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Skiing Breckenridge

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'll be fortunate enough to ski in Breckenridge in December. I'm a volunteer instructor for people with disabilities and will be attending a conference there.

I will have a bit of time to freeride on my own in the week that I'll be there and definately want to make the most of that precious time!

If anyone has any experience skiing Breckenridge and can give me a few tips on things I shouldn't miss out on, it would be great!

Note that I have an expert level of skiing and am looking for nice aggresive terrain but not moguls. Also, I have no disabilities myself so I won't have any restrictions equipment-wise.

Thanks!
post #2 of 22
Welcome to Epic Olograkix. We all applaud your volunteering to help those less fortunate. Your timing in December to Breckenridge may be to early to enjoy the large amount of ungroomed areas available. Hopefully it will be a heavy early snow fall season. If not several local Bears will still join you for some turns. James.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome JMD. This snow season just cannot get here fast enough this year! I understand that December is pretty early and am disapointed that I will probably not be able to take the full advantage of skiing there but hopefully there are some big snow falls between now and December 7th!!

Anyways, I was looking for a nice discussion forum for skiing and I think I might have found a new favorite home here! See you around!
post #4 of 22
If you haven't done so already try a search in this form on the top right of the page. I looked under "Breckenridge tips" (without quotes) and came up with multiple pages of good stuff. We were in Breck over Easter in 2007 ans there was PLENTY of good snow everywhere. You will be there early and do have altitude on your side so hope for good early season dumps. The town itself is also awesome!

Also search under using the words Breckenridge, advice, tips, Breck and you should find LOTS of good info!

http://forums.epicski.com/search.php?searchid=2965221
post #5 of 22
Breck is a great place.

The whole top of Breckenridge has nice steep pitches, some of which stay fairly smooth. You should make the climb from the top of the Imperial Chair to the Lake Chutes (most of which is really a cornice, not a chute) at least once -- though the climb at 12000 ft was a bit of a struggle for me.

Heading skiers left off the Imperial Chair brings you to Whales Tale, which is a nice cornice drop you don't have to hike to get to. You can traverse even further and get to other interesting stuff.

If you like trees, get someone to show you where the windows are (I never would have found them without help).

This is just a sampling -- there are whole other parts of the mountain I didn't even mention.

If you are going to ski the top of the mountain, it is worth taking the time to study the trail map and see how Chair 6, the Imperial Chair, and the horseshoe bowl T-bar interact. There are better and worse ways to link together lift rides and runs.

(One odd thing about Breck that may be relevent for your volunteer work -- the lower mountain Greens are some of the Greenest greens I've ever seen. Some are too flat for beginners, in my opinion. This is a green issue only -- the blues and up are fine.)
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post
Breck is a great place.

The whole top of Breckenridge has nice steep pitches, some of which stay fairly smooth. You should make the climb from the top of the Imperial Chair to the Lake Chutes (most of which is really a cornice, not a chute) at least once -- though the climb at 12000 ft was a bit of a struggle for me.

Heading skiers left off the Imperial Chair brings you to Whales Tale, which is a nice cornice drop you don't have to hike to get to. You can traverse even further and get to other interesting stuff.

If you like trees, get someone to show you where the windows are (I never would have found them without help).

This is just a sampling -- there are whole other parts of the mountain I didn't even mention.

If you are going to ski the top of the mountain, it is worth taking the time to study the trail map and see how Chair 6, the Imperial Chair, and the horseshoe bowl T-bar interact. There are better and worse ways to link together lift rides and runs.

(One odd thing about Breck that may be relevent for your volunteer work -- the lower mountain Greens are some of the Greenest greens I've ever seen. Some are too flat for beginners, in my opinion. This is a green issue only -- the blues and up are fine.)
Great info! Thanks! Hopefully there is enough snow for me to try all of these suggestions!

Also, thanks for the "green" issue. I guess it's no wonder then they chose Breck for this convention. When teaching, for us, the greener, the better!!
post #7 of 22
Adding to what Mdf said:

From the top of the imperial chair access to whales tail and peak 7 bowl is an easy sidestep up about 15 feet and then an easy traverse out as far as you want to go with whales tail and peak 7 bowl being my favorite. This area offers the longest vertical of the bowls at Breck.

