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With almost 3,000 acres to explore, Breckenridge Ski Resort has terrain for everyone to enjoy. Beginners can enjoy some of the best learning terrain in the Rockies on Peak 9; experts have seemingly endless opportunities to find challenging lines, whether through the trees or high above them. But what about the skiers and snowboarders who want to explore something in between? Good news! Intermediate terrain in Breckenridge includes a wide variety of runs that can be found all over the resort.
Intermediate Terrain in Breckenridge: Peak 9
Favorite Trails: Bonanaza, Briar Rose, Gold King
Peak 9 has multiple options. Get your ski legs under you by trying out Bonanza, right in the center. Bonanza has a single fall line, so you don’t have to worry about sliding to the side as you go down. Take note, though, as you pass through the yellow fence at the top: Bonanza is a learning trail, so skiers and riders are expected to go slow. Take a slow lap to warm up and get a feel for the snow, then take another ride on the Mercury and really start to explore.
For trip number two, consider Briar Rose (to the right after you get off the lift) – it tends to be a little less crowded than some of the other, more visible runs. Slide past tree islands and over gentle rollers, and keep an eye out for the chance to check out CJ’s Cabin, an old mining cabin left over from Breckenridge’s early days (the entrance will be on your right). Otherwise, look for the underused Country Boy and detour past 10 Mile Station. Stop in for a warm drink or a snack if you’re so inclined, then take another more ride on the Mercury.
If you’re craving something different, head to the far left this time – past the Overlook restaurant – and hit Gold King. It’s rarely crowded, and probably the most challenging “blue” run on Peak 9. The double fall line means you have to stay on your toes, but it’s well worth the extra effort.
Intermediate Terrain in Breckenridge: Peak 8
Favorite Trails: Crescendo, Duke’s Run, Northstar`
Ready for the next step? Bypass the Mercury Chair and find the Peak 8 SuperConnect to access Peak 8. Once off the lift, head through the yellow fence on Springmeier (again, keep it slow!), but look for the turnoff for Crescendo on the left. Crescendo is a prime place to work on your bump skiing – the left half of the run is typically full of gentle bumps to practice in, while the right side is kept groomed so you can bail out if bumps aren’t your thing. Either way, ski down to the Rocky Mountain Chair and try your hand on Duke’s or Northstar before you head over to Peak 7. It’s easy to lap a handful of trails on Peak 8 as well as take a break at either the base area (don’t miss the TBAR or Vista Haus).
Intermediate Terrain in Breckenridge: Peak 7
Favorite Trails: Pioneer, Lincoln Meadows, Wirepatch
When it’s time to move on from Peak 8, take the Rocky Mountain Chair up and head to the left (north), all the way to Pioneer. On Pioneer, you’ll follow the Independence Chair to the bottom. Get ready for a different type of terrain. Once you’re off the Independence Chair, ski the left side – Angel’s Rest is a good one – and check out the rolling terrain and the gorgeous views that Peak 7 affords. Spend some time on Peak 7; its natural rolling terrain is a blast! Take the extra time and effort to find Lincoln Meadows and Wirepatch – they are some of the best runs at the resort, and some of the least crowded. Just be careful not to stop below a roller, and make sure you know what’s below you when you’re skiing.
Intermediate Terrain in Breckenridge: Peak 6
Favorite Trails: Reverie, Bliss
Take note: not all “blue” runs are created equal! Peak 6, which is mostly above treeline, provides a radically different experience than the other peaks. Conditions are far more variable, and the exposure means visibility may be compromised if the wind is blowing. Taken together, these factors mean the skiing on Peak 6 is considerably more challenging than on Peak 7, so if you’ve got tired legs you may want to try Peak 6 another day. But if you’re up for it, take a leisurely ride on the Zendo Chair (located near the bottom of Angel’s Rest) to the Kensho SuperChair.
Once you’re at the top of Kensho, take a few minutes to take in a breathtaking view – one of the best at the resort. Look for Lake Dillon to the north, and note the Continental Divide to the east. For the first run, follow Reverie down the lift line: It will help you acclimate to the conditions and the differences of skiing above the trees. The next lap down, head left as you get off the chair and tackle Bliss, staying left of the red fence. And, if your legs still have life left in them, take lap number three down Bliss, but enter through the access point just below the red fence. Don’t be intimidated by the “double diamond” sign you pass – there are several blue trails below the traverse, and you will likely have them to yourself.
It’s a long day to complete this itinerary, so if you are visiting for several days take your time and make sure you enjoy all of the intermediate offerings. You might want to take a day for Peak 9 and Peak 8, then use the next day for Peak 7 and Peak 6. Lines at the Independence Chair on Peak 7 can get lengthy, so planning to tackle Peak 7 runs early can help avoid some frustration. Always make sure that you’re layered up properly, and don’t forget about all of the incredible places to enjoy après! And, as always, be sure to observe all posted signs, warnings, and ropes to make sure you (and everyone else) can be safe and spend the evening swapping tales of adventure. Enjoy!