A First Timer’s Guide to Skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado
Even though we have little to no skill in snow sports, we decided to join a friend for some skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado. They were in town for a conference and we were only 10 hours away so we figured it was a great idea for a long weekend trip.
As a quick side note, when we say skiing, we’re using it as a catch-all term for all snow sports including snowboarding. But regardless of the term used, when it comes to experience sliding down a snowy hill with something attached to our feet the Schaub duo is seriously lacking.
Kelsey is okay at skiing thanks to a few seasons of volunteering for (an adaptive sports program) but is terrified of steep slopes. Phil has technically snowboarded in his teens but has little to no faith in his current ability.
We figured a Breckenridge vacation would be a great time to improve our skills on the slopes and maybe open the doors for more winter vacations. Plus we like meeting up with friends so it was a win-win.
Let’s just say things did not go as planned. After Phil caught a cold, it ended up being just Kelsey on the slopes.
So while Phil enjoyed relaxing in the room with a perfect view of the snowy mountains Kelsey decided now was a great time to pick up snowboarding. So Kelsey set off on her own little adventure, and it got confusing and quick.
What we didn’t know is how complicated the process is for newbies trying to plan a winter getaway in such a popular ski area. So as with most of our posts…we struggled so you don’t have to.
So here’s everything we learned as first-timers skiing in Breckenridge. Or at the very least anything we can think of that might be helpful.
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What to Pack
We rarely talk about what to pack during our travel posts but we should probably start. Packing the right gear can make a big difference, especially when it comes to winter activities.
We’re not going to go over everything you bring because that would take up the whole post. Instead, let’s just consider some of the things you don’t want to leave behind.
If you are planning any type of outside, snowy adventure please PLEASE bring waterproof clothes for your outer layer. If you don’t own any, it’s time to do some shopping.
You’ll want waterproof
If you already own these items, you should buy some waterproof spray and give them an extra coat before the trip. This way even older items will hold up.
Don’t worry about packing the actual skiing equipment. If you already own some then great, bring it along but there are plenty of places for rentals.
Wearing a Helmet
If you are a beginner and you plan to travel down a snowy hill, wear a helmet. This is something we feel strongly about even if others might disagree.
Call us a bunch of worrywarts, we don’t care but your brain is just too precious to leave unprotected. A fall is bound to happen, especially for beginners and nothing ruins a vacation like a concussion.
We bought helmets that work for snowsports but also work for biking so we can use them throughout the year. Plus a helmet is great for attaching a GoPro which gave us some amazing footage…of Kelsey falling…constantly.
If you don’t own or want to buy a helmet, it’s an easy add-on for most rental companies.
Check Out What We Bought From Amazon
There are rental stores literally everywhere in Breckenridge. We had a Breck Sports store about 100 feet outside our Airbnb and there was another one about 200 feet in the other direction.
The price per day will vary slightly depending on where you go but for us, it was about $50 a day for snowboard boots and the snowboard itself. You can always shop around for the best deal but we say make it easy and go wherever is closest
The best part about a lot of these places is you can trade out your snowboard for skis or vice versa free of charge. So if you start with a snowboard and you realize it’s just not for you, you can easily head down the mountain, stop in the shop and change out for skis.
Kelsey did this after her lesson ended one day and she was back up the lift about 20 minutes after getting down the mountain. After many falls on the snowboard, she wanted just a few good runs on skis to restore her ego.
Like we already mentioned, if you didn’t bring a helmet you can rent one along with the other stuff.
The best part about the rentals is that you can rent for several days. Schedule for the pick up/drop off accordingly and just keep the rentals in your room.
Finding The Slopes
This was one of the hardest things for us to figure out before we got into town. And still confusing when we got into town.
Breckenridge is a very popular ski town so it makes sense that they have a lot of slopes to choose from. There isn’t just one location everyone goes to and each spot has several lifts to choose from.
There are five main peaks in town, Peaks 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Each peak has different lifts with fun little names.
Beginner Lift Peak 9
Not sure how official it is, but it seems like Peak 9 is the best spot for beginners. It’s right by a location for rentals, near the meeting spot for lessons, and is an easier slope.
If this is your first time skiing, the chairlift to look out for is called “Quicksilver”. It takes you to the beginner area where the slopes aren’t crazy steep.
The nice thing about Breckenridge is they try to connect all the slopes. We had friends who stayed around Beaver Creek and took that chairlift up to peak 9.
So even if you aren’t right outside, you can still get there. But remember, to get there via the slopes you need the right experience and equipment.
If you are looking for a harder challenge, you will want to stay close to peak 10 and take the Falcon Superchair up to challenge yourself on some black diamond routes. Your other option for some more challenging skiing is to head up to the top of peaks 7 and 8 and ski the bowls for some more black diamond fun.
We cannot stress enough that if you are new to snowsports…start with lessons. It will be a very frustrating and probably dangerous experience to just go out and wing it.
Even though Kelsey knew how to ski before going to Breckenridge she wanted to learn how to snowboard. She found lessons online and signed up for two days.
We were able to find lessons that included a discounted lift pass and the price was only about $12 more than a normal lift ticket. That’s because the lift pass only gave access to one lift but this one lift had several runs to go down all perfect for newbies.
You were able to sign up for lessons depending on your skill level and she even did back to back days of lessons with the same group of people. A lot of people might not want to do lessons but trust us, it helps.
You get to learn in a safe environment and you learn skills that you won’t learn if you just go out there with your friends to try to “figure it out”. The fact that you are only paying a little bit more for full-day lessons (about four and a half hours) makes it well worth the time and price.
Just make sure when you sign up for lessons you choose the right location. Again we suggest the village location but there are other options.
You can honestly stay anywhere in Breckenridge and be fine. There are shuttles everywhere and lots of parking options.
However, we were extremely happy with our Airbnb and felt it was the perfect spot for lost newbies. We stayed at t he Village at Breckenridge which is right outside peak 9.
When we booked our room, we didn’t know enough about the area and happened to luck out. Even though we rented through Airbnb, you can book directly with the Villages.
We suggest this place because the location is everything you want for a stress-free vacation. All right outside the door is a place for rentals, a meeting spot for lessons, and the beginner chair lift.
It’s also known as a ski-in/ski-out location. Meaning you can walk out the door, take a few steps and you are at the bottom of a slope.
It’s like a one-stop-shop. If you pull a Phil and stay indoors, the view of the slopes will cure any FOMO.
Let’s Simplify it
This post was a lot of information so we wanted to give one final wrap-up, as simplified as possible. So if you are a beginner and it’s your first time in Breckenridge here’s what to do.
- Bring Waterproof, warm clothes
- Stay at the Village at Breckenridge
- Sign Up For Lessons at the Village Location
- Get Lift Ticket (if you didn’t get it with lessons)
- Pick Up Rentals from the Village Store
Again, we picked the village location by chance but now we swear by it. This way you know where to go and everything is nearby.
Enjoy your winter getaway, skiing down the mountains in Breckenridge. Stay warm and bundle up.
Just remember to also plan out some time for rest. Snowsports are exhausting and you’ll want to unwind under a warm blanket.
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Originally published at https://mlmrtravel.com on December 19, 2020.