Running from the Law: Snow Bunny Weekend - Breckenridge, CO

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow Bunny Weekend - Breckenridge, CO

I'm back from Breck! And boy oh boy, was it fun! Despite altitude headaches, injures and crazy fatigue, I think that Snow Bunny Girl's Weekend was a success! Kirsten and I are both still feeling like total crap, which is the sign of a great weekend, right?!

Kirsten and I met at the airport on Friday after work. I was dealing with a bit of sinus drainage that started that morning, but nothing that a few drinks wouldn't make feel much better. We were getting a late start on Friday, and unfortunately our flight was delayed, so we didn't make it in to Denver until pretty late. But we made it there safely, and the beautiful Lindsey picked us up at the airport and rushed us out to a fantastic sushi dinner, where we met up with Jenny. After dinner, we took a quick drive around downtown Denver (which I fell in love with) and then went back to her place for some R&R.
Bright and early Saturday morning, we packed up the car and headed off to Breckenridge. It was snowing pretty hard by the time we got through the tunnel and off the highway. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper and it took us about 3 hours to make the 1.5 hour drive. We knew it would be a busy ski weekend, but were very excited about all the fresh snow! When we got into town we rented our skis and boots, got our lift tickets and got ready to hit the slopes!
We met Jenny and Ted at the top of the gondola and set off for some ski time. Since Kirsten had never been skiing, Jenny, Lindsey and I tried to give her a quick tutorial on the basics. We took her to the training area and had her take a few trips up the magic carpet and a few runs down the training slope. I thought she did really well!
And then it was time for a trip up the lift to an easy green run. If you've ever skied, maybe you can remember how scary that very first chair lift ride can be. I just did this for the first time last year and I'm still freaked out about the chair lift. I don't have a problem getting on or riding the thing; it's more of the intense fear of falling when you get off (or not being able to get off) the lift and possibly getting run over by a million people. It happened to me. It's humiliating. But it's part of the learning process, I guess. Kirsten took her tumble much better than I did. At least she didn't get run over by a 5 year old.
On the way down the slope, Kirsten did really great. I was so proud of her for giving this a go, even though she was scared and nervous. She's athletic and coordinated, so she was doing really great for her first time. By the time we got to the bottom of the slope she was really starting to get the hang of it...until some asshat got in her way, which caused her to take an unfortunate fall, which twisted her knee. Ouch. And that was it. Game over. And I don't blame her. So, she made her way back to the lodge while we made a couple more runs up and down the mountain. I was pretty impressed with the way I was handling myself on skis. After my ski adventure disaster in Jackson Hole, I was worried that I might never pick this up, but I was finally starting to catch on. Ryan told me my goal for the weekend should be to learn how to do a hockey stop, which he claims would change my life. So, after I got comfortable, Jenny and Lindsey worked with me on my hockey stop. And by golly, I think I kinda got it. I still pulled out the wedge when I needed it, but I was starting to get better.
After a few hours, we met Kirsten back at the lodge for a drink. And at 4:00 when the lifts closed, we made our way down the mountain for an early dinner, since we were starving. We met up at Rita's for fish tacos and margaritas. Delish.
After dinner we went back to check into our hotel and change before heading out for a night on the town. My amazing husband surprised me with some Valentine's roses and chocolates. Isn't he so thoughtful! Major brownie points for Ryan.
While we were getting ready, Kirsten iced her injured knee. It was now about twice the size as her other knee and we knew that skiing for her the following day was probably not going to happen. She was disappointed and frustrated, but true to Kirsten-fashion, it did not slow her down or keep her from having a great time. I would have been crying and whining, but she was smiling and making the best of it. I just love this girl.
The longer we sat around the hotel, the harder and harder it was to get out. Eventually we just gave up and decided to stay in with the Olympics and a couple bottles of wine. We were beat.
Sunday morning came pretty quickly, and once again we were up and out the door ready to ski. In the 24 hours since we'd been there, Breckenridge got 11 inches of snow! We couldn't wait to get up the mountain. Kirsten decided not to push it on her knee, so she spent the day shopping and exploring the town.
We weren't the only ones excited about the new snow. It was still coming down. And although it was slightly windy and about 4 degrees, the mountain was packed! Who knew President's Day weekend was such a big ski weekend? We do now. But we battled on. I split up with Lindsey and Jenny that morning so I could get in a few hours of "alone time" skiing and they could enjoy the powder. I didn't want to hold them back and I like taking my time and trying things out on my own. And guess what...I rocked it! I couldn't believe how well I was doing.

