Winter Park’s early season parks offer low key environment for freestyle progression
On Saturday, November 16, Freeskier headed up to Winter Park, often regarded as one of Denver, Colorado’s favorite family resorts, to check out the early season park set-up. While other Front Range resorts may get much of the press regarding terrain parks, we found that Winter Park has a dedicated group of young locals who challenge each other to progress themselves within the sport.
Jibbing the doghouse. Photo courtesy of Winter Park Resort.
As it’s set up, the park is stationed to the looker’s right of the Gemini Express lift. The Spirit poma transports eager jibbers from the base of the mountain to the top of the nine feature park, where, on this particular day, park crew member Devin Kearns was providing some classic rock tunes to set the mood.
“We’ve got the right side rail line, where we start off with a flat bar, an eight-inch single barrel tube, and a four-inch single barrel. Then we’ve got a spine down into a doghouse with three lips on it, and we have a redirect at the bottom below the doghouse,” explains Kearns. “For the easy line we have a nice dance floor box, pretty low to the ground single barrel rail, another box buried into the ground and then we have the trapezoid, with three sides. It’s pretty sweet; the kids like that.”
Many of the local skiers chose to practice their skills on the advanced rail line, flowing from the flat bar, to the ensuing barrel features, then hiking back up to do it all over again. Others chose to bomb past the rails and straight to the doghouse feature, where a number of interesting aerial maneuvers were performed. As the season moves forward, the park will be relocated to the upper mountain.
“After this we’re going to head up to Re-railer, hopefully get some jumps blown and get the kids jumping, some more intermediate rails, and a box line,” says Kearns. “We’re looking forward to the rest of the season. Come out and jib with us.”
The takeaway after spending a November day lapping Winter Park’s railyard was that the resort is a great place for young aspiring jibbers to learn and progress their skills in a low key, low pressure environment. The terrain park crew, freestyle coaches, team members, and young locals alike all greased rails and had some laughs on a crisp Fall day. Look out for more terrain park options from Winter Park, as the resort plans to have six parks, a superpipe, and over 85 features spread across its 3000 acres as the season moves forward.
About the author:
Donny O'Neill hails from the mystical, faraway land of New Hartford, CT. When he's not in the mountains searching for Big Foot, he's the Associate Editor here at Freeskier.