This past Saturday, February 5th, the Breckenridge Ski Resort opened the Imperial Express lift. Topping out at 12,840′, it is the highest chairlift in North America. Thanks to social media, I found out last Friday that ski patrol was planning to open Imperial around noon on Saturday. After getting my kid off to the Breck Bombers weekend lessons and running a few errands, I set my sights on getting up on the t-bar by late morning. Although the lines looked long for the Independence Lift at the base of Peak 7, I quickly advanced through the singles line and was on the chair in under 10min. After a couple of laps in the front bowl, I rode the t-bar and skiied down to the base of the Imperial Express lift. Not suprisingly, there were about 300 others who had the same idea. I waited in line for about 45mins, and then the lift operator finally loaded the first chair, to the hoots and hollers of many stoked skiers and riders.
Even though I was about the 15th chair, the front of Imperial Bowl was getting tracked very quickly, so I decided to ski over the ridge and drop in to Whale’s Tail. What a great decision that was. My skis were met with consistent shin-deep powder for a couple dozen turns, before I traversed over to Peak 7 and skiied Art’s Bowl. Easily my best day of the year.