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More Resort Ski Runs Open After Late Snowpack, Avalanche Mitigation Delays

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4)- Breckenridge ski resort is now boasting 75% of their roughly 3,000 acres of ski area are now ready for guests to take on. That percent is changing daily, with new lifts opening in the last two days. Recent snowstorms have helped bring the powder to areas that still need it, but that doesn't account for the grooming time necessary for crews to make that new area safe for people.

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(credit: CBS)

"Sometimes you just have to sit back and say we are at the whims of the mountains we live in," Hunter Mortensen, Ski Patrol Director of Breckenridge Resort told CBS4. "Other days we are going to have a great day like today when we've got terrain open from Peak 10 to Peak 6."

Mortensen said it takes time for his 60-70 patrollers to cover the freshly covered areas, but staffing was not the main part of that equation, only a piece.

"More is not always the answer," Mortensen explained.

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(credit: CBS)

The resort reports it has seen 5 feet of snow since Dec. 24, 2021 and all five peaks are open to guests, although it's still working to open some of the higher terrain.

In the meantime, patrollers are asking that people respect their closures and keep to designated areas. Already they've seen people ducking ropes and blowing past closed signs into areas they have not cleared.

"We never want to see someone hurt or worse, so that is why we do what we do," Mortensen said. "And why those ropes are so vital, and that they are respected and maintained."

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(credit: CBS)

Breckenridge is hosting a free series for anyone interested in learning more about avalanche safety in the backcountry starting Jan. 15, open to the public. See attached flyer for more information about the event.

breck avalanche safety
(credit: Breckenridge Ski Patrol)
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