Last Friday I had the pleasure of visiting Winter Park Ski Resort for the first time. After reading and hearing about it for the last few years, I knew my one task at hand for the day was to make it over to their famed terrain for bumps and trees: Mary Jane Mountain. After a morning of warming up our legs on fresh powder and a lunch refueling on chili, we headed over to the terrain we had been eyeing all day. With six inches of fresh snow and more falling on us, it was everything I had expected and more. At one point in the afternoon a coworker pointed out that I had been giggling like a school girl over every bump and around every tree.
Every ski resort seems to have at least one iconic run, chute, bowl or section of the mountain that adds to its notoriety in the ski world. Mary Jane has officially been added to my list of favorites. Here are a few more you should add to yours:
Revelation Bowl – Telluride, CO: Relatively new to Telluride (it opened during the 2008/2009 season), north-facing Revelation Bowl is conveniently located off the back side of Gold Hill and Chair 14 and is accessible by a quad lift.
Blue Sky Basin – Vail, CO: As one of Vail’s legendary seven Back Bowls, Blue Sky Basin is seven miles from Vail Village and is the most remote destination at the nation’s largest ski resort. The trek to get there via four different lifts is worth it, however, as skiers and riders enjoy a 645-acre backcountry playground consisting of moguls, groomers, trees, glades and cliffs.
Highland Bowl – Aspen, CO: Located on the peak of Aspen Highlands, this locals’ favorite is left to those willing to earn their turns with a gradual 45-minute hike to its summit. The reward is spectacular views and 2,500-vertical-foot descents down varied terrain including incredible tree skiing and pitches as steep as 45 degrees.
Rendezvous Bowl – Jackson Hole, WY: Located 4,139 feet above the valley floor andaccessed by Jackson Hole’s famous aerial tram, Rendezvous Bowl gives skiers and riders the chance to experience a fairly steep grade and abundant powder stashes after one of Jackson’s many humongous snowfalls.
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.