|Winterplace is an outstanding facility for beginners and low
intermediates, an ideal weekend destination for families and youth groups.
It only has four black slopes, and Turkey Chute and Dropoff could be considered
High Blues. Only Plunge and Nose Dive are truly advanced. Steep, arcing
descents through the trees, they end up just east of the Mountain House.
Turkey Chute is an S shaped drop rated black only because it is too narrow
to allow maneuvering. Dropoff, by comparison, is a wide meadow slope leveling
out as it approaches Mountain House. It would be a good sledriding hill.
Its only claim to black status is its steep launch off the ridge.
However, the other 80% of Winterplace is Green and Low Blue Heaven. The Lower Mountain, down by the Main Lodge, is for beginners. There is a
|great ski school area, set off by itself with its own rope
tow. Wanderer is a wide practice slope for novice carvers, and Over Easy
is a first narrow, winding trail. The lift serving these two is also a bit
slower. With lessons learned here, beginners can move up to Highland Run,
steeper and longer with a few obstacles and a full scale lift.
For greater variety, ski down Wanderer and take one of the three Cascade lifts up the Middle Mountain.
From the Halfway Lift, which stops at a plateau halfway up the ridge, Country Roads is a short cruising run through the woods which could be taken back to the Main Lodge. But by turning right on No Problem, a skier returns to the Cascade lift stations.
|Coming off the same lift, turning
left offers a choice of Hickory, a Blue, or Panorama Glades, a Green. Both
wander off through the woods momentarily, then swing back to join Cascade
as it levels out toward the lift station. Panorama offers good views of
the Tubing Hill and Snowboard Terrain Park. Hickory is a little narrow,
but any novice with good control can handle it. The only real problem is
with the piles of loose snow which seem to accumulate at the remerger with
The other two Cascade lifts take skiers to the top of the Middle Mountain. From there, the premier run takes either Rendezvous or Rendezvous Too down through the woods, then flows into Cascade, a wide boulevard starting out steep and easing up toward the bottom. These are listed as Blues, but are really High Greens. They can be snowplowed or handled with reasonable carving skills.
|A novice not quite up for the steep sections
of Rendezvous or Cascade can still string together a fine run from the top
by snaking down Buttermilk, crossing Country Roads, and swinging rightward
onto Panorama Glades back to the lifts. The S turn at the top of Buttermilk
is challenging but not risky, and although it’s narrow, a bank runs
along one side to buffer any mistakes. The bigger hazard on Buttermilk is
the snowboarders who insist on sitting down in the middle of the trail to
admire the view and talk to their friends.
Another Green option from atop the ridge is to start down Buttermilk, then turn rightward down Milkshake and across the meadow to Mountain House.
Two Blues which are legitimate are Snow Bowl and Look At Me, both dropping off the ridge down to Mountain House. They’re too steep to snowplow, require some skill at carving, and feature uneven terrain. Snow Bowl is a bit wider, but Look At Me is a narrow twist through the trees. It’s also where Winterplace stages its competitive races.
The two lifts from Mountain House access the Mountain Top, where Plunge, Nose Dive and Turkey Chute arc down. But there are other options.
Woods Run is Winterplace’s entry in the regional cruising competition. It follows the easternmost flank of the mountain on a narrow, twisting meander through the woods, finishing up with a short steep and a runout back to the lift. Away from the crowds, this is Winterplace at its laid back best, and a pleasant respite from multiple descents of Plunge and Nose Dive.