The First Tracks experience at Breck

Falcon SuperChair

If you haven’t heard, Breckenridge offers a lodging package that will give you the opportunity to make guaranteed first tracks before anyone else. On select Wednesday mornings, First Tracks guest load up on the lift a full hour before it is open to the public. I’ve been, and it’s an amazing experience. Here’s why.

As I stroll up to the Quicksilver lift at Peak 9 just before 7:30 am, I immediately get a sense that I’m in for a unique experience. The setting is familiar, but like in a dream, everything is just a little bit different.  I can see the Quicksilver chairlift quickly humming along, but there are no passengers on it, and more importantly, nobody is in line.  The imagery and sounds don’t quite match up with what I expect at a ski resort.

In fact, I even start to second guess myself. “Am I in the right place? Is this the right time?”  It feels like I might have come on the wrong day because it just doesn’t feel like the mountain is open.  Because it’s not!  It’s about to open, but just for me, and a handful of others.

Peak 10 BreckAs I get to the lift, other First Tracks guests start to congregate.  Being a small group filled with excited anticipation, everyone quickly makes friends discussing where everybody is from and how excited they are to get on the hill.  After a quick introduction from the Director of Mountain Operations, we begin loading the lift. And about a minute later, no one else needs to load on. That’s the whole crowd. We casually chat while riding up the lift looking at only scenery, no people.

Once we reach the top, the group spreads out a bit and you really get a feel for how few people there are on the mountain. So much open space. From the top of the Falcon chair, I see the sun rising over the mountains in the east and hitting the slopes at my feet. Unbelievable. I want to spend more time taking in the view, but know that time, and untouched snow, is precious.

From then on, it feels like I’m skiing on my own private mountain.  My skis are gripping the Peak 10 runs like they never have before.  With no one on the trail, I’m able to connect long, flowing lines without interruption and lose myself in the joy of flying through the solitude.

At the end of every run, empty gates and a friendly liftie still warming up to his morning coffee greet me and I ski directly onto the chairlift. At this pace, I’m getting in two or three times the number of runs I would in the same amount of time during regular hours.

At almost 9:00 am I finally start to see some other skiers who have made their way onto the mountain and just smile to myself knowing they can enjoy following my tracks.

See more First Tracks photos. See a First Tracks video.

–Dave Hall