Christmas week is complete, and the snow falls again

I can’t believe in 8 days the rush is over. Now another storm rolls in to replenish the snow quality.

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I was a very good Christmas season for me and my family. Some of the highlights was skiing with new visitors, and others were to ski with long-time friends Alex G, and the McCarthy’s.
A second highlight was having yet another birthday on New Year’s Eve, the downside is that I forgot my skis, poles, helmet, and goggles in the parking lot in Beaver Creek. I guess age can effect memory. HPIM0087.JPG
And a third highlight was getting my son a new Snowboard and having Shaun White sign the board. It was a very cool moment on Christmas morning. Shaun was very gracious with his time to sign the board. High Quality individual.
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December 26 and 27th were good, but cold. Lift lines were pretty short. But on Sunday the 28th the visitors arrived. On Monday, Dec 28th Breck had 22,000 skiers and riders, Vail 20K, Beaver Creek and Keystone had 15K each. The next few days were just as busy. Fortunately the ski school lines were open out and everyday we skied twice as much as the non-SS skier.
I put a few miles on the car. I was in Keystone for 1 day, Vail for a day, Beaver Creek for 3, and Breck for the rest. I is always a treat to see and ski the other areas. Here on my quick thoughts on each over the past week:

Breck
– The snow was very good, new terrain continues to open. The winds were up (nothing new), and the parking/driving situation in town was bad from 9-11 and 3:30-5.
Dining on mountain in Breck was obviously very busy. If you are going to buy lunch, go to Spencer’s at the base of the Beaver Run chair. The price and the quality of the experience is the best of anywhere else on the mountain.

Keystone
: Hard snow everywhere. Mozart is a very scary run. There wasn’t a peak spared from the skiers and riders who ski straight down with minimal control, over very hard snow. IMG_0027.JPG
Vail – $25 parking structure is excessive. The 5500 acre mountain handles 20000 people like a breeze. South facing slopes were pretty well toast by Dec 31. More snow is needed to soften things up. The current quantity of snow is excellent. North facing slopes are good, but stay away from the lower mountain and the Avante portion of the mountain.
Beaver Creek – Spectacular on the 26th. Stone Creek Chutes opened on the 25th. Not many people around the mountain. On New years, the main runs started getting firm. Birds of Prey and Grouse were EXCELLENT. In my opinion, the best bumps and bump runs in the state. IMG_0074.JPG
As we move into the new year, we are greeted with fresh snow to replenish the mountains. And now the season begins. I will be making more day off hikes to the Lake Chutes, and laps in Peak 7. I feel stronger than I have in years, although Vitamin I (advil) has been helpful if I push too hard, for too many days in a row.
The Grand Lodge on Peak 7 is looking great. I highly suggest to anyone making yearly trips to Breckenridge to take a look @ the Grand Lodge. It is right on the snow with fantastic amenities.

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