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Breckenridge day trip 12/27/19

Tonyr

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After 2 days of skiing at Keystone we decided to make the 25 minute drive over to Breckenridge for the day. We had never been there before but I read up on the mountain quite a bit beforehand to try and avoid crowds over the holiday weekend. I thought Friday would be better than Saturday or Sunday and read that Peak 9 would be alot less crowded than Peaks 7 or 8. We pulled into town around 9.30 and had one heck of a time trying to find parking near the lifts at Peak 9. It was around 35 dollars to park where we wanted to but the lot was totally full. The attendant gave us a tip and we luckily ended up right around the corner but if you intend on parking near the lifts you have to plan that out as well. You can prepay parking far in advance to ensure a spot if it's a prime weekend.

In any event we got all booted up and walked a few minutes over to the Peak 9 lift, as we got around the corner I noticed the enormous line to get on that lift. It took around 40 minutes to get on which was a stark contrast to Keystone where we only waited 2 minutes at the most in a lift line the entire trip. Since it was our first time at Breck I was able to go off on my own for a few hours while my wife and son skied the front face of Peak 9 once we finally got to the top. I headed straight over to the E chair which is one of the most challenging areas of Breck. Thankfully there was never a line to get on the E chair!

The pictures below are of Tom's Mom which was right under the chair, the next is Tom's Baby and the last one was on Inferno. As usual, the pictures never give the terrain justice. All the runs off of the E chair are pretty similar and have a 36 to 38 degree pitch with large bumps all over the place. It is a challenging area to ski but unlike some of the steeper terrain in the East, there wasn't an icy patch to be found!20191227_110917.jpg20191227_111126.jpg20191227_110926.jpg

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Tonyr

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The next area I headed over to were the Windows runs which are also double black diamond rated terrain and right off the top of the E chair. There are 7 chutes in the windows area and as you traverse through at the top they have the chutes numbered. I went all the way back to chute 5 but as I was going down I noticed that the run was pretty open so I started traversing back through chutes 4, 3, & 2. The snow was really heavy and deep back in there, I fell one time into snow up to my waist and had a very hard time getting out. It was real tiring getting through some of those sections of the chutes as I made my way back over. Even the bottom part of the run out was tiring.

The first 2 photos are of the traverse at the top. The rest are of photos going through the woods. The chutes in there have pitches of 29 to 34 degrees depending on which one you go down. That last picture appeared to be some sort of tree fort which if I had to guess was somewhere around the 3rd or 4th chute. I had no idea what it was so I took a picture!20191227_112357.jpg20191227_112411.jpg20191227_112802.jpg20191227_112757.jpg20191227_112901.jpg

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Tonyr

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The last run I wanted to hit before I met up with my family again was Needle's Eye, I have never been on a tougher run in my life. The trail has a 43 degree pitch through tight trees making it was really hard to turn in there. You have to use a substantial amount of energy on every single turn that creates mini avalanches each time. To make matters worse there was a group of three skiers in front of me and one of those skiers had NO business being on that run. He was falling at every turn on a trail that was so steep he could have severely injured himself.

I wanted to say something to the two skiers that brought him on the run but at the point it would have made matters worse anyway as he was already committed the only way out was down. Once I made my way past that group I took my time picking my way through the steep trees and was spent after the run. I'll say that if you want to test your limits go ski Needle's Eye at Breck, I can't imagine skiing a harder inbounds gladed trail, it was nasty!

I hope you enjoyed the report. Breckenridge has outstanding expert terrain, I loved it. I will say the their black runs felt like blues at Keystone and Breck's blues were really greens. Aside from certain areas of peak 8 and 9 the mountain was somewhat flat and VERY crowded. I definitely want to go back again someday and explore other areas but I'd never do it over a holiday weekend. Our plan within the 5 days skiing out in CO was to hit Breckenridge at least twice or maybe even three times. The fact the Keystone was way better than we ever expected with no lift lines to boot made the choice easy not to go back to Breck anymore than the one day we went.20191227_115453.jpg20191227_115608.jpg20191227_115618.jpg20191227_115908.jpg

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Tonyr

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Interestingly enough I started to look up online what that tattered fort/shack was in one of my pictures two thirds of the way down on the 3rd chute in the Windows. It appears to be a former smoke shack that Vail Resorts must have destroyed. They had a number of these shacks hidden on the mountain where skiers would stop and light up in between runs. There was a two story shack on Peak 10 that Inside Edition did a report on a few years ago and Vail Resorts destroyed it immediately after the story aired......

https://www.mensjournal.com/adventure/leos-smoke-shack-at-breckenridge-destroyed/

Tony
 

jimk

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I've skied Breck about ten days in the last five years. I really like the place, but I've found Peak 9 to be the busiest section and I usually stay away from there until closing time.

I pretty much always bite the bullet and use the free, if slightly inconvenient, airport parking lot. Sometimes I'd go back to my car in mid-afternoon and relocate it to town and/or near Breck Connect Gondi where many parking spots open up and become free at 3PM. Then do a final few runs an hit the town for food and drinks.

