Winter is coming! In this year’s installment of the Edge, Westword’s annual guide to winter activities, we’ve got the what’s what, the what’s new, and the what to do at ski areas and mountain towns across the state. From skiing and snowboarding to new mountain roller coasters, fat-bike tours, snowmobile adventures, hot-springs soaks and more, the Edge — inserted in the November 16 edition of Westword — will help you plan your vacation days, personal days, powder days and sick days from now until spring. Here's the scoop on Winter Park, which opened November 15.
WINTER PARK RESORT
This is Winter Park's first year under new ownership after the resort was part of a $1.5 billion deal that gave Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Partners control of Winter Park, Steamboat and a group of other resorts previously owned by Intrawest. Here are five things you should know about the resort.
1. Take the train! The Winter Park Express, aka the ski train, leaves from Denver’s Union Station at 7 a.m. and arrives at Winter Park Resort at 9 a.m., then departs at 4:30 p.m. and arrives back in Denver at 6:40 p.m. It runs Saturdays and Sundays from January 5 through March 25, with tickets ranging from $29 to $59 in each direction.
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2. Explore the resort’s “Seven Territories,” which include Winter Park and its terrain-park zones, Mary Jane, Vasquez Ridge, Eagle Wind, Parsenn Bowl and the double-black-diamond zone known as the Cirque, accessible as hike-to terrain or via the Cirque Sled, a 48-passenger snowcat-towed sled (pick up a $20 season pass for the Cirque Sled at the base-area ticket office).
3. Check out the $189 Winter Park Tethered 4-Pack, valid any four days during the season except December 23-January 7, January 13-15 and February 17-19, or the $249 unlimited Winter Park Freestyle 4-Pack.
4. Rent a fat bike from the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center ($20 an hour, $40 for a half day, or $60 for a full day) or the nearby Devil’s Thumb Ranch ($45 for a full-day rental plus $20 for a trail pass). For reservations at either, call 800-979-0326.
5. Powder Addiction, headquartered at Winter Park, runs snowcat tours on 2,600 acres in the Jones Pass area near Winter Park. Seats on the cat are $400 (powderaddiction.com), and trips include K2 powder demo skis, safety gear, lunch provided by Rudi’s Deli, and two free beers at the end of the day, compliments of Steamworks Brewery. Step up your social-media game by paying a little extra for the photography services.