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Breckenridge 2-13-15 with JamesJ

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

I just got home from my ski club trip to Breckenridge.  I am glad to say that I made it home in one piece and relatively healthy after a bout of altitude sickness sidelined me for 2 days.  But I did recover and had 2 days at the end that made my trip.  Eespecially on my final day when I finally hooked up with JamesJ.  We had planned on meeting up in Vail earlier in the week but I was stuck in bed.  Friday was our last chance and we made the most of it.

 

We started out easy with a few other friends of mine doing a few warm up laps.

 

This is my friend and roommate for the week Big Al.  Al is 72 and still gets 20+ days a year.

 

 

 

Another buddy of mine from back home, Michael showing some fine form.

 

 

 

After we warmed up, Jim and I decided to go out on our own to explore some more challenging terrain starting with a ride up the T-Bar to Horseshoe Bowl. The site of my very first High Alpine skiing some 27 years ago.  This pic was taken a couple of days earlier but we skied the same entry.

 

IMG_0098

 

Then we made our way over to the Imperial Chair which takes you to the highest lift serviced area in North America at 12,800'.  On the way up we were looking to our left and saw what looked like a great funnel shaped chute and we agreed that it looked sweet!  But to access it you need earn your turns as they say and hike up another couple hundred feet up a fairly steep incline.  We both agreed we needed to do it.  Fortunately I had a ski pack, and Jim had to carry on his shoulders.  He is a real trooper!

 

IMG_0106

 

IMG_0111

 

IMG_0121

 

 

You can see the Chute we were heading to in this pic just to the left of center.

 

IMG_0122

 

We skied across the ridge.  Jim jumped in first and I waited to make sure he would be OK.  He nailed his entry and skied about 1/2 way down to get his camera out.  My entry was a bit further along the ridge just inside the shadow on the far left looking up.  My jump in was maybe 6-8 feet onto maybe a 60-70 degree snow wall for maybe 50 feet then it mellowed to about 40 degrees in a wide open bowl that narrowed a bit at the bottom making it look like a funnel.

 

IMG_0123

 

While studying my entry, a snowboarder jumped in and I was able to watch the snow when he landed to get an idea of what to expect.  He hit it well and landed soft so I knew it would be forgiving.  After we cleared and with Jim waving to me that he had his camera out, I took a deep breath and jumped in with confidence, nailed my landing and made big GS turns down the chute coming to a stop near the bottom.

 

Breckenridge Rick pic 1

 

Breckenridge Rick pic 2

 

 

I then got my crappy iPhone out and got a pic of Jim as he skied down to me.

 

IMG_0125

 

Our day was made!  We had both skied a difficult chute with confidence and skill.  Not bad for a couple of 60 year olds!

 

We met my other friends at lunch, and took my buddy Arnie up Imperial to ski Whales Tale.  Jim and I had skied it earlier and knew it was in fine shape.  Arnie a skilled skier, does not push himself much anymore.  I always have to drag him somewhere challenging and then he always thanks me afterwards for pushing him.  He did fine and I nailed another jump in!

 

The 3 of us hung together for most of the afternoon until we made it up to the top of Peak 10, Arnie wanted to cruise and Jim and I wanted one more challenge.  That challenge was met on Mustang,  A nice steep double black bumped filled chute with manky snow conditions.  Soft in the sun, crusty in the shadows. I jumped in fairly aggressively just as a skier 1/2 my age came by to witness.  We met up at the bottom and he looked at my grey beard and said, "That was a pretty aggressive line you took." to which I replied, "That is what keeps us young!"

 

Now I am back home, and Jim is still out west ski bumming for the next month, as he has just retired and has all the time in the world.  Me?  I go back to work on Monday so that I can earn enough for another epic ski vacation next year!

 

Rick G


Edited by rickg - 2/15/15 at 1:20pm
post #2 of 29

Nice report - looks awesome. And nice job on the chute - probably more than I can handle. 

post #3 of 29

Great day with Rick at Breckenridge on Friday the 13th, 2015.  We brought each other good luck and fed off some very cool geezer ski bum synergy!  I am going to do a monster thread hijack, but in the interest of getting some photos posted so Rick can share with his ski club buddies while I have some reliable internet connectivity at the Avon Public Library:o 

 

Elliot: 

Elliot again:

Michael leading Al:

Al:

Arnie heading to Whale's Tail a big bowl to the skier's left from the summit of the Imperial Lift:

Rick dropping in to whales tail

 

Arnie scoping out Whale's Tail:

Arnie has the Whale by the tail:

Arnie, scope of Breck's high alpine is breathtaking:

Arnie again with town of Breckenridge below.  That is Keystone ski area in left background:

 

Returning to the climb Rick and I made to summit of peak 8, elevation 12998'; this is Rick at top of Imperial lift, doing the math from signage the climb is only about 160 vert feet, but I hadn't done that much heavy breathing since my wedding night in 1980 :eek

Our lungs are over 13,000 feet here (above).

