Winter Park, CO April 9, 2023


Well-known member
More racing.

2nd race this year for my son at WP. After some ups and downs in temps at end of March, this past week brought cold and snow for a couple days to the central mtns. So multiple conditions depending on exposure and elevation and as things should warm up again for a few days, also based on time of day.

I had leftover 6-8" powder turns on Eagle Wind (not a ton, but far more than I would have expected), packed powder on a number of slopes, firmer with some packed powder (S and very low altitude), soft or slightly slushy (flats and very low altitude by early afternoon), etc... never fully softened on N or E areas and was surprising to only be mid 30s at the base by mid-afternoon. For comparison, by the time I reached home on the flat lands it was 71F down here...

Having to work in the race logistics makes for a lot of traversing around at times but I managed a few early laps on Panoramic/Sunnyside. Groomers were great up top but a bit firm/chalky in ungroomed areas. And of course some winter on scratcher stuff on Sunnyside.

A second foray after first race run finished was to Eagle Wind which was highly variable with some powder, some soft, some chalky, some firm, slightly icy and softening in the sun versions of snow all within a few turns of each other. The one side of trees (skiers right, but not too far right) being the wintery stuff. I took several laps as quick as I could before heading back to the race.

Even the Cirque was open, so for the moment full operation still. Felt like pretty close to average snowpack. In theory they will stay open well into May this year.

Plenty of chairs with people on them but generally less than full and no real lift lines. I assume the warmth in Denver kept people home.

Panoramic early (prob upper teens up top early)

Pano/sunnyside bases

Arrow lift is shut for the season, so lots of Gondola time for this race...

Looking NW from top of Eagle Wind

Looks like some decent avi's must have come down from parts of the Cirque terrain..

Any biologists? Psychologists? On the run out trail to Eagle Wind.

Eagle Wind

I'm pretty sure I've never seen skis mounted on a car like this before... anyone else?
Any biologists? Psychologists? On the run out trail to Eagle Wind.
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In March we drove past a sign in Darby, MT that advertised "skull bleaching." I'll admit I had to think about that one for a moment.

The sideways-mounted ski rack is unique in my experience.

How long does you son's race season go?
I don't get carrying skis on the roof, exposed to the elements, period: sideways or otherwise.
Back in the day when we drove smaller sedans and sometimes crammed them with 4 people, there was not much choice.

I had a ski rack for my 1991 Toyota Previa, used it maybe 5x in 11 years. That van was so space efficient you could get 5 people and and ski gear inside.

The 2002 Acura MDX came with a roof rack. Twice in 7 years with 4 people plus luggage I bungee corded ski bags to that roof rack.

In 2011 Porsche wanted $1,000 just for the rails to support a roof rack on the Cayenne! I passed on that. As a retiree I rarely have more than one other passenger on ski trips, and both Cayenne and Tesla comfortably handle that inside. Both could squeeze 3 plus equipment on a short trip and the Cayenne has a passthrough and so could take 4 on a daytrip with skis inside.

In Europe they have different ideas than in the US about what constitutes a medium or large car. Lean large even with one or two people if you want your skis inside. Wagons are the way to go in the Alps if you can get one.
How long does you son's race season go?
Patrick was free of his race coaching at the end of March. So his 15 year record of never skiing outside the East between Dec. 12 and April 21 has improved some this season. He skied Red Mt. at the beginning of April and is in western Canada the whole month.

His first week was very good but a bunch of areas closed April 9 and it's raining to high elevation in interior BC today. His choices this week are Revelstoke, Kicking Horse, Silver Star and Fernie, the latter two surely getting rain top to bottom. Next week after April 16 he only will have Lake Louise and Sunshine, which are having a low tide season but will at least get snow from the current storm. His race coaching certification clinic (similar to PSIA) is at Nakiska starting April 22.
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How long does you son's race season go?
Nowadays, as long as he wants is the ever crazier answer. Last actual races are this coming weekend at Loveland though. Then a short break before
"spring camps" which really are simply drills and training weekends at Winter Park or Loveland (occasionally but rarely Copper for our club). Then of course there are always Mammoth and Timberline camps all summer, etc... It's pretty nuts.

His choices this week are Silver Star, Revelstoke, Kicking Horse and Fernie.
Gotta go with altitude like upper part of Revy on that list.

Next week after April 16 he only will have Lake Louise and Sunshine, which are having a low tide season
Have to give that a "Yuck", given the super bony conditions there this year. Given the generally horrid Eastern season most of the year, it's still probably a big upgrade for him though.

I don't get carrying skis on the roof
I'm probably even less than Tony. I've done it a couple times when packed to the gills with people and stuff; but something like 3 times since 1995. Last time was ~2008... All on a free to me very specific model rack (from a friend who switched cars and didn't want the hassle of selling that item) for a vehicle I have long since run into the ground and donated.
Then of course there are always Mammoth and Timberline camps
We have definitely seen Winter Park racers at Mammoth in May/June.
given the super bony conditions there this year
I got the impression that like me in February, EMSC did not go to Louise/Sunshine on his March trip by the reputation of the season there. Patrick has heard that Sunshine is OK, though I suspect that does not include advanced and SW facing Goat's Eye.