How to Ski in Breckenridge

How to Ski in Breckenridge
Colorado history books tell us that the first recorded instances of Colorado skiing occurred in Breckenridge in 1859. Back then, skiing was a form of transport. Today, Breckenridge is one of the most popular resorts in North America. Located in Summit County, Breckenridge is served by the free Summit Stage Bus System, as well as the Breckenridge Freeride. Although Breckenridge was once considered a beginner/intermediate mountain, the addition of the Imperial Express lift, which is the highest in North America, has opened up some expert terrain.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ski gear Lift tickets
  • Ski gear
  • Lift tickets
Step 1
Acclimate to the altitude. The Town of Breckenridge is located at a base elevation of over 9,000 feet. If you are from sea level, you will need to acclimate. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. If possible, spend the first day exploring the town, which has a number of free museums from the Victorian era.
Step 2
Purchase lift tickets. If you have not purchased a ticket as part of a lodging package, head to any of the main base areas to get it. Unlike many other resorts, which have only one or two main base areas, Breckenridge boasts three, which include the Peak 9 Village, Peak 9 Beaver Run and Peak 8. Lessons for all levels are also available at any base area.
Step 3
Get a trail map. At first glance, Breckenridge can seem complicated. However, a map will show it's possible to use interconnecting lifts to bring you to other parts of the mountain. For example, if you are on Peak 9, and want to ski on Peak 8, simply hop on the Peak 8 Super Connect lift.
Step 4
Determine your ski level. Absolute beginners should use the Peak 9 Village area. Intermediates can use Peak 9 Beaver Run, and experts can start at Peak 8. On Peak 9, Bonanza is a designated slow-skiing area, and you will be stopped by the patrol if you are going too fast. If you are an advanced intermediate who is toying with the idea of trying a harder terrain, America on Peak 9 is designated blue/black, which is upper-level intermediate. The black or advanced terrain on Peak 10 is easier than most trails. However, the area is quite windy. As such, snow cover is often limited.
Step 5
Take a Breckenridge Free Mountain Tour. They are available at the base of Peaks 8 and 9, and they begin at 10 a.m. Tours last 1.5 to 2 hours and are open to intermediate and above skiers and snowboarders.
Step 6
Try lift-serviced backcountry skiing. If you are an advanced skier who has always wanted to try the backcountry, the Imperial Express will bring you to backcountry, ungroomed terrain.

Tips & Warnings

Breckenridge has an excellent ski school. Consider taking lessons.
March is the height of Spring Break season. The slopes are overcrowded during this period.

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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