I’ve skied Breckenridge many times over the years and each time I visit, I’m still impressed by how large it is. Standing in front of the base lodge, the peaks are all lined up in front of you. The sight is awesome. It would take more than a week to ski all the trails at Breckenridge not to mention that you would have to be a really expert skier. There had been a lot of snow in the early part of the year and it was sunny and the conditions were perfect.

This ski area is really HUGE with 2,908 acres of skiable terrain that includes four terrain parks, two half pipes and 187 trails. The elevation at the summit is 12,998 ft. with a vertical rise of 3.398 ft. Breck has 34 lifts that includes four 6-passenger Super Chairs, 6 high speed quads, 1 fixed quad, 1 triple, 6 doubles, one 8-passenger gondola, 4 surface lifts and 11 carpet lifts. They provide 1061 acres of bowel skiing and have snowmaking covering 600 acres. 
Breckenridge has an abundance of trails for skiers of every ability. They have miles of novice terrain (11%), including Four O’Clock Run, a 3.5 mile trail.

31% of the trails are intermediate, rated More Difficult with 24% labeled More Difficult. 34% are Expert trails, including bowels and steep bump runs.

I began by riding up the Peak 8 chairlift. My first run was just a warm up down North Star. Next, I took a ride up the Colorado Spruce Chair and explored some of the trails that ran under that chair. Callies had a few bumps on it and it was a fun run. I tried to work my way over to Peak 9 and wound up at the midway loading station on the Snowflake chair and took a run. I thought I could take the trail back down to the bottom of Snowflake but I would up on Park Avenue waiting for a BUS (I only think I know Breck). It wasn’t big deal. The busses run every few minutes and I was back at the base of Peak 8 in a short time.

I had lunch in the Bar and then spent the rest of the day skiing the other trails on Peak 8 and Peak 9.

I was staying at the 
Park Meadows Lodge, a very affordable lodge in a convenient location in the heart of town. You can ski in on the Four O’Clock Ski Run and walk 1 block to the Breckenridge ‘Free Ride’ Shuttle Stop for a short ride to the base of Peaks 7 and 8. It was only a short 3-block walk to Main Street. It is only minutes from the center of everything Breckenridge has to offer.

In the lobby area there was a huge open fireplace making it a great place for socializing or having a relaxing cup of coffee. A guest could enjoy a game of pool, ping pong or foosball in the game area or relax those muscles after a hard day of skiing in one of the two large outdoor hot tubs. Other amenities include laundry facilities, soda/snack dispenser, ice machine and other amenities. They provide access to free WiFi, and individual ski lockers for each unit for ski and snowboard storage.

My one bedroom suite was small but comfortable. It had a galley kitchen so you could cook if you did not feel like going out for dinner. There was a big screen TV in the livingroom where you can relax after a hard day skiing. For an inexpensive place to stay in Breckenridge that is close to everything, call Ski Country Resort’s office at (800) 633-8388 and tell them that the Ski Bum News recommended them.

I wound up spending a couple of days skiing Breckenridge and hit almost all of their trails from Peak 8 to Peak 10. This brought back memories of my first visit to Breckenridge as a ski journalist. Breckenridge was hosting the last freestyle World Cup Event before the Nagano Olympics in addition to the Bumps and Jumps pro mogul competition.

After the qualification runs were over, I skied to the chair. Using my press credentials, I cut the line and called out for a single. A guy raised his hand just as Donna Weinbrecht skied up behind me. I turned to her and introduced myself as a journalist and asked if she would ride up in the chairlift with me. She agreed, on the stipulation that I would not interview her. I said OK, and hopped into the chair next to one of the best female freestyle athletes in the world.

I told her who I was and mentioned that I had been Ernie Forst’s roommate, durring my last year at Killington. She had made an instructional how-to-ski-the-moguls video for Killington with him and many of my other old friends from my Killington days. She said she wanted to “keep focused,” so we talked about our mutual friends and the old days at Killington. After that meeting, I would see her at Freestyle events at Deer Valley and Killington and we became friends.

I met Jonny Moseley for the first time that day. He hit the course smoking and his second jump brought loud cheers from all the onlookers. He hit the second jump and did something I had never seen before. He did a helicopter with an iron cross and he grabbed his skis while in midair. The crowd screamed and I knew that this mogul specialist had earned high marks for his performance. This jump became known as the “Dinner Roll”. The day finished with Moseley in 1st place. The next week at the Nagano Olympics, he threw the same jump and won the Gold Medal in the mogul event. Over the years, I would see him every year at World Cup Freestyle events at Deer Valley and Lake Placid and we would renew our friendship.

Breckenridge has always been one of my favorite ski areas. It has many fond memories for me. It is one of the best ski areas in America. Not only does it have great trails but it also is located in an authentic Western town with a lively Main Street with plenty of shops, many fine restaurants and places to procure adult beverages.

If you haven’t skied Breckenridge, put it on your shortlist. It’s a great ski area located in a fun town. I can guarantee that you will have a great ski experience at this world-class ski resort.

Ian Fehler
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