A weekend warrior’s guide to serenity on the slopes

10" of new snow at Breck

Do you ever wonder where the more quiet areas of the mountain are during a busy holiday weekend? For many Weekend Warriors, getting to Breck provides them a chance to reconnect with the mountain. Here are the best  spots on the mountain to find peace, serenity, and the open runs you’re looking for.

The most important thing to keep in mind for any day on the slopes is to get there early. The main base areas can get busy quickly, however they are unlikely to be early in the morning. There is no substitute for getting out early and getting first tracks. However, if that margarita was just too strong the night before, these spots are the ones for you later in the day:

Peak 7 and 8

Northstar run on Peak 8 at Breck.
Northstar run on Peak 8.

Interested in the mellow cruisers? Or maybe you just like take a few warm up laps? I would recommend the Rocky Mountain Superchair on Peak 8 or the Independence Superchair on Peak 7. These lifts service blue and some black terrain, but typically take a bit longer to get really crowded. Hit these early on in the day.

When you are ready to tackle something more adventurous, you can take either of those lifts to access the T-Bar. The T-Bar usually opens by mid-morning, weather permitting. It can get crowded, but the line moves very quickly. It services the Peak 8 bowls like Contest and Horseshoe, which are classified as expert terrain. Hitting these on a day with good snow is unmatched.

T-Bar chairlift at Breck
The T-Bar on Peak 8.

Peak 9’s hidden gems

Want to keep it a bit tamer? Make your way over to Peak 9 via 4 O’clock. Mercury Superchair typically has less of a crowd than the other lifts on Peak 9 and gives you access to some really fun cruisers. Briar Rose and Upper Lehman are a good way to avoid the popularity of Cashier and Bonanza.

Those looking for a challenge should head over to E-Chair. E-Chair is always very quiet and serene. The two-seater chair brings skiers and snowboarders to the top of Peak 9, giving them endless options of tree and mogul runs. Devil’s Crotch and Inferno are narrow and steep. Only the bravest skiers attempt this section of the mountain. Those who want to go deeper should check out Windows, which is a very short hike through the trees to looker’s right.

Time your runs

Another important tip I would offer to the weekend warrior would be to ski through lunch. Lunch time is often the most quiet time on the hill other than the early morning. Most people head in for lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. By taking your lunch break in the early or later part of the day or even outside of it, you are maximizing your time on the hill with shorter lines and empty trails.

Get out there and enjoy the weekend!

–Chris Burton