- Overall Rating 4
- Family Friendly 5
- All-Mtn. Terrain 3
- Terrain Park 0
- Nightlife 0
Pros: Glades, terrain
Cons: Kids, no steeps
Recommended For: Family Friendly
Date Visited: Jan 1, 2012
I rode at Bretton on Saturday and Sunday (Jan 28/29). I am an advanced all mountain rider and a beginner in the freestyle department. The reason I loved Bretton is because it has great personality. There are many places to jump into the woods, lots of little kickers to pop off of, some quarter pipe type structures on the sides of the trails, and some natural rails in the glades here and there (Wild West Glade, for example).
It was perfect for me because there are plenty of small, natural terrain features sharpen up my 180s and quick grabs. If you are looking for things like steeps and expert glades, this probably isn't the place for you (note: the entire Rosebrook glade area was not open when I went, so I cannot comment on what kind of challenge it is). While the wide, groomer type trails were mostly hard-pack, they are so wide that you can usually find some power on the outsides. The glades were very mildly icy in some cases but generally manageable and not too bumpy.
One thing that can get annoying at times is the high frequency of pipes. When I say pipes, I mean water pipes that pass undernearth skiable terrain and cause an abrupt bump on the slope that you cannot avoid. Most of the time this isn't an issue as long as you know it's coming or as long as you don't get 10 of them in a row (while this is rare, it happened to me on a few runs).
You can expect to see a lot of families with a lot of children. Like most places, they come in waves. So, either bomb the trails to stay in front of them, or take a little break and let them pass. This really only goes for the large, wide groomers. You shouldn't expect to see crowds in the trees...especially on the more challenging glades.
As far as lifts go, the ride up is quick. When I was there, the lines weren't bad, particularly at the West Mountain Express Highspeed Quad (which takes you to some excellent glades/my favorite part of the mountain). Actually, that lift didn't have lines at all for the entire weekend.
So, if you read this and decided that you would rather have the type of advanced terrain that no responsible parents would allow their beginner child to ride, head over to Cannon which is down the road :). Also, if you are ok with staying at a cheap motel only good for sleeping for a weekend up with some friends (this is mostly for college age groups), check out the Eastgate Motor Inn in Littleton. Two nights total out of pocket was $174 for two nights when booked through hotels.com. 15-20 minutes down the road from Cannon and Bretton!