Springtime in the Rockies


04/15/2014 | By Roman

Usually during the spring, you want to start your day a little later, to avoid the crustiness and icy conditions in the early morning. You want to wait until the sun has had a chance to soften up the snow, turning it into what is called corn snow.  Corn snow is very soft and malleable, and easy to ski on.  You will want to start your ski day around 10 to 10:30 and end between 2:30 and 3:00.   Early morning is usually crusty and late afternoon is usually slushy, but the soft corn snow in between is fantastic.

 

You can see me at the bus stop on Ski Hill Rd and Sawmill Dr.

To the left of my helmet  are the Ski Hill Condos; to the right of my helmet are the Sawmill Creek Condos.  The buses run every 20 minutes during the ski day, and once an hour after that till midnight.  We took the free bus to the Beaver Run, where we were dropped off within 100 feet of the chair lift.

We got off the Beaver Run Chair and warmed up on Briar Rose, an easy blue, intermediate run.  The snow was delightfully soft, and we cruised down to the Falcon Chair on Peak 10.

 

Peak 10 has only single and double black diamond expert ski runs.

We skied Centennial, Crystal, Doublejack, and Grits.



 The bumps on Grits were deliciously soft. The snow was incredibly forgiving, as it has been all season. 

 

You can see the Imperial Chair, in the very center of the picture. We definitely hit Peak 10 at the right time, after it had softened, so we had a blast, skiing that great corn snow under blue skies and sunshine.



  Behind me, you can see skiers dropping under the Falcon Chair and onto Grits. Look at that beautiful snow cover.

We took a lunch break at the Ten Mile Station, soaking up the sunshine in chairs in the glorious outdoors.



After lunch we skied the wonderfully soft moguls on Peerless, a single black diamond expert run, where many ski instructors like to take their students to practice skiing bumps.  We were marveling at how great the snow cover still was.  We did not encounter a single rock or obstacle all day, and had been lucky enough not to have encountered any crustiness.  We skied down to the Peak 8 Super connect and rode it up, then we caught Frosty’s Freeway to get to 6 Chair.  

Getting off of the 6 Chair, we headed for the Imperial Chair, the highest chairlift in North America.

 

Notice the great snow cover on Peak 7 with the Whale’s Tail in between, and the Kensho Chairlift on Peak 6 beyond, and the phenomenal snow coverage on the Ten Mile Range. We were able to catch one of the last 4 chairs going up Imperial that day.  About 10 ski patrollers were behind us, getting ready to close down the top of the mountain and sweep it.

We started skiing down Alpine Alley, the ridge along the top that goes down to Horseshoe Bowl and the 4 O’Clock Ski run.  That stretch was solid wind blown, icy crust, and was particularly unpleasant to ski down.  After a couple of hundred yards, we decided to just drop into Imperial Bowl.  

The bowl looked variable, but I knew that it would be better than the ice that we had been skiing on, and it was.

The sun had softened the snow up, and it was very, very nice.  My friend and I were the only two people in the Imperial Bowl at that time.  Others who had ridden up the lift  had gone off the other side, the Whale’s Tail, which also looked terrific.  We skied under the chair and headed towards the hill above the top of Chair 6, with Peak 10 and the 4th of July Bowl behind me. 



 The terrain off of the 6 Chair is one of Breck’s secrets.  The snow is usually some of the best on the mountain, and it usually has less skiers than other parts of the mountain.  All of the runs are single black diamond expert runs.  We skied Hombre, a wide open run at the top with glades, that then drops off into a funnel of moguls between trees and glades. It finally opens up into the wide open, bladed, Boneyard ski run.  Chair 6 had closed  by the time we got back to it, so we dropped into Lower Boneyard.  The bottom of Lower Boneyard, filled with soft, malleable, and forgiving snow was in the best condition that I have seen it all season. As it was getting to be the end of the day, the snow was getting slushier at the bottom.  

We had gotten in 5 good hours of spring skiing, and I didn’t think I could do another run.  I also did not want to ski through the ice and trees on our little locals ski  run, so we opted to ski down to the nearest bus stop and catch a bus ride home. Breck’s free bus system makes skiing very easy and convenient from just about anyplace in town.

The snow just keeps coming.

We are offering a 35% discount off of the regular nightly rate for April bookings (Use the discount code, SPRINGFEVER.

It has taken me a couple of days to post this blog, so I will include this snow report, from 3 days later, with 

15  inches of new, fresh powder:

Here is the snow report for April 14, 204:

Breckenridge Snow and Weather Report

SNOW REPORT

Last 24 hours: 15"

Overnight: 9"

Last 48 hours: 15"

Last 7 days: 20"

Total Season Snowfall:  434"

 

TERRAIN REPORT

Lifts Open:

35 of 35

Runs Open:

187 of 187

Today's Grooming Map  |  Terrain Report

CONDITIONS

Powder

Tags: Breck