Tag Archive for: Stefanie Van Der Kar

50 Things to do in Breckenridge This Summer

50 Things to Do in Breckenridge this Summer

Your options are endless in Breckenridge – our mountain town has something for everyone. Picture yourself hiking through the alpine, shopping on Main Street, dinner downtown, or perhaps a little relaxation at the pool? Set the stage for your best summer story yet.

VISITOR’S GUIDE: WHY VISIT BRECK DURING THE SPRING

Weather

March-May brings enough snippets of warmer weather to make the trek to Breckenridge worth it. Averaging a high of 40 degrees and averaging about 2 feet of fresh snow, you’re bound to catch your spring skiing or your well-deserved powder day; probably both!

Places

Events

Typically deemed the month for Spring Fever, Breck has put a different twist on what that means this year. The town will be buzzing with activities and things-to-do. Great dining deals, dog sledding tours, wine blending and live music. Plus, don’t forget to check out what’s happening at Breck Create.

Great lodging deals

Ah, the part you have been waiting for. Where should you stay in Breck while you are here? We recommend checking out the new Grand Colorado on Peak 8 (Tip: Sign up for a 2hr preview tour and you can get an even BETTER deal).

Also – keep your eye out for great deals happening at Grand Timber Lodge. Offering ski-in/ski-out lodging, great amenities package and typically up to 55% off rooms!

Tips

Weekends get busy. A lot of places in town around this time will offer deals for coming during the weekday. Surprise a loved one with a mid-week trip to Breck (couples massage at Inifinty Spa, anyone?) If you can take the time off during the week, we say do it!

Breckenridge is now paid parking! Download the Passport app to make sure you don’t get a ticket. You can add time right from your mobile device.

No car? No problem. Take a bus or shuttle. This option is totally free to you (even better, right?).

We look forward to seeing you in March!

 

Backcountry Skiing in Summit County

Skinning in Summit County

There is no doubt that uphill skiing has become all the rage within the past couple of years. Between light-hearted touring, ski mountaineering (Ski-mo) and aggressive back country for pow stashes, the lot of locals and new comers all seem to take a slight interest in this activity. We’d like to start off by saying, ANYTIME you go into the back country please be prepared. Check the CAIC website for avalanche safety and if you heir on the “more extreme” side of things, we highly recommend at LEAST completing an AIARE Avalanche Level 1 course which teaches you how to make calculated decisions in avalanche terrain.

OK! Now let’s get to the fun stuff. Here are some fun ways (and places) to get outside in the fresh air and NOT have to wait in lift lines.

Hut Trips

Grab a group of friends, spend some time outside, sleep in a “cabin in the woods” and possibly experience some all-time skiing around the area. Hut trips can be as demanding or as lax as you make them, but getting out into the wilderness and “unplugged” for a night or two hasn’t seemed to do many people harm these days. Check out these two organizations below that offer huts around Summit County and beyond. Locals note: Book in advance. These huts gets booked 8-10 months prior so if you know which hut you’d like, get on top of it!

Summit Huts

Summit Huts was designed and created to provide meaningful backcountry experience for self-propelled mountain recreational users. Currently there are four huts within the system; Francie’s Cabin, Janet’s Cabin, Section House and Ken’s Cabin. These are located within Breckenridge. Francie’s Cabin is one of the most popular huts in Colorado, featuring a kitchen, sauna and solar powered lights. Although there CAN be some exceptional skiing in the areas surrounding these cabins, they are also very good options to just get out and experience something different for a night or two.

Mike from Summit Huts recently took some TV guys up to Francie’s Cabin. This was great exposure for Summit Huts and includes some awesome interviews with the kids who were staying up at the hut at the time. Check out the video here.

10th Mountain Division

Stuff can get real now. With options around Summit County (and very much beyond), the 10th Mountain Division is a non-profit organization that manages 34 backcountry huts in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The 10th Mountain Division honors men of the U.S. Army who trained during World War II at Camp Hale in central Colorado.

This website gives you tons of resources on how to plan your hut trip, family and kids trips as well as how to make your reservation. Plus tutorials on hut set up and hut clean up. Each hut has tons of information including both winter and summer routes and trailheads, hut location, layout capacity and much more.

For more huts not listed by either of these organizations, click here.

 “Safe” day tour areas

We use quotes around “safe” because you never know what can happen in the backcountry. You need to always be prepared. Below are three recommendations we offer for new, less experienced OR for people who are just looking to get their exercise on and maybe run your pooch. Please advise that in no way are we condoning that you go out blind. Please do your research before entering ANY backcountry terrain.

Bald Mountain – A most popular scene, this low angle, long approach is great for getting out with friends and the dogs. The path is clear and there is not much avy danger to be concerned. About a 4-mile round trip ski will get you high enough to link some decent turns together, and you honestly can’t beat the view.

Ken’s Cabin / Section House – see above for more information under Summit Huts.

Your favorite Epic Pass Resort – Most resorts offer up hill access prior to lifts turning and after hours. Check your local resort for up hill access, routes and information to stay safe. Pow can be nice but there is also something sweet about getting first tracks on freshly groomed corduroy!

