Breckenridge is a snowboarder’s dream. Whether you prefer cruising through untouched pow, weaving through perfectly spaced trees, jibbing around on perfectly groomed slopes, smashing it in the park, or partying ‘til late, Breck has it all. So it’s no wonder that it frequently appears high up on lists of favourite snowboarding destinations, and attracts so many pro boarders who go to train there.
Breckenridge spans four peaks (Peaks 7,8,9 & 10) which are connected by one of the most efficient and state of the art lift systems in North America. Spread over the four peaks is loads of varied terrain to suit all levels of boarder, from total beginner to expert shredder.
With a base elevation of 9,800 feet reaching up to a summit of 12,998 feet, Breckenridge is breathtakingly high (quite literally) and can require some acclimatisation. However, it also means that there’s some excellent terrain above the treeline, the best of which can be accessed by the Imperial Express Superchair on Peak 8, the highest lift in North America which takes you up as high as 12,840 feet. From here you can either drop into Imperial Bowl or hike the short distance right to the top where you’ll be rewarded with some of the resort’s most challenging terrain, the awesome Lake Chutes. This part of the mountain is very exposed and it can get pretty hairy when the weather closes in. However, there are loads of fantastic gladed areas to hit on the rare occasion that happens, or even on one of the more common blue sky days.
It’s also the place for freestylers and its parks are consistently ranked as some of the best in the world. It has 5 parks and 2 half-pipes, from a gentle beginner’s park to the expert ‘Freeway’, which bears a world class super-pipe in addition to 4 massive kickers ranging from 35 to 70 feet.
But it’s not all about the mountain. Much of Breck’s appeal can be found off the slopes, on the streets of this charming traditional mining town. At first glance the cute and kitsch clapboard buildings that line the streets just appear to house an array of tacky souvenirs, but on closer inspection, you’ll discover a variety of cool bars and restaurants which play host to Breckenridge’s legendary nightlife.
One of the most popular spots for apres is Mi Casa, just across from the base of Peak 9, where they serve massive margaritas and free nachos. Other favourites include Ritas Margaritas, Kenosha and the legendary Bubba Gumps which serve cheap drinks and appetizers, and have great decking areas which are always packed in spring.
The best of the restaurants are South Ridge Seafood, which serves enormous plates of great quality food; Hearthstone, for fine dining in a lovely traditional building; Kenosha for great steaks, and Erics, a good old American diner.
If you’ve still got energy later on, the best spots are the Breckenridge Brewery, with its own micro brewery, plenty of drinks deals and a lively atmosphere; The Gold Pan for an authentic wild west atmosphere, or if you want to dance, head to Cecilias, the town’s premier nightclub.
And to refuel before hitting the slopes the morning after the night before, head to Columbine Café or the Blue Moose for the best breakfasts in town!Snowboarding in Breckenridge,