First Time Ski Trip Guide to Breckenridge

With 2,908 skiable acres, 187 trails, and 235 lifts Breckenridge Ski Resort offers a variety of terrain for all levels from beginner to expert. If you’re not sure where to start, read on for a breakdown of beginner to expert hike-to terrain so you can get the most out of your days on the mountain. 

To Ski in or Ski out

Why Ski-in/Ski-Out in Breckenridge?

Breckenridge Resort spans over five skiable peaks and over 2907 acres. With all of that terrain, it can take days to explore! Ski-in/ski-out lodging might typically seem like an unnecessary upgrade, but there are tons of reasons why slope side lodging in Breckenridge is the best option for a hassle free vacation! Check out our top three reasons why ski-in/ski-out is the ideal way to vacation in Breckenridge!

1.) Location

When you stay at a ski-in/ski-out property, you’re guaranteed the best views of the mountains. Whether it’s a famous Colorado sunset or sunrise, lodging at the base of the mountain will guarantee scenery that won’t disappoint! Walk out on your deck or out to the lobby and take in the beauty of the Colorado Rockies. When you’re sleeping just steps from the lifts, you don’t need to stress about getting up extra early. Grab your skis or board and simply stroll on over to the slopes. You’ll be on the mountain in a matter of minutes! The greatest part about ski-in/ski-out lodging is the convenience of not having to lug around equipment. Rent a ski locker or store your gear right in your room. There’s no need to worry about loading or unloading your equipment. You don’t need to stress about getting down from the mountain to move your car. And even more importantly, you’re free to après all you want!

2.) Transportation

Like most resort towns, transportation can definitely be a hassle in Breckenridge. Parking is often limited and in such a small town, traffic can get congested. However, Breckenridge offers free bus transportation that will take you all over town.. Should you have booked your stay with a slope side property, you don’t even need to worry about transportation, though. Most lodges of that caliber have free shuttles if need be, but you would only need that for certain locations, since you’ll be in the heart of all the action. Park your car at the slope side resort you’re staying at and don’t waste money on gas or paid parking; spend it on a day shopping or a night on the town!

3.) Save money!

Speaking of saving money, don’t waste your funds on a rental car; use the free buses or shuttles to get around town. Take what you would’ve spent on that and do yourself a favor: upgrade to a slope side room! Staying ski-in/ski-out provides you with the luxury of eating lunch right in your room instead of doling out ridiculous sums for snacks at an expensive resort restaurant. There are plenty of grocery stores in town like City Market, Local Market and The Food Kingdom, where you can grab supplies or have Breckenridge Grocery deliver right to your room!

Despite the big mountains, Breckenridge is actually a small town that can get overcrowded, especially downtown. Staying right on the hill, a couple minutes from the masses that can flood Main Street is the best way to save time and money and maximize your time for fun while on your vacation! Click below to book your Breckenridge getaway today!

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What Skis to Use? Different Skis for Different Conditions.

If you have been to Breckenridge this season, chances are you have had the opportunity to ski some powder or enjoy some mixed and ungroomed terrain. With all the snow we have been getting it has been almost impossible to not be here on a powder day. Ripping through soft powder and deep conditions is many skiers’ dream day on the hill. Or, maybe you are looking to up your game in the terrain park or put down the deepest carve you can on a groomed run. There are many different types of skiing you can try when you visit Breckenridge and having the right gear can give you the best experience as you try different types of skiing. Even bottomless powder can be a challenge if you are not prepared for it. Getting stuck out in the snow with the wrong gear can make an epic day go south fast. With that in mind, here is a breakdown of some of the most common types of skis and types of skiing for different conditions you are likely to encounter at Breckenridge.

All-Mountain Skis

As the name suggests, all-mountain skis are built as a one-size-fits-all type of ski and can handle just about anything that the mountain will throw at you. These are usually built wider, lighter and shorter than other types of skis and are generally twin-tipped. They perform very well on the mountain in almost any conditions. All-mountain skis are perfect for anyone who wants to try different types of skiing but doesn’t want to get pigeonholed into just one type of ski. The drawback is that if you do want to up your game at any one type of skiing, all-mountain skis might not perform as well as a more specific type of ski. Examples of all-mountain skis are K2 Pinnacles, Blizzard Brahmas and Armada Invictus.