I did a long green run and then a long blue without falling. My very first BLUE! On my own. I wasn't the fastest or most graceful, but I did it...even the super steep parts. I did a few more shorter blues and my confidence was through the roof. And then I fell. Hard. Actually, I took a couple nasty falls, which knocked me off my high horse, but fortunately didn't hurt. Turns out my right boot was unbuckled so I was having a hard time staying straight. But once I figured that out, I was good to go again. I was really impressed by how many beginner slopes that Breckenridge had. Much different than Jackson, where the blues feel like blacks. So I had a chance to really go all over the place and do a lot of different runs. So all in all, I think I really impoved over the weekend. And now I can't wait to go back and do it again!!
Sunday night, we got back to the hotel and got ready to go out. This time we were determined to make it out of the room! We caught our shuttle and headed into town. Every place was super busy, but we found a cute little Irish pub and had beers and dinner, while watching the Olympics on TV.
That night I ended up with the worst headache/migraine I've ever had in my life. I went home early to try to get some sleep, but that didn't happen. Bad bad horrible headache! At one point I thought I needed to go to the hospital or I might die. My guess is that there was something going on with my sinuses and the altitude was really messing with them. Intense pain in my temples and eyes. So I needless to say I didn't get much sleep. However, it had subsided quite a bit by morning and I was feeling a lot better. I wish we wouldn have had more time to spend in Breck on Monday, because it was a gorgeous day! Where was that sunshine the day before? But it allowed us to finally see Breck in all her beauty and take in the full view of the peaks. Our hotel was on top of a mountain overlooking the ski slopes, and the view was spectacular.
And of course, the town was just as adorable in the sunshine as it was in the snow. I really loved it. Adios Breck! I'll definitely be back!


  1. I'm so glad you loved Denver!! It's such a great city. And I'm glad you got to ski some fresh snow too - this past weekend was probably the best we've had yet, so good choice on when to visit!


  2. Sara I wish I lived closer to you so I could join in the fun! I love that you have such a tight knit group of gals to go away for a fun ski weekend. Pictures are stunning!!!

  3. Wow, that looks like snow:) much fun!

    The first time I went skiing was in middle school. I was riding up the chair lift for the very first time with a really cute high school ski instructor. He told me 100 times how to get off the lift at the top, but when it came time to do it, I just couldn't. Really, I didn't budge. I just kept going around, and they had to stop the damn thing and back it up for me to get off! Talk about embarrassing!

    Oh, and what's a hockey stop?!

  4. I am **so** jealous, you have no idea.

  5. Your hubs is right: the hockey stop does change your life! Once you master that and are comfortable stopping quickly with it, you're ready to take on any mountain! I am working on teaching my aunt how to do it.

    This resort looks amazing, and I really want to go now -- although your sinus altitude problem scares me a bit because I have some bad sinus problems, especially in the winter. :-/

    I hate how trail difficulty ranges from mountain to mountain. At Sunday River in ME, I could barely handle the green trails, but then I can go to Bretton Woods in NH and attempt blue trails with confidence. Monday I went to a small resort in Northern MA, and I skied their black diamonds! It's so subjective!

    Thanks for sharing your pictures -- they came out so well, and I'm glad you had a great weekend with the girls!

  6. Looks like you had a blast! We were just there this past weekend- best snow weekend of the year thus far... took us 4.5 hours to get there and then to get home too on the following day. I do love Breck for their great blue trails- congrats on your first!