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Breckenridge crowds - need some help (trip would be midweek, late January 2015)

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm close to pulling the trigger on a family trip to Breckenridge, but I'm starting to worry about the crowds.  One of the things I like about skiing out west is not having to wait in lines for 30 minutes each run (like u do here in the mid-Atlantic region).  To make matters worse, I've been to Aspen and Telluride where there were almost no lines (esp Tride).  

 

I have no use for the advanced terrain, so all I care about is nice rolling blues and greens with tall spruce trees.  I know it will be busier than Aspen and Tride, but if we are skiing Monday to Friday in late January it shouldn't be too bad, should it?  I don't mind waiting for a couple minutes, but I've seen some youtube runs and other photos of throngs of people at the base of the lifts and it scares me.  Don't want to spend all of this money and be disappointed.

 

Also, I'm thinking we would also hit some combination of Copper and Beaver Creek maybe on the Monday and Friday of that week, as I'd think those would be the days that were busiest at Breck.  So we'd mostly be skiing Breck Tue-Thursday.

 

I like the blue and green runs at Breck and as long as it isn't overly crowded I'm sure it will be fantastic for us (again, we are lower intermediates).  I've chosen Breck for the Town and the lodging options that are available, as we'll have our parents there who won't be skiing.

 

One more question, is Breck really more crowded than Vail?  I've read some comments on here that suggested as much....thats seems surprising to me since I know Vail is super busy.

 

Thanks, all!

post #2 of 24

I went to Breck last year for the first time - doing the same thing you talk about (non-holiday week in January) - got to Denver in early AM, shuttled up there and skied sunday afternoon - and left on a saturday morning;  free sailing both ways on the road and laughed at the traffic jams  of weekend warriors going the other way.

 

It  is a very large resort with lots of lifts and some lines in some places; but not everywhere - it has a whole bunch of capacity to absorb tens of thousands of skiers without a whole bunch of waits and not that long anyways.   But there are people there, and occasional lines in some places at the bases, which you are seeing; that's not the whole mountain.  No, Breck is not more crowded than Vail.

 

The somewhat  downside to me would be an upside to you - Breck is largely those gently-rolling green and easy blues - you are looking for.   I hunted up high and in trees for double blacks, trees, and steep bowls.  It is several notches less expensive than Vail or Aspen; more accomodation choices, somewhat larger town.  It is cold and windy in the upper third of the mountain and at the peaks  - again - not so much issue to you if you aren't into advanced skiing.

 

You don't necessarily need to be hunting around different resorts by car unless you want to and like winter driving; there is enough at Breck for a week of skiing, and a few close-by resorts like Keystone and Copper without having to go through mountain passes - which you will need to do if you are going to Beaver Creek.

 

Hope this helps.

post #3 of 24

Never been to Breckenridge, but Keystone is great for the ability level of your group and not too far away as a good option during your week.

post #4 of 24

I've skied Breck probably fifty times over the last ten years in February(always midweek) and it can be busy but never a zoo.  It is definitely more civilized than Vail.  Perhaps a few short lines at certain lifts mid to late morning, but nothing too terrible.  I normally park at the Gondola lot ($5) and walk right on for the ride to the base of Peak 8.  As said, Keystone is less crowded as is Copper.

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevescho View Post

 

The somewhat  downside to me would be an upside to you - Breck is largely those gently-rolling green and easy blues - you are looking for.   I hunted up high and in trees for double blacks, trees, and steep bowls. 

 

Hunting seems like an exaggeration. Just look up.

 

Next time, do yourself a favor and pay for a lesson. Have the instructor show you the best of the steeps and trees.

post #6 of 24

I ski Breck about 20x per year.  Here is my advise,  Start on peak 9.  Lots of great groomed blues and greens.  Ski the Mercury Super Chair.  Stay away from peak 8, always very busy and no great blues except for Northstar. Peak 7 also has some nice blues but will be busy by 1030.  For Breck we always get out early ski until we are exhausted (about 1pm) then head back, shower and find a good happy hour!

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

Yeah , I was thinking we would spend the most time on Peak 7 and 9, but that is a good plan.  I/m sure we'll try Copper and maybe Vail or Beaver Creek too (Some of the Keystone blues look a tad steep for my wife and they don't have many greens).  I'd like to give Vail a shot since we'll be out that way.  

 

I actually just booked the trip and we'll be staying in the peak 8 area so we'll probably shuttle it up to Peak 8 or 7 each morning to start, and probably move to Peak 9 right away.

 

Thanks, all!

post #8 of 24

The numbers show that Breck is considerably busier than Vail: same skier visits on 55% of the acreage.  Nonetheless it is far less congested than most eastern areas and your late January time frame is good.  So you shouldn't have much to worry about, and yes you should also hit Keystone and Copper, which also have a ton of terrain you would enjoy. 

