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Soliciting input from any Breckenridge experts

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

After nine seasons at Purgatory in SW Colo, I've recently relocated to Breckenridge.  As my new home mountain, I've been on a tear to learn its intricacies.  I intend to eventually write an "Unofficial Guide" for Epicski and then an "Expert's Pocket Guide" for my website such as the ones I've done for Telluride and Purg.  

 

I've just started this project and will continue to add sections, photos, etc.as I'm able to.  I'm hoping it will be informative and thorough, yet concise and not too overly detailed and I don't want to give away any secret local stashes.  Just let folks know what's available and help keep them safe.  

 

If you have any familiarity or pertinent knowledge with the subject, I'd love to hear your input for additions or corrections.  Thanks

 

 

The Unofficial Guide to BRECKENRIDGE

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 16

There's a backcountry access gate from Peak 6, as well. For backcountry access, PLEASE include verbiage about beacon, probe, shovel, partner, and study of today's CAIC report is a MUST.

 

Also, note that the gates aren't necessarily open. A couple of yahoos slid Ballroom early this season, and they weren't supposed to be there.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

There's a backcountry access gate from Peak 6, as well. For backcountry access, PLEASE include verbiage about beacon, probe, shovel, partner, and study of today's CAIC report is a MUST.

 

Also, note that the gates aren't necessarily open. A couple of yahoos slid Ballroom early this season, and they weren't supposed to be there.

 

Noted.  Will edit.  Thanks

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritzski View Post

 

 

Peak 9:

 

Dropping in to the left, or south side of the ridge is possible, but not recommended due to consistent avy dangers. 

 

I'm not certain of this one, but I believe Billy's Bowl (what you're talking about here) is actually permanently closed and could get you tossed in the Hoosegow...if not the morgue.

post #5 of 16

As I mentioned in the PM, it is not wise to co-list and confound inbounds, patrolled, and controlled hiking terrain with out-of-bounds sidecountry and/or backcountry terrain, especially at a resort like Breckenridge.  It gives people the wrong idea.   There is some major avalanche terrain just outside the ropes at Breck, and you already see an awful lot of people as it is headed for the gates without any equipment or going solo.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by afski722 View Post
 

As I mentioned in the PM, it is not wise to co-list and confound inbounds, patrolled, and controlled hiking terrain with out-of-bounds sidecountry and/or backcountry terrain, especially at a resort like Breckenridge.  It gives people the wrong idea.   There is some major avalanche terrain just outside the ropes at Breck, and you already see an awful lot of people as it is headed for the gates without any equipment or going solo.

 

I agree that a very clear separation is warranted.

 

 

 

Unrelated to the issue of backcountry skiing (I'm trying to avoid the term sidecountry), the writeup for peak 9 is incomplete. If you hike far enough up the back 9, into Twin Chutes, you won't get back to the Windows - you'll end up on a long traverse that eventually dumps back into Boneyard. I don't know if it's typically an obvious track or if you "just have to know" how to get back there - I was there with a group of some of the first skiers of the season, so we had to break trail. You can see it's in bounds, and you don't go through a gate:

 

http://www.breckenridge.com/~/media/breckenridge/files/maps/2015_16brecktrailmapv1.ashx

post #7 of 16

From the bottom of Twin Chutes on the Peak 9 hike there is usually a pretty well defined track that heads north in the meadow over toward Lower Boneyard and 6-Chair instead of the bottom of the Windows and E-Chair.  There is actually a small sign on a tree somewhere in there too.   Basically, it hugs the rope line - if you follow the rope left it takes you to Lower Boneyard, if you follow it to the right its Lower Windows.  Unless there has been an immediate recent snow, there is usually a ski track headed in that direction.

 

I haven't done the Peak 9 hike in about two weeks, but the traverse out beyond the top of the cat track has been really beaten-down by wind this year (rworse than usual) and stripped of snow.  Its passible on skis if you pick your way through there, but easy to hit some rocks if you aren't paying attention or in a dust on crust situation.  Snowboarders often end up having to hike out the flat traverse to Twin Chutes.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post

I'm not certain of this one, but I believe Billy's Bowl (what you're talking about here) is actually permanently closed and could get you tossed in the Hoosegow...if not the morgue.
I just remember asking a patroller
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post

I'm not certain of this one, but I believe Billy's Bowl (what you're talking about here) is actually permanently closed and could get you tossed in the Hoosegow...if not the morgue.

I need to research this one further. The last time I went through you could see a track somebody put down the south side just west of the trees visible from the lift. I'm guessing that is "Billy's" and it is still within the resort boundaries according to the map. I asked a patroller standing there about it and he said he did not recommend going down on that side at all due to persistent avy dangers.

What I'm curious to see, is if they have an orange rope extending all the way up on that side. Are there any any breaks in it or did this person duck the rope as you allude to in your first sentence.

In any event, I'll BOLD the "not recommended" part and add that it may also be illegal.