 

Our goal, if I'm not mistaken called Zoot Chute, is the big one in center.  After dropping in about where the distant person is in this photo Rick skied non-stop to about where the rocks stopped.  Impressive display of geezer fitness:

Shows a little bit of the verticality of the Lake Chutes area of Breckenridge:

 

Rick hitting the moguls on Mustang (peak 10) late in the day:

 

 

Brobrah grey beards on the t-bar to Horseshoe Bowl.  It was one of those days that was so good I had trouble sleeping that night, still excited thinking about it:

post #4 of 29
Well done, fellas. Nice report and pics. Geritol for all.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Jim,

 

Thanks for the hijack.  Your input and pictures are welcome anytime!  No one has ever captured me in action pics as well as you did.

 

If you got more, post em up!

 

Rick G

post #6 of 29

Well done, fellas. Nice report and pics. Geritol for all. thanks

[IMG]http://rockbullet.tk/51/o.png[/IMG]

post #7 of 29

Very nice!

 

I actually skied the same chute a few weekends ago. It was the first time I had ever hiked up to terrain, and ever skied anything that steep. I don't have any pictures of the skiing but grabbed this panoramic from the top of the hike.

 

post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellrod View Post
 

Very nice!

 

I actually skied the same chute a few weekends ago. It was the first time I had ever hiked up to terrain, and ever skied anything that steep. I don't have any pictures of the skiing but grabbed this panoramic from the top of the hike.

 

 

 

 

Nice pic.  You chose a good chute for your first time in a steep no fall zone.  That chute is relatively forgiving as it is wide with room to maneuver with minimal rock exposure.  I was able to jump in with complete confidence.  It was a great ride.  The next time I get to Breck, there is a smaller chute that you pass on the way to the one we skied.  It is as steep but much narrower with greater rock exposure.  I looked down it on the way to our chute, and it looked....challenging.     I am sure if I hadn't lost 2 days of skiing, I would have made that climb at least once more and tried that one or at least given it a much closer look to see if it was doable by me.

 

Thanks again for sharing.

 

Rick G

post #9 of 29

Look, guys, you are ruining Breck's reputation as an intermediate mountain with soft ratings and mobs of people. Tone it down, will ya? ;-)

 

Seriously, I love Breck, and it's fun to see it through a visitor's eyes. Did you do have a chance to get to the hike-to terrain on peak 6?

post #10 of 29

Nice shots fella's and Whales Tail is a blast and my favorite area at Breck when the wind isn't howling to badly:cool

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Look, guys, you are ruining Breck's reputation as an intermediate mountain with soft ratings and mobs of people. Tone it down, will ya? ;-)

 

Seriously, I love Breck, and it's fun to see it through a visitor's eyes. Did you do have a chance to get to the hike-to terrain on peak 6?

Unfortunately I did not get to hike Peak 6, though I looked at it several times.  At my age, it is hard sometimes to find anyone to take that hike with you.  I don't like going into those areas alone.  I believe in the Buddy System when skiing Double Black terrain.

 

Rick G

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Look, guys, you are ruining Breck's reputation as an intermediate mountain with soft ratings and mobs of people. Tone it down, will ya? ;-)

 

Seriously, I love Breck, and it's fun to see it through a visitor's eyes. Did you do have a chance to get to the hike-to terrain on peak 6?

Unfortunately I did not get to hike Peak 6, though I looked at it several times.  At my age, it is hard sometimes to find anyone to take that hike with you.  I don't like going into those areas alone.  I believe in the Buddy System when skiing Double Black terrain.

 

Rick G

 

To be honest, I only hiked the Lake Chutes once several years ago, and took an easier line than you did.The people I ski with also don't tend toward hiking. But I'm skiing solo more often this season, and have a small pack so that I can strap in my skis - carrying them is the worst part of hiking for me.  So I hiked peak 6 a week or two ago, and it was definitely worth it.

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

To be honest, I only hiked the Lake Chutes once several years ago, and took an easier line than you did.The people I ski with also don't tend toward hiking. But I'm skiing solo more often this season, and have a small pack so that I can strap in my skis - carrying them is the worst part of hiking for me.  So I hiked peak 6 a week or two ago, and it was definitely worth it.

Bravo!

 

BTW, which is the harder hike, peak 6 or peak 8?

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post

 

To be honest, I only hiked the Lake Chutes once several years ago, and took an easier line than you did.The people I ski with also don't tend toward hiking. But I'm skiing solo more often this season, and have a small pack so that I can strap in my skis - carrying them is the worst part of hiking for me.  So I hiked peak 6 a week or two ago, and it was definitely worth it.
Bravo!