 

Keystone is a fairly easy mountain, so blues are not all that steep. Similarly easy are the blues on the lower Peak 8 and Peak 7 chairs.  Remember blue is a relative rating within each ski area and cannot be reliably compared to other places.  If you were going to Jackson or Snowbird, I'd tell you to be careful about blue trail ratings.  This should not be a concern at Keystone, Breck and Copper.

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Crocker View Post
 

The numbers show that Breck is considerably busier than Vail: same skier visits on 55% of the acreage.  Nonetheless it is far less congested than most eastern areas and your late January time frame is good.  So you shouldn't have much to worry about, and yes you should also hit Keystone and Copper, which also have a ton of terrain you would enjoy. 

 

Keystone is a fairly easy mountain, so blues are not all that steep. Similarly easy are the blues on the lower Peak 8 and Peak 7 chairs.  Remember blue is a relative rating within each ski area and cannot be reliably compared to other places.  If you were going to Jackson or Snowbird, I'd tell you to be careful about blue trail ratings.  This should not be a concern at Keystone, Breck and Copper.

Yeah, we definitely have to be careful, especially with my wife.  We had a "situation" at Tride two years ago on the upper, steep part of Magnolia in Prospect Bowl......she fell and sort of slide down the rest of the way until the run sort of bottoms out.  All in good fun.  I'll give keystone another look.  We'll also be taking the parents tubing one evening so I'm sure we'll hit Copper or keystone for that too.  I heard Copper has some banked turns on theirs so that may be interesting.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by curlydubs View Post
 

Yeah, we definitely have to be careful, especially with my wife.  We had a "situation" at Tride two years ago on the upper, steep part of Magnolia in Prospect Bowl......she fell and sort of slide down the rest of the way until the run sort of bottoms out.  All in good fun.  I'll give keystone another look.  We'll also be taking the parents tubing one evening so I'm sure we'll hit Copper or keystone for that too.  I heard Copper has some banked turns on theirs so that may be interesting.

Don't think that Breck will be all that busy during the week -- but to be honest get up there SAT and SUN most often from Denver.  

 

I would echo the caution that each resort is different for ratings.  For low intermediates, and you all have to evaluate yourselves of course, believe that Breck is a lot easier than Keystone.  Yes there are some easy blues at K'stone, but most are a bit harder than Breck...a lot of fun, but is a good idea to calibrate yourself early in the day at Keystone, maybe skiiing down Schoolmarm (a green w/lots of learners) and then hanging a right on Wild Irishman or Paymaster.  The runs on the backside of Dercum and then on Outpost are great groomed blues, a little harder than the front of Dercum maybe, but normally not crowded at all during the week.  

 

At Breck you can take the Gondola back over from your lodgings and get off at Peak 7, the greens there once the season gets going are typically very well groomed and fun for families.  Peak 8, is as stated, usually much busier, but if you ski the harder blues between seven and eight (Dukes, Northstar, Claimjumper) not normally as crowded.  Peak 9 is normally much less crowded if you ensure you come left or right about 2/3 the way down to always use the mid-mountain Mercury chair.  

Enjoy!

post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by job151 View Post

 

At Breck you can take the Gondola back over from your lodgings and get off at Peak 7, the greens there once the season gets going are typically very well groomed and fun for families.  Peak 8, is as stated, usually much busier, but if you ski the harder blues between seven and eight (Dukes, Northstar, Claimjumper) not normally as crowded.  Peak 9 is normally much less crowded if you ensure you come left or right about 2/3 the way down to always use the mid-mountain Mercury chair.  

Enjoy!

 

There are no greens on Peak 7. Perhaps this makes your point. There are fun, mellow blues with rollers.

 

http://www.breckenridge.com/~/media/breckenridge/files/maps/2013-2014_trailmap_web.ashx

post #12 of 24

Mid-week in late January is a great time to go to Breck.  It will be about as un-crowded as the place gets during the regular season.  Other than MLK Weeekend, the 4-6 week period after New Years before Presidents Day is relatively quiet in Colorado.  There no school breaks, this is before all of the Midwinter & Spring Break periods in late Feb and March.  It is generally also the coldest part of the winter.  Weekends, particularly Saturdays will be busier with Denver skiers up for the weekend.  However, if the Broncos are in a playoff game then skier numbers will be down.  Always a good time to ski when the Broncos are playing, go figure.

 

Last year I was there during this time period and almost every lift I skied right on to all day long.  Peak 8 base area got a 5 minute wait during the middle part of the day for the Colorado chair, but that was about it.  T-Bar got a line on a powder day, but it was all locals getting a few runs in during the morning hours.  Fridays were somewhat busier than the other weekdays.

