Breckenridge, CO: March, 2021

Since we arrived on January 1st, there had been minimal accumulating snowfall. Many days were cloudy with snow, but there were few heavy snowfalls. Any new snowfall worth noting fell on the weekends, and we don’t enjoy skiing with the crowds. The last decent snowfall of 14” fell on February 12 when my daughter was visiting. She timed it right!

March 1st was a beautiful, sunny day. We were still surrounded by old snow embankments, and the resort roads were still snow packed from the plows. Scott did a nice job of shoveling our lot’s pavement, and this is how it looked for awhile without any new snow.

We set out to Beaver Creek Ski Resort for the first time ever. It was located about 45 miles west of Breckenridge, past Vail Ski Resort. What a beautiful bluebird day!

While there was no fresh powder, all of the trails were open. Some were packed powder, while some steeper trails had crud. The skiing was hard and fast – not our favorite conditions. By 2:00 p.m., we were enjoying a well-earned beverage.

On March 2nd, we headed back to Breckenridge. While the sun was still brightly shining, the conditions were more of the same – hard and fast. Given the lack of snow and skiing conditions, we put our skis aside and temporarily resumed snow shoe hiking.

It’s always nice to see a helpful navigation sign.

Bald Mountain Tree Line trail (also known as The Laurium Trailhead) is popular among back country enthusiasts. The trail can be accessed via Boreas Pass Road to Baldy Road. The initial trail is wide and flat, as weaves through the trees. Then, the switchbacks begin. Soon you will arrive at an old mill that was built in 1935. While mining is no longer taking place, guide tours and meals are available upon request with a prior reservation. Click the link below for more information.

The Iowa Mill

Eventually, the trail opens up with minimal trees and several wide open spaces for fresh snow runs.

It’s steeper than it looks. Trust me.

The distance to the summit is about 4.5 miles, with an elevation gain of 3,035’. We made it a little past these trees. When we turned around, we could see Breckenridge Ski Mountain.

A few days later, Scott went back to this trail alone and almost made it to the summit. Without snow shoes, the changing terrain and high winds made him abort the hike. Below is his view on March 7th. You can see an old mine to the left.

Our next hike was at North Tenmile Creek. The trailhead is conveniently located off Main Street in Frisco.

We decided to leave the snow shoes behind and just bring our micro spikes.

The trail is 3.3 miles one way and runs along the creek. I imagined how different it looks in the summer.

We headed back to Keystone on March 10th. They got a few inches of fresh snow overnight, but the conditions were quite different from our previous trips to this mountain.

On Saturday, March 13th, the “big 3-day storm” began. We were psyched for the potential of “feet” of snow! Unfortunately, Summit County did not get the brunt of the storm. The city of Denver and northeast Colorado were the big winners. I was, however, able to get out to Dillon for my first Covid19 Vaccine.

On Sunday morning we headed to Breck and spent the day skiing with our friends that had just arrived for a week’s vacation. They got here just in time for some fresh snow.

Bren, Denise, Scott, and me

We went skiing together again with the Ryans on Monday, and then Scott and I rested on Tuesday. On Wednesday, St. Patrick’s Day, we woke up to an additional 8 inches of fresh snow. Scott and I got out early to get some fresh snow runs in before the crowds came out. The fresh, untouched snow was sparkling on the ground below us as we rode the nearly-empty chair lift.

When we got off the Kensho Lift on Peak 6 for the third time, we noticed that Intuition had finally opened up. The powdery, soft snow on our first two Blue Intermediate runs were amazing. We were ready for a Black Diamond run. It was still snowing and the visibility was variable. We took a selfie before we headed down the slope. Look how happy we were!

Scott took a short video of me coming down the top half of this trail. We were both laughing and very excited! He veered to the right and I stayed to the left. This was the steepest section of the run. I remember telling myself that I was going to really go for it and not hold back. I began my decent with extra speed. After a few quick turns, I put too much pressure on my right ski as I turned in the deep powder. The ski went into the snow, got stuck, and I was airborne. As I did a face plant, my right ski came out of the snow and slammed down on the surface, boot intact. It wasn’t until after my leg hit the ground that the ski finally released from my ski. I slid a bit more until I could turn my body around and sit in the snow. My right ankle was burning and throbbing. It was difficult to move, let alone stand up.

Needless to say, I no longer need to imagine what it is like to come down the mountain on a Ski Patrol toboggan. There is also no need to repeat it. Been there, done that. Our last three days in Breckenridge looked like this. After receiving an X-ray, it was determined that I had fractured my distal fibula. Since we are sticking with the plan of leaving this area on March 20th, we will follow up in a week with a specialist in Durango. For now, a boot shoe will have to suffice.

After 79 days and nights in Breckenridge, the day came to begin the break down process. Unfortunately, Scott was pretty much on his own. He not only had to take down the skirting alone, but also put everything away on the inside. (Not to mention removing the slide covers and planks that he had made.)

As we pulled out of our site on March 20th, I found myself taking a back seat. We have about 8 hours ahead of us in the car. Yippee!!

One thought on “Breckenridge, CO: March, 2021

  • Not the best ski season for you, all told. What a shame. You certainly managed some fab hiking/snowshoeing though before disaster struck. Take care. Hope you are healing well. xxx

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