Carving Skis

Carving skis are the most common type of skis that recreational skiers will be used to. These skis have an hourglass shape that is thinner under the boot and wider at the tip and tail of the skis. The curving of the skis allows the edges to dig into the snow and makes it easier to turn. Carving skis are most effective on groomed runs and allow skiers to easily make graceful carving turns. They are less effective in powder and off off-piste terrain. Examples of carvings skis include Kastle FX95’s, Head Kore 93’s and Elan Ripsticks.

Powder Skis

Powder skis are built for exactly what their name implies: powder. They are typically the widest skis you will find and are built to keep you afloat even in the deepest of power. They are usually a bit softer than an all-mountain ski and are unique in that the ski itself offers a reverse camber with the tip and tail of the ski thinner than the middle. Powder skis are specific to deeper snow and are a little wonky on groomed runs and mixed conditions like moguls and spring conditions. Some great powder skis are Saloman Rocker 2’s, Armada Bubbas and Faction Royales.

Freestyle Skis

These used to be known as “twin tips” and are primarily built lighter, shorter and narrower than typical all-mountain skis. Freestyle skis are specifically designed for the park and the pipe. These skis always have twin tips and usually a more symmetrical setup than other skis. They are designed to make riding switch (backwards) easier. Although freestyle skis are specifically designed for the park, they are usually pretty good all-mountain skis, too. Some of our favorite freestyle skis are Faction Candides, Line Magnum Opus skis and Armada ARV 96’s.

If you are interested in trying something different than your usual gear or need some top-of-the-line gear while you are visiting, check out Breck Sports. This winter you can enjoy up to 20% off your rental equipment. Breck Sports will provide FREE delivery of the latest ski and snowboard gear right to your door. Prefer an in-store experience? Head over to one of Breck Sports’ eight physical locations. With the ability return or exchange gear at any location (including Vail, Beaver Creek, and Keystone) renting your gear with Breck Sports couldn’t be any easier. Click here to visit RentSkis.com!

Five Reasons to Come to Breckenridge on Weekdays

Breckenridge street at nightLike you need a reason to come to Breck anyways. With the great terrain and an awesome town, it’s hard to think of a time that is not good to come. Let’s face it though; Weekends can be crazy and offer challenges that make maximizing fun difficult. What’s the solution? Come on weekdays. If you can swing it, it’s even worth taking a day or two off to manage it. If you are wondering why you should take days off to ski Breckenridge on weekdays here are five reasons:

  1. Save time – Last Saturday I was riding the lift and talking to a couple that had just arrived from the Front Range. It was noon and they were telling me about how this lift ride was their first run. They had waited until 8 a.m. to leave and it took them 4 hours to get to this lift. The next week I was talking to a friend from Lakewood and he said he leaves by 6 a.m. on Saturday. If he waits any later he will be in bumper to bumper traffic the whole way up. Weekend traffic has been getting worse for years and even with improvements like the new toll lane, things will still be pretty rough for the foreseeable future. Try driving up on a weekday- there is never any significant traffic. It is about an hour and a half flat to Breck from Denver on a weekday.
  2. Stay better – Coming on weekday’s means you have options especially if you are trying to set up a close in trip. Breckenridge lodging is built on condo style accommodations and has only a few hotels. If you like to stay in nice large places close to the lifts be prepared to shell out a pretty penny on weekends. But on weekday’s room rates tend to come back down out of the stratosphere and you can book a much nicer room, closer to when you are coming then you ever could on a weekend. Look at discount lodging sites for generally deep weekend discounts.
  3. Live large – Make sure one of the first things you do when you come up to Breckenridge on a weekday is to grab a Summit Daily. You won’t miss the distinctive blue boxes that are ubiquitous around Summit County. Inside lies the free daily newspaper and all of the happy hours, food deals and sales going on in Breckenridge and Summit County. Since the weekdays are less crowded, there is less demand for food, drinks and cheap stuff. We all know the Law of Supply and Demand that says the smaller the demand, the smaller the price. So live large and go out when you come. Your wallet will thank you for it.
  4. Own the mountain – When surveyed, 9.99 out of 10 respondents said they prefer short lift lines and uncrowded slopes. That 1/100th of a person is not thinking clearly. Having the mountain all to yourself sounds way cooler than sharing it with thousands of your closest friends (remember? You met them on I-70 on the way up). Also, it has been proven in countless experiments that you have a greater chance of actually skiing powder on a powder day if that day is a weekday.
  5. Save your sanity – Breckenridge is awesome on the weekend. Town is vibrant and full and life. There is no shortage of fun activities to try and plenty of people to enjoy it with. But if you are looking for something a little quieter, a little less expensive or a little less crowded on slopes, come up on weekdays. If you are looking to avoid the frustrations of traffic and crowds that sometime occur than heed this advice and come up to Breckenridge on a weekday.

