There’s nothing more reviving than a winter holiday in the mountains. Oh to feel captive to a snowy abode built of logs in evening, and like a child on a nature’s playground during the day. It’s an adult city-dweller’s renaissance. The thrilling feeling of the great outdoors at your ski tips and rejuvenating rocky mountain air in your lungs is quite the healthy intoxicant.
Several miles up and around the mountainside of Breckenridge, Colorado, I found myself enjoying the company of dear family in a rented chalet charming enough to let a thick blanket of snow drape over the edge of its roof; just like tasty globs of white frosting on a seasonal gingerbread house. It really was too hospitable to ensure it be so on Christmas Eve. Tucked into a mountain pass at about 10,000 feet, this remote sanctuary put us off the grid, with no internet access, nor 3G cell signal, we could unplug and truly relax.
The next morning, a white Christmas laid down several inches of fresh, fluffy snow on the slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort (a.k.a. Breck). It was the perfect opportunity to indulge in the resort’s recent addition for the first time, Peak 6. The peak opened for its inaugural run on Christmas day the year prior to ultimately increase Break’s skiable terrain by 23%.
At the top of the peak, where the Kensho SuperChair drops off riders shivering from the icy wind blowing off the summit, it feels like the top of the world. I got vertigo from the sensation that I might easily be blown off the edge with the next big gust. I didn’t have the nerve to hike further up to the summit to drop into the peak’s steep-sided bowls; and, let’s be honest, I probably never will. But the runs serviceable from the lift were excellent and more my speed, with the perfect grade and width at the top to really work on my turns.
For those less inclined towards a decent when it comes to winter activities, and those on a tighter budget, I highly recommend snowshoeing as an alternative to skiing. Not only is it also good for the physique, it is much, much, much less expensive! Find yourself a public, FREE trail to follow and pick up a pair of snowshoe rentals for around only 10 bucks a day. You will need to make sure to have your own water-proof snow boots handy, though.
I have to say, there is something rather invigorating about tromping around the snowy wilderness with those strange oval apparatus on your feet. It’s a bit primal in a way. Giving it a go for my first time over the holiday, I almost felt like a living legend, a Bigfoot, traipsing through the woods, leaving behind tracks of a mysterious giant-footed, two-legged creature in the deep snow.
Whatever your winter activity of choice is, be it skiing, snowshoeing, sledding or other; or wherever your winter holiday takes you, after playtime is over, you’ll be yearning for a warming libation. Try my recipes for my personal favorite après-ski refreshments for the perfect closing to your snow day.
Related Article: Essential Après-Ski Recipes: Fondue and Vin Chaud
Breck Info: Breckenridge.com