Winter Park Resort is located in a small town, but that doesn’t mean it should be regarded as a Mickey Mouse resort. Often skiing is thought to be one of the best things to do in Canada, Winter Park has its own renowned reputation. In fact, it’s been awarded the title of the best ski resort in North America. This is no small feat!
This Colorado resort has become increasingly popular with this sort of publicity and is definitely worth a visit. But if you’re going to be paying it a visit, you should know all about the Winter Park weather and what you can expect from its almost perfect skiing conditions.
So leave behind your bathing suits if you’re coming from the warmer coasts of California. And pack your heated skiing gloves and your favourite pair of skis; you’re going to be heading to a ski resort that’s bound to impress. Here’s what you can expect from the ski season at Winter Park Resort.
Winter Park Resort Weather (Snow Season)
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Winter Park Resort’s ski season runs from November to April and provides all sorts of great skiing and snowboarding conditions. You can expect the highest snowfall during December and February, with a total of around 63 snowfalls days a year.
The average snow depth at both the base and summit of the mountain is 48 inches, with a maximum depth of 85 inches.
Winter Park Webcam
The best way to check out snow conditions is by regularly checking the Winter Park webcams. Note that these are only live during ski season and may not be accessible between May and October.
More About Winter Park Ski Resort
The Winter Park Ski Resort summit sits at a 12,060-foot elevation and contains 3,060 feet worth of vertical drops. With 4% of the runs being graded at an expert level and 50% for advanced skiers, this ski resort is great for those with more than a handful of experience.
Although it does have something for everyone, with 22% of its runs marked intermediate level, and 24% for beginners. A total of 166 runs and 7 terrain parks make this resort an absolute paradise for skiers and snowboarders alike. The park contains 25 ski lifts, so it’s safe to say that the resort is built to handle crowds.
Winter Park Conditions – Ideal for Skiing and Snowboarding
The park experiences a number of different snow conditions. If you’re not familiar with the terminology, then we’re giving you a breakdown. This will help you understand the snow report, effectively giving you a little more insight into what you’re in for any given day.
Fresh snow is a great description of this snow condition. A fresh, light layer of snow covers the ground. This is usually thought of as ideal snow conditions, and skiers and snowboarders alike appreciate fresh snow.
It’s best to get up the mountain as soon as possible and lay fresh tracks on the ground during these conditions. Being the first to lay tracks on fresh snow is a beautiful feeling! As the day wears on, the fresh snow can become a little uneven due to the snow being moved around.
If you get out there early, fresh snow is the perfect condition to take a tumble as the soft snow protects you from getting hurt too badly. The cushioning provides the perfect landing spot. So whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or an advanced skier/snowboarder, fresh snow is absolutely ideal.
Keep an eye out for those fresh snow days and head down to Winter Park Resort to make the most of them.
Often referred to as POW, the powder is another highly popular snow condition. Although powder is often brushed off of pistes, you can often experience great powder if you ski or snowboard down a piste-side.
It’s a form of light snow with very little moisture, creating a magical floaty feeling as you glide over it. It’s also soft, so falling into it doesn’t hurt at all. If you are riding through heavy powder, be sure to keep your skis or snowboard up in the front, so that you don’t dip and take a tumble.
Although it won’t hurt very much, it can be rather challenging to make your way out. If you’re looking for a magical ride, keep your eyes peeled for powder days and make your way down the mountain on an off-piste adventure.
Packed powder refers to powder that has been compressed and smoothed over by a piste basher. It ensures a very smooth ride and is the perfect type of snow to learn on. It’s easy to have a fast ride with little to no bumps, making it perfect for learning new techniques and tricks too.
If a resort receives heavy snowfalls early on in the season, they will use their piste bashers to smooth over the powder and create a packed powder finish. This ensures that there’s a smooth base for each piste for the rest of the season.
While packed powder is perfect for beginners, it will be thoroughly enjoyed by intermediate and expert level riders too. The smooth ride makes for an easy run that nobody will argue against.
Hard-Packed or Icy Pistes
These two are slightly different but very similar. Icy pistes are a little more challenging to ski on and usually happen when the snow has melted and refrozen. The ice is hard and can make turning and staying in control difficult. Although most skiers and snowboarders want to avoid icy pistes, it can provide the perfect condition for speed skiing as you can reach incredible speeds as an advanced rider.
Hard packed pistes is usually a condition experienced toward the end of the season when the pistes are well worn and have been compacted from the many riders. While it’s easier to ride on than icy pistes, it can still present a challenge. The main difference is that it’s a little easier to turn on because you can dig your skis and board into it a little.
Although it’s never considered the ideal condition, it does have its pros. If you’re an experienced rider looking for a bit of a thrill, then tackling some icy or hard-packed pistes will certainly bring a challenge. It’s also beneficial for those looking to improve on their times as you can travel a lot faster in these conditions.
Slush snow often occurs at the end of a season when spring starts to warm up the snow. This increases the snow’s water content creating a slushy consistency. It’s not the ideal condition for both skiers and snowboarders as it slows down the pistes quite substantially.
The slush often pulls at your skis or board as you try to turn through it, but intermediate and expert level riders often enjoy the challenge. It’s also great for beginners who aren’t looking to fly down the pistes at top speeds. The slush slowing riders down can definitely be a good thing at times.
Crud snow is often thought of as one of the most challenging conditions for riders. It’s found at the edge of pistes, although it can occur throughout the piste. It’s created when riders churn up the snow, creating a variety of different conditions.
Crud snow is icy the one minute, and soft and powdery the next, making for a bumpy and challenging ride. It often occurs when it has snowed during the day and hasn’t been smoothed over by a piste basher but instead ridden over plenty of times throughout the day.
Crud snow is usually thought of as less than ideal but can make a great workout for those with a bit of experience. If you’re up for a challenge, then crud snow might be for you.
Sticky snow is quite rare as it takes very particular weather conditions to form. If it starts to snow while the weather is warming up and the snow is wet when it reaches the ground, it refreezes on the piste and creates sticky snow.
This snow is wet and sticks to the bottom of skis and snowboards, slowing down the ride and making it difficult to turn. It creates a vacuum-like environment under skis and boards.
It’s quite a challenge for riders, but because of the very specific weather required to make sticky snow, it doesn’t occur too often.
Final Thoughts on Winter Park Ski Conditions
Now that you know what kind of conditions to expect at this wonderful resort in Colorado, you can make a better decision about what time of year you decide to go. Being such a highly rated resort, the best in North America in fact, you’ll want to spend a great deal of time there no matter what the conditions.
So check out the Winter Park Resort webcam and head out the door. This incredible resort has much to offer for your next snowy vacation. Are you ready to hit the pistes after reading the Winter Park snow report?
For a different kind of mountain experience, check out the best hikes near Las Vegas.