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Breckenridge Revisited 28 January 2010

Posted by magicdufflepud in Uncategorized.
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A month and a half ago I wrote off Breck as crowded and uninspiring. Its blues bored. Its crowds shaved away the corduroy in what seemed like minutes, leaving an inconsistently slick crust that sent gapers, and ocasionally me, careening out of control, destined for the yard sale — that debris field of gloves, poles, skis and limbs that reveal the path of truly epic (I am Spartacus!) fall. I told myself I wouldn’t ski Breck until the real snow came. And yesterday, that snow fell, just six inches of it of course but it arrived on the heels of several more. Breck’s Imperial and Six Chairs had opened a while back, too, but for the first time they led to snow worth skiiing.

So I made the trip, and discovered terrain that redeems the resort.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen pitches so steep that I stop for a moment, but it’s been even longer since I’ve encountered areas I avoid altogether. The Lake Chutes at the top of Imperial Bowl churn stomachs, and from the Imperial Chair you can watch the intrepid souls who stand peering over the 12 foot cornice. If they can negotiate that, then, well, it’s just a matter of taking on the 45-degree pitch while avoiding the pillars of rock that jut out of the snow at odd intervals. They do it, though, those peerers. They make the drop. They take the turns. All for that chairlift audience, whether they realize it or not.

But I’m less adventurous and more appreciative of my intact body. Maybe with more snow I’ll take it on, which means for now I can content myself floating through Breck’s abundant snow. So much of the terrain exists above treeline that even with more than one million visitors a year the resort can offer a few good turns here in Summit County.  Skimming on through the glades on Wednesday powder, I rescinded my moratorium on future Breck visits because after all, skiing is about chasing the good snow. I’ve never known a groomer that induced ear-to-ear grins, but get the snow falling and you’ll hear the powder-giggle, the knee-deep holler, the spontaneous, shared cheer. Now I’m just waiting for my own Lake-Chutes-omigoshoooooooooowooooo!

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