Uncovering Denver’s “home mountain” for school ski groups

The X-Games at Aspen may be over, but the excitement of the extreme sport bonanza has a lasting effect on the Colorado state. Boasting a number of big name ski resorts, the Mile High City sees skiers and boarders alike head through the airport and out into the unofficial capital of the Rocky Mountain West in search of the perfect piste experience. 

Colorado’s longest serving ski resort

While Aspen has long held a reputation for high-end skiing and après, the four mountain destination is not the only Prince of Pistes in the area. Winter Park and its 75 years plus of history has its own claim to the throne. Seven territories and over 3,000 acres of award-winning skiable terrain has meant school groups seeking variety, student-friendly slopes, a family-directed environment, and incredible scenery in North America have all the boxes ticked. 

The past 10 seasons have seen an average of 322.5” of snow supporting the resort with an early opening and late closure. It means schools can travel in confidence when venturing to the American Midwest resort.

From the ski school to the wide choice of après-ski activities, the Winter Park resort offers school groups an endless amount of options to enjoy off the slopes. Whether it is lacing up for ice-skating, munching on the finest cookies Winter Park has to offer, or slipping into the warm hug of hot chocolate, students will be grinning from ear to ear on and offer the slopes. 

The Winter Park ski school

Colorado’s first professional ski school, students new to the slopes are in the right place to develop the key skills needed to negotiate their way down the slopes safely. The Winter Park Territory offers school groups wide-open cruisers providing space and terrain suited to beginners still fine-tuning their turns. 

The more advanced skiers within the groups will also benefit from tuition as they explore the mountain with the highly-trained instructors. Winter Park offers an attractive platform for skiers to develop their confidence on the slopes regardless of their current skiing ability.

Girl snowboarding rugged terrain

The 7 territories of Winter Park

It may sound like something out of Game of Thrones, but the seven territories of Winter Park certainly respect the uniqueness each offers skiers and snowboarders. Here we provide a breakdown of the seven territories and what students can expect from each on Denver’s “home mountain”.

Winter Park Territory
Mary Jane Territory
Parsenn Bowl
The Cirque
Eagle Wind
Vasquez Ridge
Terrain Park
Winter Park SkiBound

While Denver is known as the Mile High City, Winter Park boasts an elevation almost twice as high. The great snow record is testament to the high altitude, but taking care out on the slopes is all the more important.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Don’t skip on water! 

Even before you arrive at Winter Park, start to intake more water as part of a daily routine.

  • Watch the sugar!

While a cheeky piece of chocolate can spark a burst of energy on the slopes, watch your intake of sugar and salt as your body acclimatises.

  • Get some sleep!

We know the excitement of being away with friends can mean laughing until your eyes shut, but don’t forget to ensure you get some good kip. That goes for you too Party Leaders!

With tons of features to explore at Winter Park, the resort certainly should not be considered to be sitting in the shadows of Aspen. School groups benefit from a shorter transfer time to Winter Park from Denver, which alone can make a huge difference to kick-starting your school ski trip on a good note. A great snow record, varied terrain, and a mountain that manages to cater for all, start exploring another side the US ski scene with Colorado’s lesser-known gem.

About the Author

Tim Jenkins
 
A former primary school teacher, Tim has been writing for educational travel websites, educational publications and leisure magazines for the past three years. His first-hand experience in leading adventure residential trips and seeing the benefits of learning outside the classroom has further fuelled his interest into studying the impact of outdoor education on young learners. Always seeking his next trip to the slopes, Tim’s favourite ski resort is Les Menuires from where you can explore the Three Valleys ski area. 
 

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