When Max brought up the idea of going to Breckenridge to ski with him and his friends, I was down for it immediately. I mean, it’s so close to Denver and the pictures I’ve seen make it look like a winter wonderland this time of year. I have never skied before. I was slightly nervous about learning a new skill, but since I started this blog to share new experiences, I had to have those new experiences in the first place.
Day One: Exploring Main Street Breckenridge
We drove to Breckenridge from Denver. The drive was about an hour and a half long, with just a little icy patch on the way. The snow on the tree-studded mountains was such a sight and it kept me in awe almost the whole drive there.
When we got into town, Max and I had a few hours until his friends arrived and we could check into the resort. We decided to walk down Main Street and check out some shops to kill some time. We had to seriously bundle up because the weather was frigid! I didn’t wear anything on my head, but I really wish I had. Max and I found a public fire to warm up, which helped our fingers defrost.
The Main Street has a ton of Mom & Pop stores in Victorian-style buildings. Max and I went into this cool store that had a bunch of leather goods and products made locally. The shop owner had a calico cat that was trying very hard to be our cashier. It was adorable! Max and I bought a deck of playing cards with a mountain scene and the name “Breckenridge” on the back as a souvenir.
After we left the shop, we went exploring a tiny bit more. We found a bunch of alcoves between buildings that felt so cozy and inviting. The buildings are painted in warm tones and, against the snow, made a wonderful backdrop for a few Instagram photos!
The town is truly quaint and charming!
After a few hours of exploring, we got the call from Max’s friends saying that they had arrived. We made our way to where we were staying, which was a 5 bedroom condo in a section of a ski resort called Pine Creek overlooking the mountains.
Once we settled in and got our bags up to our room, we went to rent our skis from Christy Sports. Since Max and I have helmets and boots, we only needed the sports package: skis and poles. It ran us about $30 a day with the 20% coupon we received from staying at Pine Creek.
After all of that running around and exploring, we got back to the condo at about 7 pm. We were pretty tired and trying to stick to a budget this trip so we made ourselves dinner and played cards until we were sleepy.
Day 2: It’s all downhill from here
We woke up at about 8 am on our second day and made some breakfast for ourselves. I was mentally preparing to ski since I had never skied before. I’m going to admit to you something that I’m not proud of: I got winded just getting dressed and ready for a day of skiing.
To successfully stay warm, I had to put on a lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking base layer that included a turtleneck and leggings. Uniqlo has the best deal on those base layers and they really kept me warm. For less than $35, I was set!
Next, I put on my outer layer which was a pair of ski overalls from Picture Organic Clothing. I loved this part of the outfit. It was warm, comfortable, and I felt really good in it.
Finally, the accessories: helmet, goggles, face shield, gloves, and boots. I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it is to get on those boots. So as you can see, getting dressed to ski is no easy feat. But now that you know the whole ensemble, let’s talk about the actual act of skiing.
As you’ll remember, this was my first time skiing and OMG! I fell so many times. I lost my skis a few times. I fell so hard, my skis came off. And it was so hard to get back up. It took the wind right out of my sails. By the time I got to the bottom of my first run, I was sobbing in Max’s arms. I felt so defeated and beaten.
I refused to fail at it though, so I got back on that ski lift and tried again. This time, I really worked with Max to hone my slow-downs and stops. The second time down the mountain, I think I only fell twice. I felt so much better about myself and my abilities. At that point, I deserved a break. We met up with Max’s friends at Tenmile Station right off of the Quicksilver Lift on Peak 9.
I was so glad we took the break, sat down, and had a snack. Tenmile Station serves food in a cafeteria style. I can’t tell if the Loaded Baked Potato we had was actually good, or if we were just famished, but we enjoyed the food. Because Tenmile Station was both convenient and the isolated, the price was more expensive than I expected. I understand why, but if you are on a budget, I would bring a sandwich with you to the slopes instead.
After a short bit, we were ready to do another run down the mountain. I skied a little bit better this time but I still fell. We made our way back to the condo a little bit after that.
There was a hot tub at the condo and it was clutch in making sure our muscles didn’t get stiff after a day on the slopes.
Dinner was once again prepped at the house and we went to sleep at 7 pm. I was so tuckered out that, at 6 pm, I was falling asleep on the couch.
It was a tough day, but the bed was so comfortable that I woke up the next day completely rested!
Day 3: Just the lift I needed
After a small breakfast on our third day, we were ready to hit the slopes again. I was a little hesitant about getting back out there because of how I skied the day before. I didn’t wear my ski boots to walk to the lift like I had done on Day 2. I wore my Dr. Marten’s and rented a locker provided for $13 at the entrance of the Quicksilver Lift. It was much more comfortable than walking in the ski boots. If you chose to do the same, I suggest wearing shoes that can handle snow and ice or you will slip.
After putting on our ski boots and putting our extra stuff in the locker, we hopped onto the lift and made our way to the top of Peak 9.
I’m so afraid of heights that I almost had a panic attack on the lift. Turns out that there is a safety bar that you can bring down to help you feel more secure. We reached the top and it was time to ski. The moment of truth was upon me. I had already told myself that I wasn’t falling on the run this time, not even once. Out of the five times that we skied the run, I only fell twice. Three of the runs, I didn’t fall at all. I was really proud of myself!
My tips for new skiers are to go from side to side on the run, not straight down, and to be aware of who is around you!
We called it a day after five runs so that we could rest up for dinner and drinks later in the evening. The hot tub was our greatest ally yet again. Nothing like a soak and a beer. I tell you what!
After a little time in the hot tub, it was time for us to get ready for an exciting evening out on the town. Rounding everyone up to go out to eat was a feat in and of itself, but we got to what we heard was the best Italian restaurant in town, Giampietro’s. Since we didn’t make a reservation, we were told we would have to wait 3 hours for a table. None of us were willing to wait that long, so we ventured down Main Street in search of a place to eat.
The group split up and some of us went to a place called Extreme Pizza. The food was decent but the service was pretty ridiculous. The server was surprised that things we ordered were even on the menu. It was like it was his first time hearing about the items. I’ve been a server and I’ve never been surprised that something was on the menu. It was weird Our company was great, though! We had a lot of laughs during dinner, mostly at our servers expense!
It turns out that my friends from high school were in town and they were right downstairs from Extreme Pizza in a local bar called The Mine. It is crazy how things like that work out. So after dinner, we met up with my high school friends, some of which I had known since middle school!
I broke my New Year’s Resolution and had a few drinks and then Max and I went home, glad to have spent time with old friends.
Day 4: Best in snow
On our fourth day, we took the day off of skiing to return our skis and go to the International Snow Sculpture Championships. There was so much talent on display that it was hard to pick a favorite sculpture and the price was even better than the talent: free! We were lucky we were in town during the Championships, as they only happen once a year in late January.
And it was also really nice to round off our trip to Breckenridge spending a great day together!
After the International Snow Sculpture Championship, we headed back to the condo and made ourselves some delicious sandwiches. We stayed in the rest of the night so that we could get up early for our trip home in the morning.
Our journey home
We left the condo early in the morning to try and beat the weather. What a joke! We ended up waiting hours for the highway to open back up after a car caught fire in the Eisenhower Tunnel and Loveland Pass was closed because of the snow. There was no other option but to wait. A one and a half hour journey took us almost six hours. We were glad to be home after such an exciting and eventful trip!
I loved spending time in Breckenridge with Max and had a lot of fun learning how to ski, even though it was difficult. One piece of advice would be that depending on what time of year you are planning to go, expect traveling delays and pack heavier than usual. My saving grace for the trip was a heavy coat and lots of warm accessories.