The last day of January 2013, will be a memorable one for many Breckenridge Ski Resort skiers and riders. Fifteen inches of snow fell over a two-day period, and Horseshoe Bowl remained closed the first full day of the dumpage (Jan. 30). That meant serious face shots Thursday, Jan. 31, when ski patrollers opened Horseshoe Bowl in the early morning.

When Horseshoe Bowl and Chair 6 opened, the snow was deep and the feeling: upbeat.

When Horseshoe Bowl and Chair 6 opened, the snow was deep and the feeling couldn’t be beat.

Accumulated snowfall, plus winds that worked just right to blow more of the fluffly white stuff into the bowl, meant plenty of knee-deep turns.

The snowfall will also allow ski patrol to open Imperial Express SuperChair this weekend. North America’s highest chairlift (12,840 feet at the top) provides access to Peak 8’s Whale’s Tail, as well as upper Peak 7 terrain. Patrollers haven’t committed to an exact day and time of the chairlift’s opening, but ski resort officials will announce it on their Facebook page as soon as they know.

Imperial Express SuperChair is set to open this weekend.

Imperial Express SuperChair is set to open this weekend.

Thursday’s pow fix reminded me why I live here. I could simply roll out of bed at 8 a.m., put my helmet on, over unbrushed hair, and follow the fresh tracks.

I could show up alone and find a friend to ski with for the day — when taking laps on T-Bar or Chair 6, it’s easy to pair up with a like-minded powder lover.

And best of all, I skied knee-deep — and sometimes deeper — powder in Horseshoe Bowl, with all eight of my “laps” delivering light, fresh powder. Sure, a few runs involved trusting my skis more than seeing, since it was still snowing, but the sun peeked out several times so I could scout out fresh tracks and tear into the bowl. By afternoon, the sun decided to hang out.

For those of you betting I hit rocks while making turns in the bowl, you bet wrong. Yeah, my skis took a little scrape here and there as I explored terrain I knew to be a little sketchy, but my actual lines through Horseshoe left my skis completely unscathed (and I am known to “push the boundaries,” so to speak, in pursuit of completely fresh tracks — and today was no exception).

The fresh-track possibilities outlasted my energy and time allotment (12:30 p.m.), so there are still more to be found — especially when Breckenridge Ski Resort opens Imperial Express. So get out there!

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About The Author

Kimberly Nicoletti always knew she was meant to escape gray Chicago winters and spend her days skiing the Colorado Rockies. So, two months after she turned 18, she moved to Breckenridge to be a ski bum "for a season," assuring her parent's she'd return to Illinois to finish college. But, the ski bum life stuck. After three years of full-time skiing in Summit County, she decided to finish her degree at CU-Boulder in Creative Writing (granted, she took a semester off to ski). Once free of classes, she took yet another year off to ski in Summit (do you see a pattern here?). Then, she moved back to Boulder to earn her master's degree in Somatic Psychology/Dance Therapy. Upon graduation, she spent a winter teaching skiing at Mammoth Mountain. (Surely you see the pattern now.) In 2002, she moved back to Summit full time, to work at the Summit Daily as the arts and entertainment editor. She stayed with the company for 10 years, enjoying Summit's great events and later working as the managing editor of magazines covering the High Country. She still revolves her life around adventure and creativity, taking time to travel, ski, paddleboard, dance, ice skate, play with her dogs, learn new things and generally enjoy life. She's highly addicted to powder skiing and keeps her winter mornings commitment-free so she can indulge in "deep play" when Mother Nature cooperates. Off the mountain, she's a freelance writer and editor and teaches fitness and mind/body classes throughout Summit County.

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