Welcome to Breck

Top 10 hardest runs at Breck

From high consequence rocky chutes to steep mogul pitches, here are the top ten hardest runs at Breckenridge Resort.

10. Twin Chutes
This low-traffic, gladed ski run is worth the challenging, often wind-scoured, chilly hike it takes to reach the top.  The farthest twin is usually the least visited and most rewarding for powder seekers. This steep pitch funnels skiers into the bumpy and tricky run known as Rick’s Run Out.

9. Dark Rider
The south side of Peak 10 is home to steep mogul runs, tree skiing, and cliff drops. Dark Rider offers a steep pitch with unforgiving moguls.  A local’s favorite — “Dark Rider Rock”— is a cliff located between Dark Rider and Mustang, sending daredevils into the vast bump fields below.

8. Magic Carpet to Art’s Bowl  Skiing at Breckenridge
 All of the runs off North America’s highest lift, Imperial Chair, are tough due to the almost 13,000 feet of elevation. Skiers and boarders can enjoy one of the longest runs at Breckenridge by traversing to Magic Carpet, a double fall-line, chalky run, into the steep descent of Art’s Bowl.  This 1,000 plus vertical high-speed run will test the legs of seasoned athletes.

7. Lulu
Lulu, accessible from the top of T-Bar, is the steepest part of Horseshoe Bowl.  Skier’s left is littered with cliffs such as “Lulu Rock,” creating a menacing looking slope and offering creative line choices to those who dare to pick their way through.

6.  Devils Crotch
The runs off E Chair are leg and lung burners. Devil’s Crotch, as the name hints, is no walk on the beach. From atop Peak 9, a drop into the never-groomed, tight mogul run, will quickly deter inexperienced skiers.

5. Tom’s Baby
 Running directly under E Chair, this local’s favorite is perfect for showboating skiers. Tom’s baby covers the steepest part of E Chair and often sluffs to the rock and dirt below it. Enjoy tight moguls, and around 900 vertical feet of hard charging fun.

4. Needle’s Eye 

Needle's Eye run in Breckenridge.
The author in front of Needle’s Eye in Breck.

This rather unknown trail is tucked away past The Doors. Like the name suggests, after negotiating through the hidden entrance and tight trees, riders thread the needle down a narrow cut on northern Peak 9.

3. Ivan’s
The Lake Chutes are as challenging to get to as they are to ski down. The cold, high elevation hike off the top of Imperial Chair exhausts even the fittest athletes.  Just skier’s left of the more friendly, Zoot Chute, is the steep and rocky descent of Ivan’s. Partway down, looms the infamous “Pyramid” cliff. Test your skills on this 20 plus foot drop.

2. Wacky’s
 The last Lake Chute before Snow White is arguably one of the toughest. Wacky’s is a steep, technical descent that sometimes, depending on snowfall, requires mandatory air to exit.  Variable snow conditions can make this powdery run sometimes icy and thrilling.

1. Nine Lives
At over 50 degrees at its steepest point, Nine Lives is one of the steepest in-bounds runs in Colorado. After negotiating a large cornice at the top, skiers on Nine Lives skiers must make their way through multiple cliff bands. The toughest run on the mountain offers a chance for a fast, quick double drop exit or a technical Billy Goat style run.

Think you can take on or conquer any of these runs at Breck? Boast about it in the comments below.

— Jesse Ambrogi-Yansen

57 Responses

  1. Don Charlton

    14 days till we hit Breck!

  2. Who wants to slay all 10 with me next weekend?

    • AnnaLisa Farrell

      My boyfriend would love to. He'd respond himself, but he doesn't have a facebook page.

    • Let's do it!

    • i think ive rode them my fav is the needle eye

    • There's a map of the Lake Chutes runs at http://www.steepchutes.com/lakechutescores.html. Difficulty for many of these depends on the snow conditions.

      I've never skied Wacky Tim's or the Spine Line as they are too dangerous IMHO (if you fall, you'll likely fall into rocks). And I don't recommend Needle's Eye except under soft/fresh conditions, as it's also dangerous especially if icy, as if you fall, you'll likely speed up and hit a tree. The rest are safe enough that if you fall, you can either stop or slide to safety. Also be aware that you can also get hurt sliding into a skier below, because on these steep slopes in icy conditions, you'll pick up speed if you fall. So also look out for fallen skiers sliding into you.

  3. Stamina Stanley

    They got it all wrong!
    #1 elevator shaft.
    #2 wacky's
    #3 needles eye.
    #4 minecrotch
    p.s. toms baby is a warm up and lulus and and ivans are only difficult if you ski a line with drops.

    • Chris Steeger

      Vertical Cornice?

    • Brian Acosta

      I Completely agree with you on tom's baby. Also, Devil's crotch isn't too hard either. and Lulu's is pretty easy cliffs or none.

    • Stamina Stanley

      elevator shaft is skiers right of the cornice. its basically the only way to ski it without dropping it. its the most exposed point so its slick as hell from the wind and theres no way out besides funneling down the cornice or falling down the rocks. and im not talking about devils crotch, im referring to the tree line that opens up enough to ski halfway down the runoff to mineshaft hence "minecrotch"

    • Stamina Stanley

      check it out and my bad i thought you meant the zute chute cornice instead of vertical

    • Rachael Madland

      "minecrotch" nice! We call it the attic because you end up ducking a ton of head height branches! So fun!

