Christmas day brought a bounty of presents for those at Breckenridge Ski Resort this holiday season—8" of fresh snow and virgin turns on brand new Peak 6, one of the largest ski area terrain expansions in North America during the last decade. Powder hounds broke the tape at noon on their way to 200 acres of untouched lift-serviced drops combining wide-open exposed runs, glades and flowy groomers.
The opening wasn’t without its flubs, as the Zendo and Kensho chairs experienced frequent delays, due in part to Breckenridge’s notorious high winds and some awkward dismount areas. But like a fine restaurant working through some opening-week hiccups, the potential for Peak 6 to become an advanced skier’s mountain of choice is clear.
Once Mother Nature lays down a few more inches of snow, a total of 543 acres—including 143 of hike-to access—will progressively open as conditions allow. Only blue runs are accessible now, with the trail combo of wide-open Bliss to gladed Delirium, an early favorite that still has fresh powder waiting to be tracked as we speak! Higher up in hike-to territory at 12,573 feet, the steeps of Beyond Bowl, Serenity Bowl and The Six Senses will rival Peak 8’s Lake Chutes as the best freeriding terrain in the resort.
PHOTO GALLERY: BRECKENRIDGE PEAK 6 OPEN FOR EXPLORATION
The views from Breckenridge Peak 6... not too shabby.
With all that new precipitous topography, skiers are sure to work up an appetite. After a day on the mountain, take a run on Lost Horizon to the Peak 7 base area and the gondola to downtown, where you can dine at one of these three popular Breckenridge restaurants.
1. IN SKI BOOTS
The Warming Hut Restaurant & Bar (207 N. Main Street, 970-389-3104)
The gondola funnels a hungry après crowd to The Warming Hut, new to the Breckenridge scene in 2012. Serving self-described “heart and soul food” ideal for recovery, the menu features small bites like the tasty blueberry wild boar sausage medley or larger options as different and filling as its layered, three-cheese caprese lasagna.
Beginning this January, the restaurant is switching all taps and bottles at its intimate bar to Colorado microbrews, rotating seasonally. The decision stems from owner Stacey Brooks Connolly’s commitment to sourcing locally, be it food or drink.
The gondola funnels a hungry après crowd to The Warming Hut, new to the Breckenridge scene in 2012.
Copyright: Leisa Gibson/GoBreck
2. IN JEANS AND A T-SHIRT
Crêpes Á La Cart (307 South Main Street, 970-453-0622)
About the only place you can’t go in Breckenridge with your jeans on is the mountain itself (although people do try). That said, this downtown hotspot is the destination for street-goers craving the ultimate casual feast. Just add a coat to your attire—meals are served from a vintage carnival wagon large enough for only the three master crepes-men inside; everyone else huddles by the outdoor gas stove, a hot cider in one hand and sweet or savory crepe in the other.
The ultra-thin pancakes are freshly made to order, then topped with house-roasted chicken, beef and pork, along with fresh, homemade sauces. It’s worth the wait and cold for a steaming Salmon Benedict breakfast crepe (perfectly acceptable in the evening, too) or Chicken Florentine après option. All are made with a recipe originating from owner, Alex Lamarca’s mother, tweaked over the years to produce the “best crepes in the U.S.A.,” according to Lamarca. “We feel like we have succeeded in that goal.”
Crêpes Á La Cart is the Breckenridge destination for street-goers craving the ultimate casual feast.
Copyright: Crêpes Á La Cart
3. ONCE-IN-A-SKI-TRIP DINING EXPERIENCE
Relish (137 South Main Street, 970-453-0989)
The seasonal menu at Matt Fackler’s Main Street standout could easily fit in at Aspen or Vail, two resort towns known as much for their fine dining as their prime skiing. But the unpretentious vibe is distinctly Breck.
Fackler, an East Coast transplant and Culinary Institute of America graduate, sources most of his ingredients from nearby partners like Grant Valley Farms and Jumping Good Goat Dairy. The results are hearty Colorado-inspired dishes like braised lamb shank with pancetta and baby kale risotto, or parmesan-crusted ruby red trout with a balsamic ruby red grapefruit butter sauce. And forget the traditional wine pairings with an extensive beer menu like this, featuring hard-to-find European suds—including Brasserie Du Mont Blanc, a French white ale using glacial melt from Mont Blanc—alongside carefully selected domestic microbrews, such as Maui Brewing Company’s Belgian-style Aloha Backtun.
The seasonal menu at Matt Fackler’s Main Street standout, Relish could easily fit in at Aspen or Vail