Friday, January 16, 2009

Hardly Breck a Sweat

Headed out to hit the slopes in Colorado a few weeks ago. Breckenridge to be exact. I had been there a few years back with my sister but it was during the summer and I was curious about what the town and mountain would be like during ski season. Back then, my sister and I stayed at a hostel a few blocks from the center of town and it turned out to be more of a bed and breakfast than the simple accommodations I was looking forward to. I had formed this idea of a hostel in my head and wanted to realize it by arriving to a young crowd of travelers sharing stories and experiences. A community of strangers you could say. I guess that sort of thing appeals to me. Instead, the place was very comfortable, very spacious and the party sized jacuzzi was very hot. It was a good consolation prize and a clue to the kind of clientele the town catered to. Although the aesthetic is very upscale, Breckenridge still manages to keep that old town mountain village feel mostly because it was built over an old town mountain village. I remembered checking out the people on the restaurant and coffee shop lined streets thinking it was yuppie central. Totally not my crowd, but where there are yuppies there is ease and comfort. Prefect for a no hassle ski weekend out west. And the snow usually brings out the adventurous types anyway so problem solved. Neat town, cool people, big ol hill, close to Denver International... choosing Breck was easy.

The conditions on the mountain weren't optimal and not all the runs were open the first couple days we were there but I still had a grand ol time on my skis. It's hard to say what ability of skier I am. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the advanced category and sometimes, like on the diamond glade runs up on Lift 6, it's like I'm putting skis on for the first time. Breck goes from intermediate to expert in a flash with little in between. Not all that bad for families or those into cruisers I suppose. Though I would have preferred something a bit more challenging without having to negotiate mogals and pine trees on near vertical descents. My ego is still bruised. But I'm nitpicking, there was a lot of variety and when peak 10 opened up we had our fill of great views and great all around skiing.

Breckenridge has way more upside than any downs I can think of. I'd recommend it to anyone. I wish I could go into detail about all the wonderful places to go and eat but we had fun finding them on our own so I wouldn't take that experience from you. Just talk to all the friendly people on the street and in the hotel and you'll have an easy time. I'm already looking forward to my next ski trip our west... whatever that may be.

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