Your first time visiting Breckenridge should be an experience you will always remember. We’ve put together a list of hints and advice to help make your trip unforgettable.
1. High Altitude information
Breckenridge welcomes you to the Colorado Rockies. To ensure you have the best experience possible, we have put together a list of valuable information about preparing for your trip.
Dress for cooler temperatures but be prepared for sudden weather changes. It's colder at higher altitudes and layers of clothing are a good idea. It may feel colder or warmer depending on whether it's windy or cloudy on one hand, or sunny with still air on the other. It's best to dress in layers and wear breathable clothing, such as smart wool that keeps moisture away from the skin.
Because of the thinner atmosphere and reflection from snow or water, you can sunburn much more easily than most people think. Ultraviolet light is more intense at higher altitudes. Be sure to protect your face and lips with appropriate sunscreen (at least 15 SPF), and protect your eyes with sunglasses or goggles.
Perhaps as many as half the visitors from lower elevations experience some form of altitude illness. The vast majority of cases are self-limited and spontaneously resolve as the body acclimatizes. Symptoms include fatigue, decreased appetite, shortness of breath with minimal exertion, nausea, headache and sleep disturbances. These symptoms are often worse the second day at altitude (but resolve in four to five days). Rest is the key to treating mild forms of altitude sickness.
Avoiding Altitude Sickness:
Stay Properly Hydrated: Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated (at least 3-4 quarts per day).
Avoid tobacco and alcohol and other depressant drugs during acclimation, which can also lead to dehydration.
Light Activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating Altitude Sickness symptoms.
Frostbite & Hypothermia: Frostbite results from cooling of body tissues and subsequent destruction of these tissues. This occurs when skin is exposed to cold and windy conditions. Fingers, ears and noses are especially susceptible. The best cure is prevention. Keep the skin covered and warm up frequently. If blisters, occur or if fingers or toes are involved, seek medical attention immediately. Over exposure to cold, wetness or wind can cause a very low internal body temperature known as hypothermia. Warning signs include shivering, fatigue, slowed pulse and bluish lip color. Hypothermia is life threatening. Victims of hypothermia should get to warmth and shelter, remove wet clothes, warm up in blankets, and drink warm, non-alcoholic beverages. Emergency medical attention should be sought immediately.
We highly recommend that first-time skiers and snowboarders take a lesson with our top-notch Ski & Ride School. It is imperative to learn proper technique in order to prevent injury and make the sport more enjoyable. Whether you want to learn a new sport, improve your skills or just want to find the powder stashes that only the locals know, our Ski & Ride School has the program for you. Book a Lesson Online.
3. Purchase your lift tickets in advance
Pre-Purchase lift tickets online 7 days in advance and save up to $100 on a 6-day ticket. Plus, you'll get to skip the ticket window and go straight to the lifts. Purchase Lift Tickets Online
4. How to carry your equipment
Walking in ski boots while carrying your skis and poles is challenging. It is best to keep your boots unbuckled until you have arrived at the base of the chairlift. The best way to carry your equipment is to put your skis over your shoulder and carry both poles in your other hand.
While a number of properties are within walking distance of historic Main Street or the slopes, Breckenridge is served by the Free Ride Transportation System. The Free Ride travels routes through Breckenridge connecting the resort's base areas and free parking lots, runs the perimeter of downtown, stops at the Ice Rink, City Market, Recreation Center, Village and Four O'clock Roads, Columbine and Broken Lance Drive and Peak 9. Check out the Free Ride map. Paid parking is available in town and ranges from $5 to $20 a day. Free day skier parking is availble off of Airport Road with free shuttle service to the base of the Gondola. Breckenridge also offers carpool discounts to guest with 4 or more people per vehicle. Learn more about parking lot locations, pricing, carpool discounts and parking passes.
At 9600 feet, the sun is 40% stronger than at sea level. Apply sunscreen several times a day and always wear eye protection. Sunglasses or goggles with UV protection are a must. Lip balm/chapstick is also a necessity.
Breckenridge prides itself in being a laid back, casual mountain town. No need to bring your high-heels or dress clothes. Jeans and a sweater/fleece are the norm around here.
8. Ski apparel
Appropriate dress can make or break your day on the slopes. It is worth investing in a pair of waterproof ski pants as jeans get wet and do not allow enough movement. It is best to dress in layers as temperatures can vary from day to day. A waterproof shell is your best bet for a jacket, with a fleece and under layers for additional warmth. Contrary to popular belief, the thinnest pair of cotton socks is essential in boot comfort, allowing for optimal circulation and boot fit. Additional comfort can be achieved by wearing highly breathable clothing specifically made for winter outdoor activities. Neck gators, hats and face masks are also highly recommended.