Imperial bowl is nice as well and anything skiers left of, directly under or near skiers right of the chair can be handled by any competent intermediate although it does get bumped up if it hasn't snowed in a while. further skiers right gets steeper and into the lower lake chutes area mentioned by Mdf.

The best groomers on the hill IMO concentrated in one area and consist of crystal, centennial, doublejack and cimmarron which are all accessed from the peak 10 falcon chair. If crowds are light you can absolutely fly on these runs. Be carefull at the end of cimmarron though. You'll see an obvious short steep pitch at the bottom of the run and you want to carry maximum speed there to avoid having to skate and pole on the runout back to the lift. Also nice trees in an area called the burn off of this lift that are nicely spaced but again bumpy without new snow.

All the terrain off of the 6 chair has nice pitch mixed with clusters of trees, but they don't groom much of it, so lots of bumps here without a good dose of new snow.

Peaks 8 and 9 are quite a few groomers mixed in with a few tree shots and a few bump runs with a wide variety of pitch on either peak.

Peak 7 is all blue to easy blue groomers that's fun for a few runs, but you'll want to go pretty fast on all of these runs as they each have a couple of flat sections so you need to carry speed. You can also access some tight trees in an area called ore bucket. It's marked black because of the tightness and not the pitch. You can also access ore bucket from the bottom of peak 7 bowl.

Finally skiers left of the Tbar accesses much of the terrain accessed from the imperial sidestep, but you lose quite a bit of vertical in the equation but still mucho fun. Skiers right of the Tbar gives you access to the very nice horseshoe and contest bowls that while only 800 or so vertical are an absolute blast if the snow is decent. Generally small cornice drop to get into these.

There's at least one groomer off of every chair except imperial.
post #8 of 22
Paging Uncle Louie. When the Go Colorado group was there last spring UL laid out a great day of skiing at Breck skiing in areas of the mtn. I probably would have overlooked and it was fantastic. Didn't hurt to have fresh snow either. Breck I learned that day is a pretty deceiving mountain with alot of great lines that are easy to miss. I know now in my past visits there that I spent way too much time over on wind swept Peak 10.
post #9 of 22
Just to supplement what's already been said.

If the high alpine terrain is open, then the suggestions above are fine. I personally like skiing Arte's Bowl, accessed by traversing skier's left from the Whale's Tail. It has a lot of nice steep shots in it. If there's a good dump, it can be quite deep in some of it, and it's one of my favorite spots on the mountain.

Also, Horseshoe Bowl can be nice. If steep moguls are your thing, then most of the runs off of the E Chair are good -- Minedump, Tail of the Dragon, Tom's, etc. Also, the trees inbetween some of the shots can be pretty interesting as well. And there are multiple shots in Windows (skier's left from E Chair).

Jonathan Lawson (Snowpro) often checks in here -- he is quite a good instructor at Breck and can give you the real low down on the mountain. I always thought Breck was flat -- until he showed me the good stuff.

Mike
post #10 of 22

Breck T Bar

Take the t bar and ski the north side. Watch for rocks, definately use your early season skis. Should be able to get some good ungroomed pow way up there as the terrain opens. Some hiking will be rewarded.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiwestmore View Post
Take the t bar and ski the north side. Watch for rocks, definately use your early season skis. Should be able to get some good ungroomed pow way up there as the terrain opens. Some hiking will be rewarded.
+1 on above. Last time I skied breck we ended up doing laps all afternoon in fresh pow that kept on falling all day, tons of fun and I did hit a rock at one little cliffy spot.

My favorite run is a marked tree run named The Burn. (not off the T, somewhere in the middle of the area) Consistant pitch, not super steep but not flat either, very nicely spaced trees, and it seemed to be one of those overlooked trails that just doesn't get skied a lot. The caveat is that I have not been in several years so things may have changed.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone for the great info. I am definately worried about my December 7-14 dates because of how early this is in the season.

I'll have free ski day on Saturday (Dec 13) and would like to make the most of it. Any suggestions as far as "riding with a local"? I think someone mentioned something about "Big Mountain Experience" and something else, I forget the name.

I know Skiwestmore mentioned hiking will be rewarded, I just wondered how much and how can I be guided to "where"! I'd definately like to find some Pow on that day and someone to show me around would be great!

