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My Weekend In Colorado: A Tale of Fun, Sun and Snow (?) Part I Breckenridge

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
This is a combined snow, resort and gear report on a quick trip to Colorado this past weekend which I hope will be of interest to fellow Bears. First of all there are some issues with snow in Colorado, so if anyone is planning a trip out there I would suggest getting frequent updates from someone not affiliated with the resort. While things were ok this weekend, as the month goes on I would expect the situation to worsen, especially at lower altitudes.

So, to get on with it, there is this guy that I used to work with who lives in Boulder, and we have been talking about skiing together for the last two years. So since my women are in Sweden right now visiting my in-laws, and the snow forecast said fresh, I loaded up my boards and bombed on out there. The general plan was to do Breckenridge on day one, Vail or Copper on day two, and hit Loveland on Sunday morning.

After arrival and some suitably yeasty carbo loading on Thursday pm we hit the hay about midnight with visions of sugar plum powder snow dancing in our heads thanks to the NOAA forecast (60% probability). Up and atem by 7:00 am the next morning we took the back route behind Golden up to I-70. The sunrise was bright gold and clear, no clouds, so obviously the weatherman f***ed up again. Up at the mountain it was a gorgeous, gorgeous day at Breckenridge. Upon arrival at 8:30 am no clouds there either (snif, snif), and nary a hint of fresh. And me with my new Volant FB's. Well nothing like it babies, I strapped them on and went for it.

Conditions were icy hard pack, some death cookies and chicken heads especially in the morning, and lot's of wind as the day went on. Snow appears to be an ongoing issue in Colorado this season, but at least at Breckenridge with their higher altitude the snow base was still good. Breckenridge in my book is lots of advanced intermediate terrain, if you want the more advanced stuff there you generally have to be prepared to hike. We didn't, just cruised the groomers at high speed all day long.

The Volant FB's were massive. Just an unbelievably stable ride. After a few runs to get the kinks out I started to push them. I agree with Jib that these things have no top end. Mid morning I was pushing them up to 35 mph plus, they just tracked. Since I was not wearing my helmet I did not want to push them further. Shorter is also ok because these things are so massive, I'm 6'3" 220 and the 175cm was just fine. With the 21m sidecut and at 12lbs the FB's are not the most nimble boards edge to edge, but then if you are skiing these you are not planning to take slalom gates anyway. Great, great stable ride at speed with nice big GS type turns. A super cruiser, they just went ping, ping ping over the death cookies and chicken heads. I switched to my Solly Scream Hots in the afternoon for a comparison point, and I think the FB's actually tracked better, ie cut the ice like I was on rails. It got very icy in the afternoon as a 45 mile an hour wind kicked up and blew what little fresh snow there was away.

Breckenridge was a great warm up with all the advanced intermediate cruisers. Crowds were not bad on a Friday so we were pretty much up and down the whole time, especially after the wind started to blow. And lot's of sun to it wasn't too awful cold. A good time was had by all. We also managed to hook up another with a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in 25 years who was out from Michigan with his college aged son. There was time at the end of the day over a brewski to remember our last ski trip to Co. together when we were both in college 27 years ago. Kinda weird but kinda cool too. We then moved on for some more carbo loading at the Breckenridge Brewery. Happy hour there is a really good deal, and food was good and not too expensive either. It being Friday, I went for the beer battered fish and chips at $ 8.95 which was very tasty.

The weather forecast still said snow was a possibility and with all that wind something had to be going on, so we thought, hey Saturday, if there's fresh hit the back bowls at Vail. So passed out by nine with visions of powder dancing in our heads we moved on to day two.

To move on to day two yourself, click here http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=25796
post #2 of 3
I'm not sure where your trip report will take us on Sunday, but if you went to Breck, A-Basin, Winter Park, or Copper, I'm betting you were much happier on your FBs than you were at Breck on Friday.
post #3 of 3
Winter Park is reporting over a foot of fresh from the past 2 days. Wish I could've gotten up there. We're supposed to get more at the end of this week too. The conditions are actually fairly good for Spring (I was up this past Saturday before the new snow and it was hard in the morning, but softened up quite a bit in only a few hours).
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