12 Breckenridge New Year musts

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In honor of the fresh slate that a new year brings (and the dumps of powder Ullr will — according to wishful locals — bring to the slopes in January), I hand-picked 12 Breckenridge bucket list must-hits for 2012.

Setting the tone for an adrenaline-fueled year, I plan on ripping through the forest and above the ski runs on Peak 8 on the 2,500-foot-long Gold Runner Coaster.

Breck’s four huge peaks span 2,358 acres, begging skiers to hit peaks seven through 10 in a single day and then ski them in reverse order back to the base and down to a well-deserved happy hour.

I owe the Imperial Express SuperChair — the highest chairlift in North America — some quality time. A glorious day will be set aside to explore the Imperial Bowl’s double black terrain.

An afternoon of hard turns and (fingers crossed) waist-deep powder calls for a rewarding adult beverage. Join me and try the new 50th anniversary Breckenridge Ale.

I’ve yet to take home the gold at the Motherloaded Tavern’s Tuesday Night Trivia. Victory will be mine. The killer $2 drink specials will suffice until then. Breck Terrain Parks

I keep reading about the unbeatable health benefits of cross-country skiing and plan to put the top cardio workout to a test on theBreckenridge Nordic Center‘s Cucumber Gulch trail.

A stay at Breckenridge’s luxury ski-in, ski-outOne Ski Hill Place is on the agenda – complete with the spa’s Blue River Stone Massage and some Big Lebowski time at the private Mine Shaft Bowling Alley.

After watching Dew Tour athletes land some amazing tricks, I’m inspired to take a trip to the terrain park. I’m thinking a beginner’s rail slide or run through Breckenridge’s Freeway Terrain Parkis in order.

A half-dozen years deep and I’ve never had a lesson. Just a friend taking me to the top in my rental skis and saying “meet you at the bottom….good luck.” I’ll be calling on the pros at Breckenridge Ski and Ride School for my very first private ski lesson.

After my inaugural lesson, it’s time to join the big girls and sign up for the Ladies’ Ski Fest in the spring for group lessons, après fun and a celebration dinner.

I’ve lived in Breckenridge for a few years and for one reason or another have never joined the laughing sledders at Carter Park. Time to take a super-fast saucer sled to the local hill and see what’s up.

On my list every January, the annual Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships are truly astonishing. I plan on moseying around the global teams as they chisel 20-ton blocks of snow into stunning works of art.

— Lisa Pogue

Check out these additional best bets for Breckenridge family fun.

Top photo courtesy Carl Scofield. Bottom photo courtesy Aaron Dodds.