
The next oldest area at Winter Park is Mary Jane. It was opened in the 70s, and officially (hey, no snickering there ;-) ) was named after a certain lady of the night that lived in the town of Winter Park (pretty confusing, huh?) when it was a mining town. Mary Jane is famous for its mogul
runs, which are some of the best in the nation.
The third part of Winter Park to be opened was Vazquez Ridge. It is primarily cruiser terrain, although it does have a couple good, albeit short, mogul runs. The main drawback of Vazquez Ridge is the long flat area near the bottom.
The most recent areas to be opened at Winter Park are Parsenn Bowl and Vazquez Cirque. Parsenn Bowl is a large above treeline bowl, with open skiing at the top, and some nice tree runs and trails at the bottom. It actually isn't very difficult terrain, mostly in the blue range. The view is great, but the weather can be quite nasty. Vazquez Cirque was opened in the mid to late 90s, and is almost totally expert terrain, offering steep chutes, large cornices, and lots of adventure type skiing. Due to treacherous snow conditions, this area isn't open a whole lot.
Winter Park is an excellent place to ski, and has a wide variety of terrain for everyone from the beginner to the expert. If you happen to go to Winter Park, make time to stop at The Kitchen for breakfast, in the town of Winter Park. The service isn't fast, but the food is great.