3 tips for finding powder early season

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Powder. We all love it, but it can be elusive this time of year and typically having patience and knowing the inside scoop is the only way to find it. Not this year. If you skied Breck this past weekend you may have found a foot or more of fresh snow as the resort received 15 inches of new snow over the weekend! If you didn’t get any fresh turns, here are a few tips to help appease that appetite for the fresh stuff.

1. Get up early

Waking up early and getting to the mountain is number one on the list for a reason. Breck currently opens at 9:00am, with operating hours subject to change, — so you should be here at 9:00am. Allow for plenty of time to travel during powder days, especially if you are coming up from the front range.  Check conditions and photos before you get to the mountain so you know what areas look the best before you get here.

For a boost of motivation, take a look at Breck’s Facebook page or the snow stake cam to see how much snow has fallen. If it was windy, you will find the best snow on the leeward side of the slopes. The classic expression, “the early bird gets the worm” will never let you down when it comes to a powder day. Powder skiing at Breck

2.   Hike when possible and when safe

Less people are willing to hike when a chairlift makes accessing other runs so convenient. If you feel comfortable hiking, go for it — but please follow boundary rules and abide by resort policies. Certain areas of the resort are closed to hiking and when Breck’s upper terrain is lift-accessible, hiking isn’t allowed so be aware of the resort’s uphill access policy and reach out to us when you are confused by what’s allowable. When terrain is closed — it is not closed except for hiking — closed means closed, so please obey trail signs.

You will build crucial leg strength for the season and be rewarded with soft snow if you hike. Just remember to jam the toes of your boots into the snow for better traction and stability. Snowboarders: consider using a pair of metal or rubber Cat Trax to drastically improve stability while hiking. Contest Bowl is now open for hike-to access at Breck.

3. Know what’s open

Make sure you have detailed knowledge of what is open on the mountain. Talk to a ski patroller, a mountain host, check online, or stay tuned to Breck’s Twitter account to see what is open and possibly opening that day. Talking to a local is a great idea if you can convince them to reveal their secret powder stash. If the run is roped off or has a closed sign, it is for good reason. There will be plenty of incredible powder days this season and it would be a bummer to lose your pass this early on.

Breck also posts powder stashes to Foursquare when the snow piles up in those areas, so follow Breck on Foursquare to see those random updates.

There is a chance of snow this week at Breck, so tune your gear and tune in for more details. What are a few of your tips to finding early season powder?

–Michael Suleiman