More “extreme” day trips

Like above: Please do your research before entering ANY backcountry terrain. 

Loveland pass – Although no formal reading on what is offered off of Loveland Pass, there are plenty of trip reports and wise words of wisdom from skiers past. The nice option about Lovelandd pass… hitchhiking and shuttling is available. While uphill access is still also an option, this is a great way to get out into some fresh snow with without the work of skinning. Check out some literacy below:

Backcountry Recon

Colorado Ski Authority

East Vail – Also known as EV and also known for avalanche danger and the lives of some, when the conditions are right, the skiing is too. We suggest going with a local, someone who knows the area and following their instructions. There is a vast area of chutes so you may not end up as close as you think. (Defer to your local here). Not much information out on the web, so talk to people and google pictures to get a general idea of the expansiveness of the chutes.

Mt. Guyot – Also a long approach. Mt. Guyot has some lines for fantastic skiing. The Northwest Slope is a fun ski when conditions are RIGHT. Not a far drive if you are staying in Breckenridge, this trailhead and route can also just be a fun tour, hike, or snowshoe.

6 Holiday Drinks to Lift Your Spirits

photo courtesy of designsponge.com

Wassail – Photo by Design Sponge

Holiday season is upon us. That means friendly gatherings, parties, and spending quality time with the ones you love! What better way to unwind than mixing up a festive cocktail and catching up with friends and family by the fire while the snow falls (and it is falling!). Hot or cold, bourbon or vodka, cider or eggnog we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite holiday libations.

Holiday Peppermint Mocha (makes about 8 cups)

Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 8 packets instant hot cocoa mix
  • 1-1/2 cups brewed espresso or double-strength dark roast coffee
  • 3/4 cup peppermint schnapps liqueur or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract plus 3/4 cup additional brewed espresso
  • Whipped cream and candy cane for garnish, optional

Preparation: In a large saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until bubbles form around sides of pan. Add cocoa mix; whisk until blended. Add espresso and heat through. Remove from heat; stir in liqueur. If desired, serve with whipped cream.

Winter Forest Mule (1 serving, double as needed)

Level: Easy

Ingredients

  • 5 oz Gin or Breckenridge Vodka
  • Splash of cranberry juice
  • Dash of simple syrup
  • 1 Ginger Beer (we prefer Cock n’ Bull)
  • Garnishes: 1 rosemary sprig, orange slice, and sugared cranberries

Preparation: Mix gin or vodka, cranberry juice, simple syrup and ginger beer in a copper mug over ice. Garnish with your rosemary sprig, orange slice and a few sugared cranberries on a toothpick. Voila! Holiday forest in a copper mug. Employee submission by Jenna Fickenscher.

Maple Breckenridge Bourbon Eggnog (makes about 8 cups)

Level: Hard

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup maple syrups
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups Breckenridge Bourbon
  • 16 strips crisply cooked bacon

Preparation: Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on low speed until frothy (about 30 seconds). Increase speed to medium-high and carefully beat until egg whites are about the consistency of shaving cream (about 90 seconds). Reduce speed to medium. With mixer running, add half of maple syrup and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer whites to a large bowl. Do not wash bowl. Add egg yolks and remaining syrup to now-empty stand mixer bowl and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow and ribbony, shutting off machine and scraping down sides with a rubber spatula as necessary, about 2 minutes total. Add milk, cream, and Breckenridge Bourbon and mix on low speed to combine. Using a rubber spatula or handheld whisk, fold the whipped whites into the egg yolk/milk mixture until completely incorporated. Serve by ladling into goblets and garnishing with a bacon strip.

Special Equipment: stand mixer, hand blender with whisk attachment, or handheld electric mixer

Wassail (makes about 6 cups)

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 1 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (or 2 teaspoons cinnamon)
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • Bourbon or whiskey (optional, but highly recommended)

Preparation: In a large dutch oven or crock pot, bring all of the ingredients to a low boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for a couple of hours. Serve hot; spike with bourbon/whiskey if desires. Garnish with whole cinnamon sticks.

Hot Buttered Rum (makes about 4 servings)

Level: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Pinch salt
  • ¾ cup spiced rum
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 sticks cinnamon (for garnish)

Preparation: Using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a 4-cup or larger measuring cup. Add the rum and then 2 cups of boiling water. Stir until the butter mixture dissolves. Divide the buttered rum among 4 mugs. Garnish with the cinnamon sticks and serve.

Cosmo Blanco (1 serving, double as needed)

Level: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 shot vodka
  • 1 shot triple sec
  • 1 ½ shot white cranberry juice
  • ½ shot freshly squeeze lime juice

Preparation: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with fresh cranberries or orange zest twist. Employee submission by Kimberly Tramontana.

So there you have it. Are any of these cocktails on your favorite holiday list? If not, we’d love to hear from you! What’s your favorite festive drink over the holidays? Share a photo of your specialty cocktail with us on Instagram using #BestOfBreck!

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Best of Breckenridge! Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year!

Beautiful Sunset over Historic Buildings n Breckenridge, CO

Top 50 Things To Do in Breckenridge This Winter

Let us help you create epic Breckenridge memories with your loved ones. Here’s our best-of Breck in winter list to get you started.