Growing up in the South, I was rarely on the slopes—well, unless you count the likes of Sugar Mountain, N.C. or French Lick, Indiana, which while nice for families and novices, simply aren’t in the same leagues as the Western ski resorts. “Winter” for us was needing more than two layers and the schools closing at the mere forecast of 30 degrees. “Winter” was not, in fact, this snowy wilderness.
And then in 2008, I moved to Northern California. And I learned to ski properly, much to my husband’s delight. And even start to enjoy a black diamond or two. And for the next four years, I skied my little heart out thanks to a relatively cheap season pass to Heavenly and Northstar.
And then we discovered Breckenridge. Sweet, lovely, bluebird-sky, full-of-blue-runs Breckenridge. In other words, my kind of heaven.
It had been three years since I’d last been on skis, since we went to Vail for the first time. But skiing really is like riding a bike, and it didn’t take me long to warm up at Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Boasting 187 trails across nearly 3,000 acres, Breck is rife with wide, open groomers, the kind of runs ideal for those of us who have found our ski legs but aren’t quite ready for vertical drops.
A good portion of that acreage is above the treeline, and let me tell you, nothing makes you feel quite on top of the world than soaring on a chairlift over the tops of the snow-speckled pines.
We stayed on property at Crystal Peak Lodge for four days, two of which we skied. Never again will I stay down in a ski town now that I know of the conveniences of a ski-in, ski-out lodge. There’s simply nothing like walking down the stairs from your room, strapping on your skis and catching the lift right outside your door.
We weren’t alone either. Our pal Kara drove over from Aspen for two nights to shred some pow (sorry, had to) with us, and our friend Amy came up from Silverthorne. Skiing truly is more fun when done so in groups of people you adore.
Mother Nature rolled out the white carpet for us; while we didn’t have any fresh snow, there had been a fresh dusting two days before our arrival and we were blessed with 30 degrees the first day and almost 50 the last. Blissful, pleasant spring skiing conditions if you will.
After a couple hours of gaining my confidence—and Kara and Amy going easy on me—I was ready for Peak 6.
Peak 6 is a steep bowl that’s more blue-black territory than plain ol’ blue and is the newest expansion on the mountain. And it’s a wee bit scary at first, I’m not going to lie.
But once I made myself forget about the drop and had taken the first turn or two, I was fine. And, eventually, happy I’d conquered my fears. Because that view from the top is simply unbeatable.
I even went as far as wanting to do it again by the time we got to the bottom—but we got cold and ran out of energy. Next time, I’ll do it without hesitation.
We spent both of our ski days on Peaks 7 and 8; there were so many trails we enjoyed that we didn’t really have a need to leave the immediate vicinity, though I definitely look forward to tackling the other peaks the next time we return.
For meals, we ate at Sevens; conveniently located at the base of Peak 7—and right next to our lodge—the lunch menu was a casual mix of sandwiches, soups, burgers and salads. In other words, the perfect ski sustenance.
Our trip was all too short—four days total—but it was a good introduction, a sampler platter if you will, to more to come.
Breck, consider me a new fan. And consider me there in 2016. I can’t imagine a more perfect ski destination for my level and likes.