 

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Avoid Lift Lines Like a Local

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Independence SuperChair |Peak 7

Crowds, endless lift lines and wasting time… oh my! Who wants to spend half the day waiting in line when you could be bombing run after run with no one in sight? Here is an insider’s guide on how to get away from all those people and have an epic day skiing on the trails less traveled. From the busiest to the least crowded Breckenridge peaks, here are some tips and tricks on where to go.

For reference, here is a map of Breckenridge Ski Resort.

PEAK 8 |    ♦♦ 

The base of Peak 8 can get pretty congested, so try to avoid this area on weekends or busy holidays. Heading to more difficult terrain is how you will be able to avoid crowds on Peak 8, but if you’re not quite ready for those high alpine bowls and double black diamonds, have no fear. There are plenty more ways to avoid people while cruising easy and intermediate terrain. Check out our tips on Peaks 9, 7 and 6 below.

The Colorado SuperChair tends to attract heavy lift lines. The secret here is to head left at the top, and hit all those black and double back diamond runs that face the south side. Then, you can load up on the mid-point of the Peak 8 SuperConnect and keep lapping those black diamonds. Not too many people utilize this. Bonus: These trails are located in a valley, so on cold days this is a good spot to keep out of the wind and stay a little warmer.

From this area, you can catch 6-Chair, which will give you access to black and double black diamond runs with minimal people around. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, take the Imperial Express SuperChair to the summit of Peak 8 and revel in terrain accessed by the highest chair lift in America.

Hopping on E-Chair to get to the north side of Peak 9 is also a great option where you will have access to awesome double black diamond runs. This also happens to be the easiest way to get from Peak 8 to Peak 9. No cat walks, woohoo!

If you don’t want to deal with the Colorado SuperChair at all, just head over to the Rocky Mountain SuperChair where there is a little more difficult terrain directly under the lift, which usually means less people.

PEAK 9 |   ♦♦

Peak 9 has a lot of amazing intermediate terrain, so if you want to avoid the face-melting double black diamonds as well as the crowds, read on.

The base of this mountain can get fairly busy because ski school is over here, so stay up a little higher. Skip the Quicksilver Lift and use the Mercury and the Beaver Run SuperChair where you can shred blue runs all day like it’s your job. There are a ton of different blues you can take down so you can keep switching it up.

PEAK 7 |  ♦♦ 

This mountain is chock full of fantastic blue bombers. Who doesn’t love those? Cruising down a run with a permanent grin, eyes tearing up from the wind against your face, and heart beating out of your chest…seriously one of the best feelings in the world. The Independence SuperChair is a six-person high-speed lift. Even if it looks like a fair amount of people in line, the lift has the capacity to move a lot of riders quickly, so the line is typically under four minutes.

PEAK 6 |  ♦♦ 

This entire mountain is a great way to avoid crowds at Breckenridge. Peak 6 has above tree-line blue runs, which allow skiers of all levels to get the high-alpine experience without being scared for your life on the way down. There are some awesome 10-minute hikes to black and double black diamond runs for the thrill-seekers out there that will absolutely get you away from the crowds.

PEAK 10 |  ♦♦

Just like Peak 6, Peak 10 is definitely a place to go to avoid other skiers and snowboarders. The bottom of the Falcon Chair is not a base area with bus stops unloading the masses onto it, so it’s a pretty safe bet for avoiding crowds. For years and years, Peak 10 had some blue/black runs which brought more visitors, but they’ve designated the entire mountain as black diamond. The runs are the same but it intimidates a lot of people, which means more POW for you!

Enjoy easy access to Breck’s best terrain when you stay slopeside at the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 or The Grand Colorado on Peak 8. Find the best lodging deals in Breckenridge and family-friendly ski-in, ski-out lodging with these Grand Lodge on Peak 7 promotional rates.