 

I would not worry about crowds mid-week in Late Jan.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

There are no greens on Peak 7. Perhaps this makes your point. There are fun, mellow blues with rollers.

 

http://www.breckenridge.com/~/media/breckenridge/files/maps/2013-2014_trailmap_web.ashx

Sorry, typing too quickly.  Absolutely no greens on 7, but as noted by B-swoosh, very mellow anyway.  In fact kind of hard to tell most runs on 7 from the greens on 8/9.

post #14 of 24

Worried about crowds? Why not skip Breck altogether and come on over to Big Sky instead. ;)

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post

Worried about crowds? Why not skip Breck altogether and come on over to Big Sky instead. wink.gif

Or Whitefish? ;-) ... Hey, he wants uncrowded and nice cruiser trails, and some nice trees.
post #16 of 24

Here's what Yogi Berra had to say about Whitefish.  "Everyone's going to Whitefish now, because it's so uncrowded."

post #17 of 24
Actually, relative to the number of people on Epic asking where they should go, few end up coming here. I mean look at the density numbers in the other thread. I couldn't even talk TCC into it last year, a terrific snow year right off the bat. We need a catchier name or something.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

We need a catchier name or something.

 

Sole Meunière.

post #19 of 24
Personally, the name they keep rejecting, Hellroaring, seems more likely to bring them in.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Personally, the name they keep rejecting, Hellroaring, seems more likely to bring them in.

 

Hellroaring - I like it. It's different and sticks in your head.

But then I just LOVE Purgatory. Now, they call it DMR - Durango Mountain Resort. Sounds like a dude ranch. Way too boring and forgetful.    

I guess they want the names to to sound PC and not scare away the families. :rolleyes 

post #21 of 24

Whitefish Mountain Resort, if it were open in the summer, then it sounds like it might be a great place to go fishing. Big Mountain might be an OK name but is the name too similar to that other Montana big mountain, Big Sky?

 

Before Kicking Horse opened they were going to call it Golden Peaks (it is near the town of Golden). Sun Peaks Resort complained that the Golden Peaks name was too similar to Sun Peaks and it might lend to some confusion as the two resorts are only about 5 hours apart (considered a short distance in Canada). Kicking Horse Pass is near to Golden and the ski resort and is a colourful name with local history. Sun Peaks did KH a favour, imo, by asking for a different name than Golden Peaks.

post #22 of 24
We were always getting confused with Big Sky. People would think, "Big Something" in Montana. I mean, Sky? Mountain? Both sort of generic.

Whitefish Mountain Resort is open in summer of course, but they don't make money off any fishing. 😁

I think they knew the town people would have a fit about the company thinking they had a right to change the name of the resort and figured that naming it after the town would allay some of the uproar.

Historically, Hellroaring (as in the creek and the bowl) was considered. But there is a huge religious base here and even though the name does refer to an existing geographical feature, apparently they are worried about backlash to that as well. I think from a business perspective, that name has more zip or draw as a ski destination. It may have forced them to focus more attention on that bowl area, and that would have meant more development of an area that has early closures due to habitat issues.

I, too, preferred the name Purgatory, but Durango isn't too bad. Better than being named after a fish.

Kicking Horse is definitely better than Golden (or Sun) Peaks. Both sound too much like warm weather, and, Twin Peaks (dating myself?).
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

I did look at Big Sky!  It was a distinct possibility, but as I said, we're traveling with our Moms and needed to have a place with a lot of other stuff to do.  A cool town with shopping and all that....so it was either Breck, Tride, Aspen or Park City. 

 

Thanks again for all the help, everyone. Ive been monioring the Brack webcams and during the week they look totally fine.  I only noticed the insane crowds on Saturday.  Frankly, I dont even know why people bother skiiing there on Saturdays....looked like a lift mob scene that we see here in VA or WV.

 

I'm very excited for the trip....cant wait!

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by curlydubs View Post
 

I did look at Big Sky!  It was a distinct possibility, but as I said, we're traveling with our Moms and needed to have a place with a lot of other stuff to do.  A cool town with shopping and all that....so it was either Breck, Tride, Aspen or Park City. 

 

Thanks again for all the help, everyone. Ive been monioring the Brack webcams and during the week they look totally fine.  I only noticed the insane crowds on Saturday.  Frankly, I dont even know why people bother skiiing there on Saturdays....looked like a lift mob scene that we see here in VA or WV.

 

I'm very excited for the trip....cant wait!

 

You guys will have a great trip, for sure. I just have fun poking at the big Colorado resorts a bit whenever opportunity strikes. Breck really is a fun town for a group like yours, though. Last time I took a ski trip to Summit County with a bunch of friends, one of the ladies was pregnant, and one our friends too obese to want to ski, but they still had a great time anyway. They got massages, went shopping, and truly enjoyed the trip even though they didn't ski. Have fun!

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