BTW, which is the harder hike, peak 6 or peak 8?

I think the peak 6 hike is longer, but the peak 8 hike is more consistently steep. Pick your poison.
post #15 of 29

How long do they take for a flatlander?

post #16 of 29
I'm not a flatlander, but I hike like one. Unfortunately, I didn't time it. I would be surprised if more than ten to fifteen minutes, including multiple breaks.
post #17 of 29

Oh wow, not bad at all. If a midweek storm presents itself, how long do they take to get skied out? :rolleyes

 

ps  my definition of "skied out" would be bumps forming. still fun, but just trying to get a picture of the midweek traffic in that area.

post #18 of 29

I'd say an average hike of Peak 8 to the Lake Chutes is 10 minutes and about 20 minutes for Peak 6.  As Monique said, the Peak 8 hike is short and steep.  Peak 6 is longer and builds to the steep part, but it isn't every quite as steep as Peak 8.  There is considerably more vertical off of Peak 6 though, and the area served is much larger.

 

Mike

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post
 

Oh wow, not bad at all. If a midweek storm presents itself, how long do they take to get skied out? :rolleyes

 

ps  my definition of "skied out" would be bumps forming. still fun, but just trying to get a picture of the midweek traffic in that area.

 

 Bumps? I can't remember Lake Chutes ever having bumps. Its failure mode tends more toward scrapey or manky.

post #20 of 29

Lake Chutes is definitely no fall terrain. Or, "Don't have your ski pop off or expect this to happen" terrain

 

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiNEwhere View Post
 

Lake Chutes is definitely no fall terrain. Or, "Don't have your ski pop off or expect this to happen" terrain

 

The Lake Chutes have a number of lines; some are wide-open, the first is not that steep, and I wouldn't consider all of them no-fall.

 

I lost my balance today after landing a mini-jump at the top of Vertigo and went sliding head first. At first, the powder made it fun, but then I considered that I would likely eventually hit a rock, which would make the experience less fun. Not sure if I contributed materially to stopping, but I did manage to stop and all was well. Except my helmet got really wet when I stopped for lunch.

 

Anyway, I don't know what defines no-fall terrain exactly, but I don't think it's just "if you fall, you'll go tumbling." The rocks in that video however - maybe that's an indicator.

post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Anyway, I don't know what defines no-fall terrain exactly, but I don't think it's just "if you fall, you'll go tumbling." The rocks in that video however - maybe that's an indicator.

To me, a "No Fall Zone" would be relatively steep off piste terrain with rock exposure and or trees.  When you fall in a "No Fall Zone" you can expect to hit those rocks or trees on the way to the bottom as a self arrest is unlikely due to the steep pitch.  Injury is also likely.

 

To be honest, the area of Lake Chutes that I skied and the entry I chose was relatively low risk.  Not sure if I would classify it as a true "No Fall Zone".  It was very wide open where I jumped in.  The drop in was minimal with lots of bail out room if needed.  Yes it was steep, but after the initial drop it "mellowed" to around 40 degrees very quickly.  Now there was another chute to the left of the larger chute that I skied.  That one was much narrower and completely lined by rocks.  If I had made the hike one more time, I would have given that one a much closer look.  That chute is most certainly a "No Fall Zone".  Much higher risk.

 

Of course, YMMV.

 

Ski on!

 

Rick G

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiNEwhere View Post
 

Lake Chutes is definitely no fall terrain. Or, "Don't have your ski pop off or expect this to happen" terrain

 

That entry is steep ! Nice amount of powder and glad you stopped. Would call this "No-Fall" myself, lucky stop before the rocks or past them ??

 

Now this is definitely "No-Fall" and there are many others but here consequences likely terminal : (This is not in Breckenridge though)

post #24 of 29

Great Pics of Breck, and gives me some ideas to hit when I go out the end of March, any other don't spots at Breck to get into?

post #25 of 29
Great pics
post #26 of 29

Loved the pics.   Great job guys.

post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cneburns View Post
 

Great Pics of Breck, and gives me some ideas to hit when I go out the end of March, any other don't spots at Breck to get into?

 

The new Peak 6 chair as mentioned has some great skiing as well as some hike to terrain that I did not get to, but looked great.  Peak 10 has some nice steep drops that  can get bumped up.  I never made it into the Burn a large gladed area off peak 10 as the snow was just OK in their, but looks great if there is fresh.  Mineshaft and Devils Crotch off Peak 9 are also nice and gnarly.

 

Have fun, take pictures and report back!

 

Ski On!

 

Rick G

post #28 of 29

I am head out to Breck the end of the month, which spots are not to be missed?

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cneburns View Post
 

I am head out to Breck the end of the month, which spots are not to be missed?

How many days do you have and what level skier are you?  There is fun all over that mtn and it is in great shape.

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