(Last Updated On: September 24, 2014)

Plenty of action-packed, body-zipping-through-mountain-air activities take place beyond the realm of skiing and snowboarding, and knowing how to prepare for them will keep you comfortable — even as your adrenaline rises.

Breckenridge offers snowmobiling, dogsledding and ziplining — and only the first one stops when the snow melts.

How to dress for snowmobiling

Good Times Adventures in Breckenridge provides snowmobile tours from an hour to three-hour tours, the latter of which takes you up to the Continental Divide, at 11,585. Though it’s always wise to dress warmly, the higher you plan to go, the warmer you’ll want to dress. Wind can really pick up at higher elevations — especially above treeline — so plan to protect your face. Just because it’s warm(ish) when you start the trek at lower elevation doesn’t mean it’s gonna stay that way.

Spend a day motoring up to the Divide with Good Times Adventures.

Spend a day motoring up to the Divide with Good Times Adventures.

Luckily, the folks at Good Times lend one-piece snowsuits and boots — at no extra charge — for people who need to gear up more. They also sell neck gators, goggles, sunglasses, gloves, hand warmers and fleeces within the lodge. Helmets are also complementary.

If you’re wearing your own gear, take a hint from what Good Times provides. Snow can make its way up and under your ski jacket when it’s flying around, so … you might want to jump into a suit.

If it’s a warmer spring day, dress in multiple layers, but don’t ditch the heavy winter

Take a guided tour through the Swan River Valley and up to the top of the Continental Divide at 11,585 feet above sea level. Photo by Leisa Gibson

Take a guided tour through the Swan River Valley and up to the top of the Continental Divide at 11,585 feet above sea level. Photo by Leisa Gibson

boots, eye protection, gloves, and neck warmers, even on the warmest days.

And, like I mentioned in my post about dressing for skiing and snowboarding, don’t forget sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy. The sun is powerful in Breckenridge. Opt for an oil-based, rather than a water-based, sunscreen in this dry climate.

Dressing for dogsledding

If you’re dogsledding in the winter, follow the above guidelines, with a few notes. First, you’ll remain at a base elevation, and the 6-mile adventure takes just over an hour, so probably (though not always) what you see (and what has been forecasted) is what you get.

Dogsledding is exhilarating, as you sled through the trees.

Dogsledding is exhilarating, as you sled through the trees.

That makes dressing a bit easier. Wear layers that you can leave in the sled if you heat up; you’ll be taking turns at driving the actual dogsled, and when you’re not driving, you’ll ride in another sled, pulled by a snowmobile. Again, protect your eyes and hands for not just comfort, but also safety purposes. You’ll be gripping metal, and like I said in the dressing for skiing blog, sun and wind can do a number on unprotected eyes.

Summer dogsledding is a whole other story (literally and figuratively).

Temperatures warm up to high 70s or low 80s during Breckenridge summer days,

You'll fall in love with the dogs at Good Times Adventures. Photo by Leisa Gibson

You’ll fall in love with the dogs at Good Times Adventures. Photo by Leisa Gibson

but that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily want to wear a T-shirt and shorts on your dogsledding trip. Again, think skin protection — this time, not so much for sun (though that’s important), but in case you fall off the wheeled cart. Long sleeves and pants should do the trick. And don’t forget sunglasses.

Dressing for ziplining

Breckenridge Ski Resort’s TenMile Flyer Zipline is open both winter and summer, on Peak 8. Its two-stage zipline spans a total of 1,487 feet and gets crankin’ at up to 45 mph. Top of the Rockies Zipline Tours is another option. Fly high over the Continental Divide with spectacular views of Mount Arkansas, plus three of the famous ‘fourteeners’: Mount Massive, Mount Elbert and Mount Democrat.


Zipline over jumps in Freeway Terrain Park in winter, and over the grassy slope in the summer.

In the winter, wear just about what you would for skiing or riding. Face, hand and eye protection will keep you most comfortable (gloves are probably best). Light neckwear also prevents your face from getting windburn as you soar more than 50 feet in the air.

If you have long hair, tie it up — loose strands and moving parts don’t go so well together. Breckenridge Ski Resort provides helmets as part of the gig, or you can wear your own.

In the summer, short or long sleeves will do. Daytime temperatures can be a little cool, so if you tend to get cold easily, factor in the obvious wind chill that’ll occur as you soar through the air, and wear long sleeves, and perhaps even a fleece. Same goes with legwear — whatever you’re comfortable in will work.

If you have any vanity issues, you may want to think about how your butt will look in your shorts or pants. It’s true. Those straps tend to bunch up places you just may not want bunched. So, tight pants or short shorts may not be the way to go. Longer, looser pants can hide things you may want to stay hidden. On the other hand, if you wanna show off a little, then by all means, go tighter. You can even consider wearing form-fitting fleece pants and a little longer shirt. I’ve zipped with both “fashion outfits” and have been satisfied with ensuing photos. I can’t guarantee the flappy shirt will cover all the right places, but it can at least distract — if not look downright flowing and graceful.

Though there are plenty of smart ways to dress — with technical clothing — in the end, it all boils down to personal preference. Take these guidelines, make them your own, and have a blast in Breck.

Learn more about the Tenmile Flyer Zipline, Top of the Rockies Zipline and check out all of the winter activities available in Breckenridge.



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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