A December to remember

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The last time I lived in Breckenridge was Winter 2012/2013. I don’t recall it being an exceptional snow year, but I remember having fun exploring Breckenridge Ski Resort with friends and getting to know some of the untracked powder spots to chase on a midweek powder day because that’s what locals do.

My career as a Sales Rep took me away from Colorado to San Diego for a few years, but I just moved back this past February and I am so happy I chose Breckenridge as my home. I had the option to settle anywhere in the State, but I chose the mountains because they are where I feel most alive… even if the air is thin.

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As a professional enduro mountain biker, I spent most of this summer leaving Breckenridge to travel to other parts of the state and country to race. Although it was an amazing experience to explore new trails and different landscapes from desert slabs to the high alpine tundra terrain in other parts of Colorado, I always felt like I was cheating on Breckenridge because I have the privilege of riding my bike out my back door and the trails here are amazing.

“The next [few] days the of following week were spent lapping the multiple feet of fresh snow in the trees, snow in the face, endless giggles, and tired legs.”

But what does this have to do with a December to Remember you ask? As we all know, Old Man Winter has been teasing us since May with that freak Memorial Day snow storm, then another couple random 2-4 inch dustings in September and October that literally lasted a day or two due to the storms being followed by a long-standing warming trend, and then it was fairly light snow through most of November. Selfishly, I was stoked! I was finally home from bike travel, my work schedule slowed down a little, and I could finally enjoy my backyard singletrack! I rode so many trails that were on my list to explore this summer but that I never got the chance to check out. Had the snow started to fall earlier, I would have been bummed to not have that time to continue to ride.

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On Tuesday, November 17th.. the storm door opened… exactly one week before Thanksgiving. I went away for the holiday and a work trip and returned to a winter wonderland. I dusted off the ski boots, and went out on freshly waxed skis to see if I still had it in me. I’ve been skiing since I was two years old, but I still get that deeply rooted excited feeling on my first chair lift ride and then taking those first turns. First day out was filled with perfect corduroy and pockets of soft pillowy goodness. The next consecutive days the following week were spent lapping the multiple feet of fresh snow in the trees, snow in the face, endless giggles, and tired legs. More terrain kept opening, and I even got my first lap on the T-Bar which was effortless because it was so filled in. More snow kept coming… which meant more shoveling, but also meant putting off that work assignment mid-morning to seek those untracked powder lines in the trees on a Tuesday. In the past 22 days, Breckenridge Ski Resort has received 6 feet of new snow and the mountain will have 5 peaks open before Christmas. And it’s GOOOOD. I may love my bike and trails here in Summit County… but now that winter is finally here, I couldn’t’ be more stoked. So get on up here, cause it sure is a December to Remember, and you won’t forget.

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Liz Cunningham lives in Breckenridge and  is fun-loving, passionate individual dedicated to a life of adventure, hard work, determination, and rich experiences. She is the Sales Rep for Gore Bike Wear and a professional mountain bike racer representing Yeti Cycles, Smith Optics, and Industry Nine. In the winter months, she is a passionate alpine skier and loves exploring the backcountry safely with friends.

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