Friday, 27 February 2015

Skiing Breckenridge's five peaks

Apologies for this posting if you are not a skier, or if you have no intention of ever visiting Breckenridge in Colorado, where Barbara and I spent 10 nights prior to the SME in Denver.

If you are a skier then put Brecks on your list. It has something for everyone, very demanding double-black runs in steep bowls, and acres of well groomed blue and green runs for the intermediates and beginners. We have been eight times now, and although it can be very cold due to the high altitude (the town is at 9600 ft), the snow is as good as it gets, better in my opinion than in the much-hyped Utah, and much more reliable than in Europe.
Jon at 13000 ft in the demanding back-bowls

Barbara and friends at the top of N. America's highest chairlift
Amanda and Barbara 'cruising the blues'
Grandson William (5th from left) on the nursery slopes
The huge area consists of 187 trails on five interlinked peaks, and for the benefit of newcomers to the area, I have put together an easy itinerary which covers each peak, uses only 8 lifts, and never the same lift twice.

The route starts at Beaver Run near the base of Peak 9, which can be accessed by one of the many free ski buses from town. Take the Beaver Run Superchair, then drop down to the Mercury Superchair, where you follow the signs to the Falcon Superchair, which takes you up Peak 10.

One of the challenging Peak 10 double-black diamond runs
The runs down Peak 10 are fairly easy blacks, and a few challenging double-blacks, and lead down to the Peak 8 SuperConnect Chair, from where you take the long traverse to Peak 7 and then follow the signs to Peak 6 for the Zendo Chair and the Kensho Superchair, which takes you up to the highest point on this route, just over 12,300 ft on Peak 6 for some great bowl skiing.

The Peak 6 bowl
From here it is a long and glorious descent to the base of Peak 7 and the Independence Superchair, from where you take one of the many trails down to the Peak 8 base. From here take the Colorado Superchair  up Peak 8, and then descend all the way to Main Street in town via the Four O'Clock run.

You will have covered 23 miles of terrain with a vertical descent of around 10,500 ft, and will be ready to explore all the other options that Breckenridge has to offer. Enjoy!

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