The shuttle from airport lot works fine and sets you up to ski Imperial and Kensho chairs where there is great above tree line terrain, including memorable hike-to black diamond stuff. Sort of the opposite of the heavily treed areas you skied in Windows and Needles Eye. I agree with your assessment of Needles Eye, real tight, the kind of place where standstill 180 degree hop turns come in handy.

I find making a day-visit to Breck easier than one to Vail or Beaver Creek, but not as easy as Keystone. Glad you had a good trip.
 

Tonyr

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Thanks Jim, we had a great time at Breckenridge it was just really crowded but I definitely want to go back one day on a less busy weekend. We tried parking at the Beaver Run parking lot on peak 9 which is near the lift but it was full by 9.25. The attendants told us to park at the Beaver run resort which was right around the corner they had one or two spots left in the public lot so we were lucky to get one.

Its interesting that you say Peak 9 is the busiest I was reading beforehand that Peak 7 and 8 are the worst crowd wise which is why we headed for Peak 9 the day we went. I certainly believe you though after experiencing the crowds at Peak 9!

Tony
 

gmcunni

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was there yesterday. we started the morning on peak 7, lines were pretty bad. moved to 6, it was't crowded. then worked our way eventually to 9. 9 was pretty busy too.
 

Tonyr

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seemed like FOREVER lol.. but i didn't check the clock. the singles line was up past the fencing around the base of the lift
Wow, sounds bad! In hindsight we should have split up and gone in the singles line rather than waiting as a family in the regular line. The singles were moving much faster. We would have shaved at least 20 minutes off the wait.

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dblskifanatic

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We park in F lot for an easy walk to the Quicksilver lift at Peak 9. We generally go from there for a few runs on Peak 10 some decent trees there and minimal traffic. However, from the trees there is a long run out back to the lift. From there we will often take Mercury super chair and head as far as we can to skiers left and hit runs that get you to the valley where the mid point is for Peak 8 Connect is then ski toward Chair 6 then options open up either take Chair 6 to Imperial lift and ski the bowls or head to E Chair for tree runs one of our favorite areas. We avoid Peak 7 altogether since the line there is always long. Peak 8 has a quad and a 6 person lift and those lines can look long but the lifts are fast and lines move quickly. We ski Peak 8 generally around lunch when lines are better. The T Bar line can get long but I like the choices from that lift. Open bowls that head into light tree areas. Peak 6 is generally pretty quiet but you have to hike a bit to get to the better runs. Zendo Chair that gets you Kensho is super slow so if you can ski Wanderlust.

We will ski a few runs later in the afternoon at Peak 9. We have never experience bad lift lines there either.

We ski Breck at least a dozen times per season and I love the terrain variety. The weekend to avoid any Vail resort is Presidents Day weekend.

BTW we used to park at the Gondolas in town that gets full fast. Then tried parking at the Airport for free as mention earlier and to the shuttle but that seemed to chew up time. We eventually learned of the F Lot area and from there you can shuttle or walk.

Breck and Keystone often gets dumped on in this forum but there is a ton of great runs at both places. I will take them and the snow any day.


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dblskifanatic

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was there yesterday. we started the morning on peak 7, lines were pretty bad. moved to 6, it was't crowded. then worked our way eventually to 9. 9 was pretty busy too.

Peak 7 is always the worst so we avoid it! Peak 9 is often best early morning and mid afternoon. We look at times in the Epic Mix App, while not perfect it helps. It is like Waze and lets you know how it is now and not necessarily when you get there.


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Tonyr

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We park in F lot for an easy walk to the Quicksilver lift at Peak 9. We generally go from there for a few runs on Peak 10 some decent trees there and minimal traffic. However, from the trees there is a long run out back to the lift. From there we will often take Mercury super chair and head as far as we can to skiers left and hit runs that get you to the valley where the mid point is for Peak 8 Connect is then ski toward Chair 6 then options open up either take Chair 6 to Imperial lift and ski the bowls or head to E Chair for tree runs one of our favorite areas. We avoid Peak 7 altogether since the line there is always long. Peak 8 has a quad and a 6 person lift and those lines can look long but the lifts are fast and lines move quickly. We ski Peak 8 generally around lunch when lines are better. The T Bar line can get long but I like the choices from that lift. Open bowls that head into light tree areas. Peak 6 is generally pretty quiet but you have to hike a bit to get to the better runs. Zendo Chair that gets you Kensho is super slow so if you can ski Wanderlust.

We will ski a few runs later in the afternoon at Peak 9. We have never experience bad lift lines there either.

We ski Breck at least a dozen times per season and I love the terrain variety. The weekend to avoid any Vail resort is Presidents Day weekend.

BTW we used to park at the Gondolas in town that gets full fast. Then tried parking at the Airport for free as mention earlier and to the shuttle but that seemed to chew up time. We eventually learned of the F Lot area and from there you can shuttle or walk.

Breck and Keystone often gets dumped on in this forum but there is a ton of great runs at both places. I will take them and the snow any day.


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Thanks for all of the info we considered parking at the F lot as well but it was full too by the time we got there. I agree that there are tons of great runs at both Keystone and Breck, you have over 6k acres of skiing between the two mountains. Other than the price without a pass and crowds at Breck certain weekends I can't understand why the terrain would get dumped on. You have an incredibly large variation of terrain between both mountains, we had a great time.

Tony
 
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