“Powder days are alright” – said no one, ever. Usually, when you ask someone about a pow day they respond with sheer elation; bubbling with excitement and bursting with a fiery passion. The perfect powder day is the ‘holy grail’ for skiers and riders. It’s something we dream of, chase after, and long for… but is rarely attained. When you finally get that perfect powder day, you feel frozen in a state of absolute euphoria. THIS is why we ski. Floating on freshies without a care in the world, smiling so big that your cheeks hurt; nothing else matters in this moment… and you couldn’t be happier.
We asked some of our co-workers and Breck locals about their ultimate powder day stories, and this is what they had to say:
“It was a solo mission and no one was in the lift lines… I think I played hooky from work this morning 😉 Snow was soft, fluffy and DEEP.” – Stefanie Van Der Kar, Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Check out her video of the day below!
“I got a snow cat trip to Keystone for Christmas. We just happened to hit it on a 24+ inch powder day and spent all day slaying untracked powder in Erikson Bowl. Snorkels were required.” – Mark Grattan, Keystone Ski Resort.
“After 25 inches of fresh powder, my friends and I hiked to the top of Peak 8 and hucked off this cliff into 5 ft. deep powder!!” – Glenn Brady, Breckenridge Ski Resort.
“It was my 1st year here in Breck (2014), It was a late February snow storm that started early morning and continued throughout the day. I was riding up Kensho SuperChair when the snow started dumping, I could barely see the chair directly in front of me. Just the way I like it. The first run on Peak 6 was knee deep powder on ‘Wonderland’ and that was just the beginning of this adventure. Not being extremely familiar with the terrain, today was my day for exploration. From surfing the back bowls, to slashing waste deep powder in the trees, this was by far the best powder I have experienced in a long time!!” – Joe Demma, Breckenridge Ski Resort.
“My favorite powder day was when the snow was so fluffy and deep and the day was just beautiful and bright, making my own lines through the trees, following friends down to the lodge for Apres. A perfect power day!” – Iris Bradford, Breckenridge Ski Resort.
“The best pow day I’ve ever had (among many) has to be at Copper Mountain in April of 2015. It was my Birthday.
The season had already been absolutely amazing with terrain opening up at mountains that I had never even known about because there was so much snow, and honestly, we were ready for it to wind down. We were ready for mountain biking, hiking, camping, and warm weather. We were ready for summer.
But then about a week before, we started seeing reports of a storm that might roll through. A foot or more they said. We thought, “Yeah, right. In the middle of April?” Nah. But of course if there was skiing to be had, and with my birthday coming up we made plans to shred with a crew on what could be the last pow day of the season. It didn’t disappoint.
TWO FEET of fresh snow fell overnight and we were ready. First tracks through 17 Glade, Star Wars Trees, Gold Digger Trees, Upper Enchanted Forest, and Resolution Bowl. They were all ours and we took them grinning from ear to ear open to close.
And to cap it all off, Vail just happened to be doing their ‘end of season, free concert series’ and my favorite band, ‘Portugal. The Man’ was playing. So naturally we went over the pass for some outstanding live music. Best Pow Day and Best Birthday. Doesn’t get much better.” – Rob Bennett, Copper Mountain
Epic Story Spotlight:
“I have been snowboarding for a little over 20 years, so you can say I have had a few “favorite pow days”, BUT I will go with the most recent that took place last Saturday 12/17/16.
Friday night… The storm was fierce. Snow came down from the heavens and covered the resort and town in a deep white blanket of joy. Giddy with anticipation, like a child on Christmas Eve I laid out my outwear, boots, hat gloves, etc. for the next day.
Saturday morning came around and I made myself a full complete breakfast before catching the yellow bus to Beaver Run. Word on the street was that I-70 had closed and that the resort would be a bit less crowded than normal for a Saturday.
Catching first chair over at Beaver Run was easier than expected. Myself and my buddy Gram took a tree run next to ‘American’ to start out our day. The snow was deep, and it was a blower. The next run we took was Mercury Chair and decided to take the Hollywood run under the ‘E-Chair’. The E- Chair was not yet running… this lead to a run full of slashes on untouched steeper terrain that resulted in big smiles and high fives. The cat track back to 9 was even better. We found a few side hits on the trail and cruised back to Copper Top bar.
After a quick beer we decided to head back out to Peak 9. We took some more tree runs and found some tree jibs that had not yet been touched. The snow was still deep and we continued to lap without waiting in a lift line throughout the day.
We called it quits around 1:00pm and retired for Tacos and Coco.
Days like these keep me in Summit. These are the days we live for.” – Joe DeStefano, Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Tell us about your ultimate powder day!
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Like 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.