Winter Park opening days perfect way to ease back onto the slopes |

Winter Park opening days perfect way to ease back onto the slopes

Grand County, Colorado

Last weekend I got my sixth day in at the Winter Park Resort.

The resort started with just a few chairlifts and trails open, and every few days more terrain was available. I think this was a good way to ease back into the skiing mode. Otherwise everyone would want to start with the hard stuff.

The conditions are also a lot better since opening day with the help of Mother Nature covering the ground with a blanket of snow.

The first couple weekends before the Cabriolet opened it was kind of a drag to get on the bus, drive past the base of the resort, get off at the Village and walk the rest of the way to the base. It just seemed to take away time that could be spent on the mountain. Until the Cabriolet opened, the bus drivers responded to some of the public’s frustration by dropping us near the Zephyr instead, like the previous year.

However, now that the cabriolet has opened, it’s really cool. It’s better than crowding onto the busses and there’s no waiting from the time you get out of your car. The Cabriolet travels at a good speed. I saw someone carrying a child a stroller, and the people running the machine stopped the Cabriolet so they could enter it safely.

Once you get to the other side of the Cabriolet the walk goes by pretty fast. It probably takes less time to get to the resort via Cabriolet than by bus.

Skiing conditions

This weekend I primarily skied Cranmer, an intermediate run.

On Friday there weren’t too many people on the mountain. Last year, I had fun on the moguls and did them a few times on the black diamonds without ever losing control. So, I thought I’d take up where I left off. And since it was an intermediate trail it would be a cinch. However, the bumps were pretty deep, and I didn’t take them very aggressively.

So, I went off to the side to allow the people behind me to pass by. I watched this little boy, telemarking in perfect form, fly down them and felt motivated that I could do it.

I put together a game plan of the route I would take, but missed my first left turn, accelerated and began jumping all the moguls until I reached the other mogul-free side.

Practice makes perfect, but for now I’m going to try to find easier moguls to improve on.

It was a little busier and slicker at the mountain Sunday. On Cramer I was skiing, cutting back and forth fairly quickly, when a woman (or a man) came out of nowhere heading straight at me. I made a quick turn, but we still collided sideways. I managed to stay on my skis but she/he bit the dust. Later, someone told me it wasn’t my fault.

I only fell one time so far this season and I don’t think this was my fault either. My friend and I were racing down Larry Sale last week, and I was going in for the win when a crowd of people got in my way at the bottom of the base causing me to turn so hard to avoid them that I fell turning.

After my six days of practicing I’m ready to kill the Mary Jane trails.

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