Thanks
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afski722 View Post
 

As I mentioned in the PM, it is not wise to co-list and confound inbounds, patrolled, and controlled hiking terrain with out-of-bounds sidecountry and/or backcountry terrain, especially at a resort like Breckenridge.  It gives people the wrong idea.   There is some major avalanche terrain just outside the ropes at Breck, and you already see an awful lot of people as it is headed for the gates without any equipment or going solo.

 

I agree and disagree.  These "Exit Gates" are going to be confronted by skiers whether I mention them or not.  The one at the top of 10 is right in your face as you beckoning as you exit the lift.  I think education may have more benefit than ignoring the topic.

 

That said, I agree I didn't do a good enough job of making a clear demarcation between the two.  So I've quite extensively edited the Unofficial Guide posted on this site to point that out.

 

Thanks again for all the helpful input.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

Unrelated to the issue of backcountry skiing (I'm trying to avoid the term sidecountry), the writeup for peak 9 is incomplete. If you hike far enough up the back 9, into Twin Chutes, you won't get back to the Windows - you'll end up on a long traverse that eventually dumps back into Boneyard. I don't know if it's typically an obvious track or if you "just have to know" how to get back there - I was there with a group of some of the first skiers of the season, so we had to break trail. You can see it's in bounds, and you don't go through a gate:

 

http://www.breckenridge.com/~/media/breckenridge/files/maps/2015_16brecktrailmapv1.ashx

 

Good info.  Please add this as a "comment" on the guide.

 

Thanks

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afski722 View Post
 

From the bottom of Twin Chutes on the Peak 9 hike there is usually a pretty well defined track that heads north in the meadow over toward Lower Boneyard and 6-Chair instead of the bottom of the Windows and E-Chair.  There is actually a small sign on a tree somewhere in there too.   Basically, it hugs the rope line - if you follow the rope left it takes you to Lower Boneyard, if you follow it to the right its Lower Windows.  Unless there has been an immediate recent snow, there is usually a ski track headed in that direction.

 

I haven't done the Peak 9 hike in about two weeks, but the traverse out beyond the top of the cat track has been really beaten-down by wind this year (rworse than usual) and stripped of snow.  Its passible on skis if you pick your way through there, but easy to hit some rocks if you aren't paying attention or in a dust on crust situation.  Snowboarders often end up having to hike out the flat traverse to Twin Chutes.

 

Good info.  Please add this as a "comment" on the Guide page.

 

Thanks

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fritzski View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post

I'm not certain of this one, but I believe Billy's Bowl (what you're talking about here) is actually permanently closed and could get you tossed in the Hoosegow...if not the morgue.
I just remember asking a patroller
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post

I'm not certain of this one, but I believe Billy's Bowl (what you're talking about here) is actually permanently closed and could get you tossed in the Hoosegow...if not the morgue.

I need to research this one further. The last time I went through you could see a track somebody put down the south side just west of the trees visible from the lift. I'm guessing that is "Billy's" and it is still within the resort boundaries according to the map. I asked a patroller standing there about it and he said he did not recommend going down on that side at all due to persistent avy dangers.

What I'm curious to see, is if they have an orange rope extending all the way up on that side. Are there any any breaks in it or did this person duck the rope as you allude to in your first sentence.

In any event, I'll BOLD the "not recommended" part and add that it may also be illegal.

Thanks


Billy's is inside the Breck SUP area but is outside the permitted resort boundary, but I have to say I'm not certain where the resort boundary line runs west of the Merc top terminal. If you look left as you unload Merc you are looking at the boundary. I'd be surprised to learn that there is any terrain left off the hike up.

post #13 of 16

Breck also has a Guides program which, if I understand correctly, includes potentially taking the clients out of the gates.

post #14 of 16


OK, I gave some iffy info so here's the straight poop. I stopped in and talked to patrol today

 

There IS a rope along the left as you go out the Windows/Broadway/Twin Chutes hike. All that to the left is outside the ski area boundary. There is - as mentioned above - a gate up the hike. That gate will get you into Billy's and other areas up there. Entering Billy's will NOT get you tossed in the Hoosegow, but it might still get you into the morgue. It is a dangerous area that slides spontaneously frequently. 

 

Sorry for the bad info.

post #15 of 16
Several years ago, while riding the Mercury with a patroller, the Billy's Bowl cornice was huge, and the patrol guy said they'd probably be practicing some avy mitigation on it soon. He told me that once years before that, he'd watched a big mountain lion walking along a similar cornice there and saw it break loose a slide that it managed to ride down a ways before it scrambled back up to the cornice. So there could be multiple dangers there!!!
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Several years ago, while riding the Mercury with a patroller, the Billy's Bowl cornice was huge, and the patrol guy said they'd probably be practicing some avy mitigation on it soon. He told me that once years before that, he'd watched a big mountain lion walking along a similar cornice there and saw it break loose a slide that it managed to ride down a ways before it scrambled back up to the cornice. So there could be multiple dangers there!!!

:eek

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