Thanks again to everyone!
post #13 of 22

1 year ago

Olografix,
there is still time for the weather to put some snow on the ground. It snowed all day today (Nov 28), and we can sacrifice a few skis to Ullr. But here is some good news. Here was a post I put together on Dec 9, 2007 So let's hope for a few more feet.

You are receiving some good advice from the EpicTeam on places to ski. I will be teaching on the hill tomorrow, so I will be able to give you more up-to-date status of snow conditions.

Be great, and enjoy Breck,
Jon
MySnowPro
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olografix View Post

I'll have free ski day on Saturday (Dec 13) and would like to make the most of it. Any suggestions as far as "riding with a local"?

I just wondered how much and how can I be guided to "where"!
All I am going to say at this point is be sure you have your laptop with you and your PM box cleared enough to receive PM's.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi Snopro, still waiting on that snow report! 15" in the past 48 hours had to help somewhat!

Will do Uncle Louie! I work in IT so the laptop is never far away!

Yesterady I just had to go to my hill to have a peek and we are nowhere near skiing quite yet. Lots of artificial snow going on, but the cats have not done anything yet. Lots of people will be jealous of me skiing on Dec 8th!
post #16 of 22
The snow started on Friday, and let up today. Lots of shoveling around the house.

On Sunday Patrol started throwing charges in the Horseshoe Bowl (aka Front Bowl). That is a good sign and suggests preparation for a 6-chair opening probably after the next storm.

Our group caught a few run openings on peak 8, and I was surprised at the amount of snow on those runs. 18-24 inches on High Anxiety. Unfortunately, the ground and rocks were about 20-26 under the surface.

At this point terrain is still limited, but today was the first time I could see the mountain since friday. More snow expected later in the week.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
So here's a question about skiing the CO rockies. I know the fact that I'm the next best thing on skis after Chaos , and I think I can ski lots of different terrain without much trouble but the fact is I've never skied bowls and it's always been a dream of mine to have too much pow to handle!

I've only skied the Ice Coast and know that I can handle the horrible conditions we have here (did I mention ice?) and could manage some off-piste pow and trees in Jay Peak just fine.

I've been looking at some trail maps of Breck this week and notice that most bowls are double-diamond but I know that DD around here and DD in CO is different so what are the differences? And what is the required level of ski to attack those DDs?

Bowls are just something I've never done before, so I'm trying to get a feel for them.

Thanks!
post #18 of 22
The main thing with the bowls is the variable terrain. It's all ungroomed, so you get whatever nature and skiers leave you. Moguls, steeps, crud, rocks, windslab, etc. You will need to be able to read terrain, plot your strategy, and adapt as things change.

Some of the terrain is pretty steep. There are lines in Horsehoe Bowl and on Peak 7 that are 45 degrees and above. But almost all areas offer a less steep way down.

Unless we get a lot more snow, I doubt that the high alpine terrain will be open by the time you leave, which would be a disappointment. Play it by ear -- you may also need to consider skiing at another resort to take advantage of who has got the goods. For example, this weekend Loveland was the big winner as they seemed to benefit most from the wind-blown snow.

Breck is skiing pretty well right now -- it's just that there is little terrain open, and what is open is not very indicative of what Breckenridge really has to offer.

Mike
post #19 of 22
T-bar is scheduled to open this weekend (12/6). Chair 6 is open now. Bring your powder skis, because there is lots of it. 8-12" today. Still snowing now (thurs)
post #20 of 22
Fantastic! Hope to ski with you this weekend, Jonathan.

Mike
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Man am I excited to get there now.

Hmm.. powder skis... anywhere around we can rent them? I'm bringing my Atomic slalom skis, but I don't own powder skis right now. I'm staying at Beaver run resort, anything good for rentals there?

Did I mention I was excited??
post #22 of 22
Be very, very careful in skiing off packed runs this early in the season. You can't see what is under you, which could be rocks, stumps, logs. etc. A few years ago my neighbor skied under a log and got some "air time". Two feet of light dry powder packs to a few inches.

Try the Norway House or Main Street Sports on Main St. for fat ski demos. Almost anything is better than slalom skis.
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