Winter is coming! In this year’s installment of the Edge, Westword’s annual guide to winter activities, we’ve got the what’s what, the what’s new, and the what to do at ski areas and mountain towns across the state. From skiing and snowboarding to new mountain roller coasters, fat-bike tours, snowmobile adventures, hot-springs soaks and more, the Edge — inserted in the November 16 edition of Westword — will help you plan your vacation days, personal days, powder days and sick days from now until spring. Here's the scoop on Breckenridge.
BRECKENRIDGE SKI RESORT
Breck opened on November 10, and resort improvements this season include the upgraded Falcon SuperChair on Peak 10, now a high-speed six-person chairlift, which should help with lift lines in one of the mountain’s most popular zones.
Here are five things you need to know about Breckenridge:
1. Get above treeline to get the goods: Breck has eleven bowls on five peaks. On a powder day, brave the lines and the elevation to ride the T-Bar or the Imperial Express, which tops out at 12,840 feet. “Hop off the Imperial Express, North America’s highest chairlift, and it’s like being transported to a winter vacation in the European Alps,” says Breckenridge spokesman Zak Sos. “On a clear day, Peak 8’s treeless, powdery slopes offer views for miles, and a bird’s-eye look at historic Breckenridge that will simply leave you in awe. On Peak 6, intermediate skiers or riders can take a cruise down Bliss, a run that will introduce you to panoramic views that are, well, simply blissful. Advanced skiers will also love the hike to the Six Senses on Peak 6.” For a private customized tour of all that, call Breck Guides at 800-356-3972 to book an experts-only experience.
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2. The Dew Tour returns for its tenth year at Breck, with slopestyle, halfpipe and streetstyle competition December 14-17; the Tour doubles as the first of four Olympic qualifying events for skiers and snowboarders vying for slots on the U.S. team for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games. After-party events include POWDER magazine’s Powder Awards, the TransWorld SNOWboarding Riders’ Poll Awards, and nightly concerts, TBA.
3. For discount lodging — and to make some new friends — stay at the Bivvi hostel. “Not only do they serve a complimentary breakfast every morning, but they also have a small bar that serves beer and wine from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m, and a communal hot tub with gorgeous views,” Sos says. “The Bivvi is located right on the shuttle route with easy access to town, so save some money and grab one of the local shuttles from DIA.”
4. For a unique off-mountain experience, check out the employee-owned Rocky Mountain Underground Shop and Tavern, which opened last season at 114 South Main Street. RMU sells its handcrafted skis on one side of the building and pulls twelve craft beers on tap on the other side. There’s also an outdoor beer garden, which opened over the summer and may be open during the winter, weather permitting. Sos also recommends visits to Breckenridge Distillery — and its farm-to-table restaurant, led by Top Chef star Daniel O’Brien — and the Gold Pan Saloon, the oldest bar in Breck.
5. The whole town gets behind Breck’s big festivals, including the Dew Tour, the Viking-themed Ullr Fest and Breck Pride.