Trip Leader: Jeff Koss
For those out there that said the snow in March in Colorado is wet and soft and the slopes will be crowded with Spring Breakers were just plain wrong. The SCSTC 21 Winter Park trippers enjoyed a fantastic week of skiing. Traveling out on Sunday and returning the following Saturday provided 5 weekdays for skiing with few lift lines and wide open ski areas across the 7 terrains of Winter Park. The Winter Park Ski Resort had received over 48 inches of snow the previous week so the mountain was well covered with fresh snow. Monday and Tuesday had bright sun with temps in the mid 30’s. Tuesday evening it started snowing and Wednesday morning arrived with 8-10 inches additional snow. The snow continued on Wednesday. It ended up being quite heavy but still skiable. Thursday arrived with 6 inches of new lighter snow and Friday another 4 inches of powder. The mountain provided plenty of ski terrain for all levels of ability with the heavy snow on Wednesday being a challenge for the beginners in our group. All skiers took advantage of the skiing and our two boarders made the most of the abundant powder.
The Zephyr Mountain Lodge was certainly the place to stay at Winter Park. The condos assigned were clean and nicely appointed. The travelers were pleased with their accommodations and no changes were made from the assigned lodging. Our group was spread out between the Riverside building and Slope-side building, which was not optimum. The ski locker rooms were convenient in both buildings of the Zephyr Lodge. The Village Rental Shop was inside the Slope-side building so rental equipment was very easy to obtain.
Sports America had arranged a Welcome Reception for our group at the Back Bowl Soup Company—approximately a 2-min walk from the Zephyr Lodge. Our WP coordinator greeted us at the reception and provided me with our purchased RFI lift tickets and the two lunch vouchers per tripper to distribute. A mountain host also reviewed the mountain terrains and the daily mountain tours available to our group. The welcome reception was very well done and the right length following a long travel day.
We used two venues for our group happy hours and the group lunch. Doc’s Roadhouse was very accommodating and provided the upstairs seating area for our use. A bartender took care of our happy hour needs and a server properly took care of the group lunch orders off the regular menu. A second happy hour was held at Vertical Bistro & Tap in the Winter Park Village, a short walk from the Zephyr Mountain Lodge. The manager reserved a corner of the bar area with a long table and corner table to seat 14 people. Both venues had similar happy hour prices and a comfortable seating area. Both should be considered for future trips for group gatherings.
The Town of Winter Park offered free shuttle service from the ski resort down to Winter Park and the Town of Fraser. Most of our trippers took advantage of this service for shopping or additional dining options. The Zephyr Lodge also had a shuttle service into both towns which provided an additional way for getting to and from Winter Park and Fraser.
1. Highly recommend Winter Park for a future SCSTC early March ski trip
2. The Zephyr Mountain Lodge is the preferred place to stay
3. Use Doc’s Roadhouse and Vertical for happy hour and group lunch locations