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1 day to ski Breckenridge for advanced skier

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We're going to be in Breck for a 4 day ski trip with a few families. Most of my ski days are going to be with the kids who are beginner and intermediate skiers. I think I'll have one full day to ski where I want to. Generally, I enjoying skiing challenging, steep terrain and moguls. I'll ski just about anything including terrain that doesn't require any more than ~10 feet of air. I've been described as a solid PSIA level 8 skier by the ski schools I've taken lessons at (JH, Vail, Mammoth, Squaw).

From the trail map it looks like I'd enjoy skiing the Imperial Express chair, T-bar, chair 6, E chair and the Falcon Express. Given I'll only have 1 day to ski that terrain, any suggestions on where I should concentrate my time? Any specific can't miss runs? If possible I'd like to get in as much vertical on that day as possible (hopefully ~40,000).
post #2 of 9
Breck has lots of great places to ski and the chairs u mentioned are indeed the best expert terrain. The falcon chair has some great runs off the backside but they have a very lengthy catwalk at the bottom so may not be the best use of your time if you have only one day as u can get similar runs off the E chair. As for can't miss runs I would highly recommend the Horseshoe bowl. If you enter it as soon as possible and than traverse skiers left after getting below the rock fences you will find a face called Lulu's which typically runs 40-45 degrees and is the steepest non-hike to terrain. One of my favorite things to do is ski the terrain behind the Imperial(Whale's Tale, Y-chutes etc.) down to the T-bar take the T-bar up and than ski down to chair 6 and start the lap over again. That will not give you much bump skiing though.
post #3 of 9
O also if you like tree skiing Windows is an awesome run as well as the burn off the Falcon chair although the burn is much easier terrain.
post #4 of 9
The resorts brags that their steepest stuff is the Lake Chutes. Even though it requires a hike, you might want to check it out.
post #5 of 9
Easiest access/no lines/quick ride. E-Chair. Ski Mineshaft, Devils Crotch, Inferno, Tom's Baby (stay skiers left here) and Windows.

Try to find Needles Eye (very steep/very narrow treed area) and head up the Superconnect from the mid-station. Head to 6 chair (left off the lift) and ski a few runs there if there is powder. If not get off 6 chair and turn right. Stay high as you can passing the Imperial lift and you can drop into the front bowl and ski the t-bar for a few runs in Horseshoe Bowl or go up Imperial lift.

Under Imperial is not impressive terrrain. Go out the back toward Whale's Tail and ski there. Drop in early or late once you get to Peak 7. The center sees all the action. Trouble here is getting back. You must ride the t-bar then head over the hill to the Imperial lift. Great terrain, but a little tough to get to. If you really want steeps head out to the Lake Chutes. There is "drop in" terrain there as well as ski in terrain that is in the 50 degree range. It's short, but a trip to ski. It's about a 10-15 min hike (at 13,000 ft)

If you have a spare hour or two and your group is based on Peak 9 head up and ski the south side of Peak 10. (Mustang, Dark Rider etc etc) Make sure there is good cover overall as this area gets hit by sun and can be variable or thin. There is more stump than rock there so bottoming out may be uneventfull.

Hope that helps.

post #6 of 9

Breck has lots of great terrain, but what of it will be great depends on the conditions at the time. One way to maximize your time would be to take either a group lesson ($110) or the big mountain experience ($190). You'll then get a top pro to show you the mountain -- something that is hard to get on your own.

As for the classic lines, here's my take.

1. The steepest terrain at Breck, AFAIK, is in the Lake Chutes. You'll need to hike 130 vertical feet above the top of the Imperial Express, topping out at 13,000 vertical feet. The steep lines are Crazy Ivan's and the much tougher Elevator Shaft (which I've seen 1 snowboarder ride -- it is pretty close to a 40 foot vertical cornice), and Zoot Chute is pretty nice but still steep. A mellower line is to continue past the Lake Chutes to Snow White for some tasty powder if it is a powder day.