  4. Il do them all again

  5. Sounds like a challenge!

  6. Todd Pfander

    I'm not the best skier, but I've done "Tom's Baby" many times. I will say that the very first time was exceedingly humbling. It was basically a white-out storm and ALL of the bumps were filled in with fresh powder. It looked like a beautiful, untracked run from the "E Chair" directly above. All I could think was "Sweet! No one has hit this yet. I'm all over it!" I went in with WAY too much speed only to discover the hidden bumps under the fresh powder. I got tossed… hard. Apparently it was quite an entertaining yard sale. The skiers on the E Chair were just howling! After I searched for and gathered all of my equipment, I skied "Tom's Baby" quite a few more times in the same day, but with a lot less speed and a lot more respect. My Wisconsin legs and lungs rested VERY well that evening.

  7. Kristopher Black

    Done 7/10, lets go do then all, after that let's do them all again! After that if the lifts are still running lets do it again!! Bring it!!

  8. Jeff Montgomery

    I took one look at the far end of Lake Chutes and hiked back north to easier terrain. Ha. Maybe in a couple of years.

    • Jeff Montgomery

      PS – It's worth the trip up there even if you ski the easier part. Beautiful.

  9. Peter Brooke

    Windows is for sure more sporty than some of these runs. Especially at the creek bed below the old hut.

    • Chris Klusendorf

      Skied into the creek one time in the spring!

  10. Yeah, to be honest…I'm not the best skier out there, but I have been skiing at Breck since before I was two. I can and have hit every one of these runs on multiple occasions, and Tom's Baby, Devils Crotch, and Magic Carpet to Art's Bowl should be nowhere near this list. (I still love all of you, especially Art's Bowl.

  11. I'm slaying all those this Sunday!

  12. Were is Windows???

    • At the top of Peak 9. The entrance is next to the e chair. Follow the path through the trees.

  13. 2 yrs in Breck in 2002…. Wish I still had the legs for these… They were so much fun…

  14. Sheri Paul

    I have done 6 of the 10 on the list – and agree, Art's Bowl and Lulu's are not that challenging by comparison. I didn't know about a couple of these and will add them to my list now that we are getting some awesome snow! Elevator shaft sounds intriguing Stamina Stanley!

  15. The 2 lines between Devil's & Mine Shaft; AKA: Devil's Shaft & Mine Crotch.

  16. Skied Y chute on Peak 7 yesterday, Things are gettin better evert day.

  17. Skied Y chute on Peak 7 yesterday, Things are gettin better evert day.

  18. Shea Rush

    Skied them all by the age of 14!

  19. Jason Cummings

    I've done 5/10 at age 14. 8-4.

  20. How would people rank the 'points' on this list? At least that's what I've heard them called by locals, short for 'decimal points', take the entrance to the Windows and find some tracks going down into the trees before the first numbered window run.

    Can someone provide a better description of where to find elevator and minecrotch?

  21. Brady Hoover

    Great article! Thanks for posting. Gives me a great check list for my Breckenridge visit.

  22. Anonymous

    just did devils crotch today and it was hairy and scary.

  23. Anonymous


  24. I didn't know someone took my picture

  25. With 17" fresh skied 3 of them yesterday. Thanks Ullr!

  26. Rita Ruschmeyer Johnson

    Art's Bowl my fav.

  27. Skied them all.. nothing new.. can we talk about Jackson Hole yet?

  28. David Tekell

    Good list.
    Not sure Needle's Eye even qualifies as a run–just a gate into the trees. Even tighter than Minecrotch. Gotta pitch the cornice at the top of Whale's Tale for a thrill, especially in zero visibility.

  29. Skied Wackys last week. Amazing.

  30. Jacek Jarzabek

    so? You want a cookie? Some milk with it? If you leave next to the mountain (thank your parents) and your parents take you skiing early (once again thank your parents) you will ski good at young age – I know few people who ski 20 years at age of 22 (all of them pros) – don't feel so special about yourself. At the end of the day it is not about how tough of the runs you can do, but how much fun you have doing it. Person having a blast on the peak 7 blues has just as good of a day as you dropping Wacky's… lol – btw… all it takes is small rock to end your season (or few) – think about that… Not that I don't like nice steep stuff, but overconfidence will get you in trouble..

  31. Shea Rush

    Jacek Jarzabek If you read the post, Breck states: "Think you can take on or conquer any of these runs at Breck? Boast about it in the comments below." So, I made my one line statement in response to the instigating phrase "boast about it in the comments below". So, next time, before you are quick to strike with your degrading mindset, I'd thank you to read carefully. Because if you don't pay attention to detail… that will get you in trouble.

    Skiing those runs were some of the best times I've ever had. The only reason I ski is because I love it.

  32. Bruce Stanley

    Is there any extreme terrain on Peak 6? Just curious.

  33. Yes there is! Check out the hike-to terrain at the top of the Kensho Chairlift when you get to Peak 6. You can see the trails on our trailmap on breckenridge.com.

  34. Lake Chutes are amazing. Best powder on the mountain.

  35. Ggmo

  36. 1-4 I do agree with but the rest? Nah…. anything on six senses is tougher than toms or devils – Mustang is tougher than Dark Rider and windows 5-6 are tougher than twins.. Just my humble opinion – Btw – even 9 lives does not compare to some runs at CB… sorry…

  37. Not even close… 😉

  38. Not sure exactly which run it was. Rode up to the imperial bowl hiked the rest of the way to the top stood next to the weather antenna, walked down a little bit and went off there…. Way out of my league but I never miss an opportunity. I'll hike back up there some day. Most majestic sight I've ever seen….

  39. This is going to be an amazing season at Breck! "Did you know?" During the ski season, Volunteers from the Guest Service department provide complimentary tours of Breckenridge Ski Resort. Meeting locations are at Peak 8 or at Beaver Run on Peak 9. Tours depart every morning at 9:30 am sharp and last between 2 to 2½ hours, its a blast!

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