Hitting My Winter Stride
Hitting My Winter Stride
By Sam White
Now that it’s February we can fully appreciate what winter has brought us here in Breckenridge, Colo. Pre-season stuck around a little longer than usual and then all of a sudden, winter arrived in full force in January and it just didn’t stop snowing. This past week has brought warmer temperatures and with all the snow and a fully open resort, it’s very reminiscent of spring skiing. If it stays like this, where it snows a couple of inches here and there in between some sunshine, then I couldn’t describe a more perfect season.
Hitting my winter stride for myself, is like a shy-timid girl breaking out of her shell into a powder hungry, adventure-seeking woman. There isn’t any more instances where I have to hold myself back because of logical excuses like the coverage is low or I’m not completely in shape to do a bunch of hiking. Overthinking situations this time of year is just too risky, when all I want to do is take advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves before April shows up and they’re gone.
Finding powder stashes with friends is so much fun and Breckenridge has the goods, you just have to be ready to hike a little and keep your eyes open. “No friends on a pow day,” is such an overrated statement in my opinion. Finding powder stashes together and sharing the journey is what counts and when you find that perfect line, you obviously don’t want drop in together but smiles and high-fives when you meet up at the bottom is encouraged.
Hiking up Ball Room just never disappoints. The views from the top are incredible and you can always find fresh snow up there even on a busy weekend. My favorite hike this year would be checking out West Twin Chutes. It’s a bit of a climb from Mercury Chair, but it was worth every step. It’s interesting what mother nature can do with wind, the single-handedly most hated element in the snow world can also shape a perfect powder wind lip, while also blowing off any previous tracks. That is exactly what West Twin Chutes is made of; a beautiful, surprising mix of mother nature’s elements that Breckenridge has to offer.
After that run, it puts you into Windows. With good coverage at this point in the season, this is one of my favorite runs. Without much powder it provides gully type conditions that send you into tight, fast turns that will quite literally, keep you on your toes. This time of year, that’s what it’s all about. Staying on your toes and taking advantage of all these opportunities that winter has to offer.