WINTER PARK RESORT GUIDE
Winter Park Expert Itinerary
Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Cirque, Eagle Wind and Pioneer
From Winter Park Base – Olympia – Mary Jane Bumps – Lunch @ Lunch Rock – Parsenn Bowl/Vasquez Cirque – Eagle Wind – Pioneer – Winter Park Front Side – Return to Base
1. 9AM – Meander and warm up along the way to Mary Jane
From the BASE of WINTER PARK, hop on the Zephyr Gondola directly to the top. If the line is too long, take the Arrow Lift and make your way to to Explorer Express.
Ski any of the trails named for "Alice in Wonderland" to the Olympia Express. Our favorite is Jabberwocky, it has more interesting terrain, and is generally less crowded.
Take Olympia Express, and ski the Mary Jane trail to the MARY JANE BASE to finish warming up. If you are already up for a challenge, Drunken Frenchman is a long run with enormous moguls. It will get your legs burning and spit you out at MARY JANE BASE.
2. 10-11:30AM – Mary Jane Moguls
Spend the rest of the morning making laps on the Super Gauge or Iron Horse Lift, whichever has shorter lines! Ski all the moguls of MARY JANE to earn your lunch. Be sure to hit Trestle and Derailer, and throw in a lap on Riflesight Notch if you like to show off under the lift.
Mix a few groomers and glades into your bump runs throughout the morning. Our favorite alternative is Sluice Box with runout to Rainbow Cut. It combines unique open glades with a steeper rolling groomer to the bottom.
Very few of these trails are straight shots from top of the lift to the bottom, so make sure to explore the connecting cutoffs and trees. The softer snow in the moguls tends to be on the edges, while the biggest bumps are right down the center.
3. 11:30AM – Lunch at Lunch Rock
Take the Super Gauge back to the top of MARY JANE when you are ready for lunch with a great view. Enjoy an earlier lunch at Lunch Rock to avoid crowds and preserve time in the afternoon when fewer people are likely to be exploring the peaks.
4. 12:30 - 2PM – Accessible Extreme Skiing on Parsenn Bowl and/or Vasquez Cirque
Cruise down Edelweiss to get moving again and then take Panoramic Express to the top of PARSENN BOWL.
At this point, check whether or not THE CIRQUE access gate is open. If it is, head out along the ridge for a hike/skate to the Headwall or Alphabet chutes, and enjoy one of the most accessible extreme skiing opportunities in the Colorado Rockies. There is often a cornice to jump too, and endless lines to choose amongst. From here, the bowl will funnel you to the bottom of the Eagle Wind lift.
If the THE CIRQUE is not open, or the snow isn't very good, we recommend enjoying the views of PARSENN by taking a lap or two in the bowl. The runout skiing is surprisingly fun, with countless rollers, little and big kickers, and windy tree lines. After a bit of exploring, take the Panoramic Express backup, and follow upper Village Way to the top of Eagle Wind.
Do not miss taking at least two laps on Eagle Wind. One should be somewhere to the skiers left of Medicine Man, hint, head to the glades to find the soft spots. The other should follow closer to the line of Little Raven. Try to find the "pillow rocks" - boulders covered in powder create a playground for the experienced skier - and the hut built into the mountain (you can ski right off the roof!).
5. 2PM – Late Day Cravings on Pioneer
When you are ready to exit the EAGLE WIND territory, we recommend skiing down Lower Egress and then enjoying the long runout down Big Valley toward Pioneer Express. Snowboarders be warned, this route is flat and slow, you might have to push a bit.
Depending on your energy and timeframe, make a few laps on Pioneer, a favorite spot for locals. It is quieter and usually has great stashes of powder long after a storm. There are great options for groomers and bumps, so everyone in the family will be able to satisfy their end-of-day energy.
Make a stop in the Sundance Chili Hut at the top for a warm bowl of soup or hot chocolate.
If you have kids (or are just one at heart), do not miss Dilly Dally Alley! Eventually, ski down Gambler (or Gunbarrel if you are tired) to Lonesome Whistle and head back to the Olympia Express.
6. 3:30PM – A Few More Bumps to Return to Base
From the top of Olympia, take the rope tow to Sunspot, and then ski down the front side to end your day. We love Upper Hughes to Little Pierre to Lower Hughes for a long and steeper groomer to reach the base. If you still have a desire for moguls, head to Balch for one last burner and a jump off of Balch Rock (skier's right, about halfway down).
Congratulations – you've explored some of Winter Park and Mary Jane's finest bumps and steepest terrain – Time for Après Ski!