This past October, my brother Jake bought a ski condo at Winter Park. What a great addition to the family’s housing network! I’m far from an expert skier. In fact, I’d qualify myself as a beginner, but I still enjoy getting out on the mountain for a maximum of two hours at a time. Just enough time to close my exercise rings on my watch and let my fingers go numb.
Here are some of my favorite beginner (green and blue) ski routes on the mountain if you’re heading to Winter Park this season.
1. Village Way
If you’ve never skied Winter Park, Village Way is one route I recommend getting to know ASAP. One of my first days on the mountain, I got a bit turned around, and someone told me, “Find Village Way. You can take it all the way down to base.”
Now I know that I just have to locate this run, and I’m in good shape. I love it because you can find it from a ton of lifts, so you can start lower and work your way up to the top of the mountain if you need to while knowing a familiar run.
I personally love taking Village Way all the way down to base instead of diverting to Lower Parkway. Parkway is steeper and more difficult. It’s also more popular, which means there are more people. If you know me, you know I’m not a fan of skiing around people. Additionally, when there hasn’t been snow for a few days, Lower Parkway can get a bit icy, which has caused me to fall when turning. Not my favorite!
Village Way, while a bit slower, is so pretty when winding through the trees. I fell in love with the Winter Park scenery on this run.
Lift(s): Gemini Express, Prospector Express, The Gondola, Olympia Express, High Lonesome Express
2. Jack Kendrick and Butch’s Breezeway
I first found these runs while I was on a ski lesson. Jack Kendrick is a perfect green run for someone who is learning turns. It’s flat in some parts and steeper in others. It also connects to Butch’s Breezeway which is a blue run. So, if you’re feeling confident, and you want to divert and try something harder midway through, then that’s readily available.
I love going over here to practice what I learned in my lesson and get a bunch of runs in one both blues and greens without all the runs being so long. When you go up the Gondola, everything is a lot steeper, so you’re skiing for longer. Most of my previous ski experience was on East Coast mountains. Thus, I’m not used to long Colorado runs. It’s nice to have some shorter runs for more technical work.
Lift(s): Prospector Express
3. Lonesome Whistle
All credit to my brother, Ben (Beebs), for finding this run. As a blue run, this is a challenge for me, so I’m not sure it quite qualifies as a “beginner” run. However, if you’ve skied the runs above, including Butch’s Breezeway, you may be interested in trying Lonesome Whistle. It’s a beautiful run lined with trees, and as you improve, you can even go through the trees as my brothers and boyfriend did.
To get to Lonesome Whistle, we took the Olympia Express up and skied Whistlestop to Hook Up to Lonesome Whistle. However, you could likely get to the area via the High Lonesome Express as well.
Lift(s): Olympia Express and High Lonesome Express
Check out the Winter Park Trail Map here. Happy skiing!