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We arrived at the base of Winter Park at about 9:45AM, 1.5 hr after a leisurely departure from Denver.  Parking is a concern when day tripping to Colorado's ski areas.  Things range from A-Basin's laid-back lot that butts up against the lifts, to Vail's humongous, underground, cement cavern, demanding $9/day and a 15 min walk through Vail's Disney-esque, ersatz-Swiss village filled with Bee-yoo-tee-fool People.

There's big construction at WP's base for their new hotel and village.  I expect that they are trying to build something like what Copper and Vail have - an ersatz-Swiss disney-esque 'village'.  Anyway, this new monstrousity has gobbled up the former Winter Park parking lot. Parking for day-trippers at Winter Park has evolved into a park-for-free-and-ride-a-shuttle type of deal, or shell out $5 for parking within walking distance of a bridge from the pay parking lot to the base area.

Leslie demo'ed 3 pairs of skis (Salomon X-Scream, Rossi Bandit and K2 Merlin IV).  The verdict was that the Bandit's were pretty good and very stable at high-speed, the Salomon's sucked and were very chattery, and the Merlin IV's were just awesome, with a lot of energy and springiness to them.

Conditions were markedly improved in the last week and a half.  The additional 8" Winter Park received last weekend saw them opening up many more trails, included a couple of bump runs over on Mary Jane (Drunken Frenchman and Little Ten), along with some more cruisers. A short excursion into the woods off Drunken Frenchman revealed that trees are still very premature - I was hopping over fallen logs and tree stumps.  Conditions were packed powder, with a little loose, sugary snow in places, with a secondary surface of hard packed/man-made.  The sky spit snow lightly off and on all day, and amounted to about an inch new, according to this morning's 6AM snow report.  So, spoiled as I am being a Colordao skier now, things are getting better and the next few weeks should see us get back to good shape.

According to my informal assessment (look at the mountains from Denver, if it's cloudy up there, it's snowing), looks like the mountains may be getting some more snow today.

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Jonathan Ben Kamien, Ph.D.       Internet:[log in to unmask]
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