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Breck, 1/5/06 (Rick and ssh)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Rick (FASTMAN) and I met for turns today at Breck, starting the day at the Peak 8 base, since Rick had spent most of his previous experiences at Breck racing over on Peak 9. The area reported 4-5" new and a 60" mid-mountain base (77" up top). Being that Rick is a hard-snow eastern skier recently relocated to Colorado, I took him up the T for a warm-up down Vertigo (one of my favorite runs at Breck). The wind had done a great grooming job, and had deposited quite a bit of new snow into the run, too. No real windslab, but a mix of windpack and pow. A few drifts, too! The Boundary Chutes and Debbie's Alley had great cover and nice powder shots, but we didn't drop into them.

Another run up the T and over to Horseshoe. After a little orienting, Rick dropped down the middle of the bowl and eventually to the debris at the bottom of the recent avi. The crown looked to vary from about 18" to 3 or 4 feet, and the slide took about a third of the bowl from skiers-left of center around the ridge. The conditions were mixed, from smallish bumps to windpack, windslab, and chunks. All fun and soft, though.

A couple runs on 7 were next, including showing Rick a couple of my favorite little stashes and Ore Bucket. We played with some technique stuff on the groomers on 7 for a couple of runs, too, then rode Northstar (ungroomed, so a mix of bumps and soft piles) to the bottom of 8, then dropped over Frosty's, up E, and down to the Peak 9 restaurant for lunch (Minestrone soup just for Uncle Louie, even though he was missing!). If you ski Breck, make sure to eat lunch at the Peak 9 restaurant (at the top of Peak 9); it's privately owned, and has (IMO) the best soup (and menu!) on the mountain.

After lunch, mostly Bonanza down to the SuperConnect chair from it's bottom loading. Down to 6, up the new Imperial Chair, and play in the bowl for a run. The snow was nice, but even with only 15 chairs on that lift, there were a lot of people up there (a number of whom did not belong there).

Traversed out to Contest Bowl (Uncle Louie, your stash was completely tracked out!), and played in the funky snow at that end of the bowl. The snow was pretty deep, but again that mix of windpack (higher density) and soft snow piles and powder stretches.

We took it down into the draw above the Rocky Mountain chair. It was in here that I had a choice: ski the snow along the ridgeline that was consistent, or try the windslab. Remembering Uncle Louie's challenge to "ski what you wouldn't normally ski in ways you wouldn't normally ski it", I had to ski the slab. I think I did pretty well, except for when I augered in. Rick said it looked like my ski drifted away on me. I thought I got too far over my tips. Whatever it was, I went fully into the snow. Definitely a hoot! I know it helped my skiing!

A few more runs on 8, including a couple of cruisers, and we were done. The snow was wonderful, the company both delightful and educational. Don't hesitate to visit Colorado; the conditions are amazing. I will say that we had longer lines than we anticipated today, almost like a weekend.

Thanks, Rick, it was great. Let's do it again--soon!
post #2 of 3
Sounds like a great day! I was up there yesterday. The snow was just great (and falling hard most of the day), but the weather was pretty harsh. In particular, I didn't ski anything above the tree line because it was just a white out, with poor visibility, windy and cold (by CO standards- just another day in the mountains for NE!). Since I was by myself and going in the singles line, I never waited more than 2 or 3 minutes for a chair, but the lines were short everywhere (one of the benefits of bad weather).

Of course, the drive back to Denver was awful. Why is it, despite passing at least a half dozen SUV's and pick-ups spun out into the median or shoulder, some idiots still insist on tailgaiting with the high beams on in icy white-out conditions, and when they can clearly see that the line of cars in front of me wasn't going any faster anyway? This must have happened 2 or three times.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
dp, I was disappointed that we missed each other this week! I was surprised to be able to sneak out today, but it worked out (and the weather was awesome!). Rick was there yesterday racing on peak 9, so you can imagine how he felt in his suit! :

I know what you mean about the drivers, too. It wasn't me; I never use my high beams.
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