2. I generally think of the Imperial Express as a lift to get somewhere else -- I don't find Imperial Bowl to be very interesting. That being said, it is also the way to access Peak 7. Sidestep up 10 feet and drop into the Whale's Tail and drop the cornice. Make sure to traverse skier's left onto Peak 7 (you'll encounter a number of traverses), then ski down the ridge until you come close to the nose -- you can drop over the edge and come back to the ridge kind of garlanding your way down for fun, if you like. At the nose, you've got a couple of choices. Straight off along the boundary is Art's Bowle, and it is really lovely when their is a bunch of new snow on it. Skier's right is Magic Carpet, a 45 degree shot to the floor.

3. Horseshoe Bowl is something not to miss. You can reach it by the T-Bar, or by taking the high traverse from the top of the 6 chair and scooting around to the Bowl. The t-bar line is better, but the wind is sometimes fierce on the t-bar. Move left after encountering the choke point and you've got probably 700 vertical feet of 45 degree plus slope -- and a big canvas on which to paint your turns.

4. Using the high traverse noted above, you can ski down the ridge line and drop into Contest Bowl, a particularly steep but short shot. Very tasty.

5. There's lots of interesting lines on E Chair. For a tight steep shot, ski MineCrotch, which is a tree alley between Mineshaft and Devil's Crotch. It can be a bit challenging getting into the area with your bases intact, but what are skis for? You take the traverse towards Mineshaft, but about half way down, veer left down a 10-12 foot wide set of tree shots in pretty steep terrain.

Those are a few ideas, but you really won't get a view of the area without a guide. Hence, either find a local to guide you, or think of the options outlined above. Snowpro, aka Jonathan Lawson, sometimes is on this board and is an excellent instructor at Breck. You might try to get him if you do either the lesson or BME -- I can assure you you will have a great time.

post #7 of 9

Could I suggest that you take Uncle Louie's advice.

I've skied with him and he really knows that mountain (taught on it for years).

I also suspect, although I haven't checked the trail map, that what he's told you will really maximise your time on that "me day" you'll be looking forward to so much.

I'd be grateful if you'd let me know how you get on, as Im heading out that way in early March myself.


CW :-)
post #8 of 9
All good advice above. Don't waste your time following the crowd. Get yourself a game plan from the info above and seek out the goods.

One thing about Lake Chutes is that it is pretty scary from above. Your first turn appears (and is) important. One way to avoid that is to enter just past Easy Street where it's not nearly as steep and then traverse into the steeper stuff to get a taste.

I wouldn't skip Southside of Peak 10 because of the road at the bottom. Southside is two pitches with a bench about halfway down in between. When you get to the bench follow it left (east) to a nice mogul pitch (can't recall the name) that intersects with Cimarron. Straight-line the bottom of Cimmarron and you'll carry plenty of speed to make the road effortless. Once your realize what kind of speed you'll need for the road, you can do some of the other lines. It's possible to get the speed from any of the lines but it gets harder the further west you are from Cimarron.
post #9 of 9
there is some good advice here. Mike laid out a good game plan. But if you want to do 30-40k vert, get the BME or a private and tell them I an instructor who can guide me everywhere and ski 40K vert for the lesson. The line cutting privileges will get you an extra 10K, and another 10-15k of quality turns by knowing where to go (i.e. George's to the Zipper, Tiger Woods, etc), how to get there, and WHEN to go there. And you will also have someone to ski with. Doing some of the stuff Mike mentioned isn't the best to do alone.

The moutain is really getting good right now. Whale's tail and P7 started getting skied today. It was pretty buff. The Lake Chutes are good and technical right now. We need to get one more big snow to soften the mountain, as the Xmas crowds tend to beat it up some.

If you register for the BME and ask for the 40K day you will probably get Matt B, Franz, Jen L, Randy B, Jon L, or Teague H (trainers and examiners) as an instructor/guide.

Enjoy your day,
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