A Day on the Mountain

12/20/2013 | By Roman


Today was my first day on the mountain, this year, at our beautiful Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Wow, what a blast it was.  Breckenridge reported 7 inches of snow for this day, and I can testify to it!  It snowed all day, non-stop.  Although a blue sky day with fresh powder is the ultimate, for the feel of the skis on the snow, there is nothing better than skiing fresh falling snow.  My ski buddy and I skied through patches of  powder, all day, and with no lift lines.  I am afraid that the no lift lines phrase will disappear in the next few days, as the holidays are our busiest time.

This season marks 50 years since I first started skiing.  I have taught skiing for 7 years at Breckenridge and 2 years at Copper Mountain.  I have worked at Summit Vacations for 6 years now and have skied at Breckenridge for over 25 years, so I know the mountain and the town very well.

Let me tell you about the conditions at Breckenridge on Friday, Dec 20th, as I experienced them.

For the first run of the season, we expert skiers (and old fogeys) wisely decided to start with an easy blue (intermediate) run, Columbine, on Peak 9.  The snow was fantastic, and we were very excited to cruise through patches of untracked powder.  We then moved on to the similarly easy Sundowner run on Peak 9 where we also continued to find untracked powder.

The lower part of Peak 9 is one of the best beginner areas in the country, very mellow terrain, and a great place for first timers.

Having found our ski legs, we then moved on to what I consider the easiest mogul run on the mountain.  It is where I always would bring my students to introduce them to moguls.  These moguls were not steep at all, but very shallow, not in the least intimidating for intermediate to advanced skiers.  The mogul run is right off of the Bonanza ski run, another blue intermediate run on Peak 9.  It juts off to the left, about 300 yards after you enter the run.  (Feel free to call me for further clarification - 970-453-2779).

After that we skied Peerless on Peak 9, an easy black (expert) run.  Single Black Diamond runs are easier than Double Black diamond runs.  If you are an expert and are considering taking lessons, Level 8 is single Black Diamond terrain, and Level 9 is Double Black Diamond terrain.

The conditions on Peerless were also excellent, lots of fresh untracked powder still available; however, I did scrape a single rock while coming down, in the interest of full disclosure.

We then skied down to the Peak 8 Super Connect to get to Peak 8 to check out some more advanced terrain.

Next we skied Frosty's run, a single black diamond access run to Chair 6.  Coming off the chair I was happy to see that the single black diamond terrain under Peak 6 was open.  We headed towards upper 4 O'Clock Run, and skied the beautiful fresh powder glades surrounding it.  That was so much fun that we went back again, and skied across Upper 4 O'Clock to the Double Black Diamond Contest Bowl.  It was fantastic. We found lots of untracked powder there, and I did not hit a single rock.

From there we headed back to Chair 6, but discovered that it had closed.  Below us was the powder filled single black diamond, lower Boneyard, which was delightful.  I couldn't help but notice one set of tracks coming out on lower Psycopath, another single Black Diamond run.  It looked very inviting.

Unfortunately, the lower part of lower Boneyard, was slick and icy, about a 100 yard section, just before the entrance to E Chair. We got on the chair, at 3:40, for what I knew would be our biggest challenge of the day.

Riding up the lift, we were able to look at Tom's Baby below us, a double black diamond bump run, with moguls the size of Volkswagens, and many rocks and obstacles.  I did not navigate this terrain as well as I would have liked.  I am a certified PSIA Level II ski instructor, and can actually navigate this well, on my best day, but this was not it.  Lots of stopping and side-slipping to avoid obstacles.   I was able to ski a number of stretches relatively well, but it took its toll; I had to sit down twice, just to catch my breath, but I am 64 years old.

But we were both able to make it down in one piece and caught the mid-load Peak 8 connect at 4 pm, just before they shut down, to take us to the aptly named 4'OClock ski run.

This ski run was also in great condition, even at the end of the day. Well, of course, it had been snowing non-stop all day.  We were able to cruise down this run, to the Gondola ski run, and then drop down through a little local trail through the trees to ski within 5 feet of the door to my “ski in” lodging.

Summit Vacations has 46 properties that are within 1/2 block of the 4 O'Clock Ski Run.


Feel free to send me an email (roman@summitvacations.net) or call me at 970-453-2779 with any questions.

We are all anxiously awaiting the opening of Peak 6, (Dec 25, 2013) with a new above tree line bowl for intermediate skiers, and walk to terrain, with double black diamond chutes for the experts.

In my next blog I will tell you how the ski run, "Tom's Baby" got its name, and give you a little bit of Breckenridge’s history, as well as keeping you up to date on mountain conditions.



Tags: Breck, Travel Tips