Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums banner

Breckenridge and Keystone bowls for an intermediate boarder

3617 20
Hi all,

I live in NY and have a trip planned for next month out to Colorado, to snowboard Breckenridge and Keystone. I've never been to either, and have only once been on a mountain out west, skiing about 20 years ago. So I have no idea what to expect, and I'm trying to figure out if the bowls (which look really cool) are above my skill level.

Last winter was my 2nd full season on the board, and things finally clicked and I got a lot more comfortable on all beginner trails and many intermediate trails around NY (at Mount Snow, Hunter, Catamount, Butternet, etc). I think I'm a fairly solid intermediate boarder - I still fall a few times a day, but no bad falls, and I usually know what I did wrong. I still hate and avoid ice and/or snow that's been groomed so solid that it might as well be ice, and I'm likely to fall if I wind up on one of those types of trails. Or to put it another way, I'm fine on powder but I can get shaky elsewhere.

I've been looking at the trail maps for Breckenridge and Keystone, as well as watching some youtube videos. I see that the bowls (above the tree line) are all pretty much diamond or double-diamond. But looking on the youtube videos, the trails don't seem all that steep to me. They don't seem nearly as steep as the diamonds I see out here. I know a video can be misleading though, and steepness can be very hard to judge on a screen.

So, can anyone who has experience out there give me some input in advance? I don't want to bite off more than I can chew, I have no interest in tumbling down a mountain. Is there something else that makes these trails difficult besides just how steep they are?

Thanks in advance!
21 - 21 of 21 Posts

· Registered
430 Posts
I've been to Keystone and Breck and I'm actually heading back to Keystone end of January for couple of days.

Keystone "gentle pitch" bowls - Bergman & Erickson Bowls are more of a blue run as far as steepness at the top and flatness out at the bottom but you have to navigate through trees. The trees are not as dense as the "Windows" but not spaced out either. To get there you need to hike up quite a bit. There used to be a $5 cat ride but I'm not sure if it's still running. Next year there will be a new lift that takes you to the top of Bergman bowl.

Keystone "steeper pitch" bowls - North & South Bowl are a little steeper than the other two I mentioned above. However, if you go far enough and line up over the puma bowl (long hike) at the South Bowl, it's less steep than the beginning sections when you first start hiking up. Those beginning sections are mostly trees with moguls and steeper (see the pic over my name it's a tree run at Keystone called Wolverine right off the South Bowl). It flatness out at the bottom of the south bowl. There is a loooooong catwalk trail called Mr Toad's Wild Ride, you need to keep up your speed (make sure your board is waxed or base structure) that leads you back to another blue trail called the Willow's and back to the lift. I hated that section of the run, I hate cat tracks in general lol.

Breck - I've been to peak 6 (not really a "bowl") and North Bowl at Peak 7. Very windy and icy, it wasn't fun at all. We couldn't access the other bowls because the lifts were closed due to high winds (very very common at breck). It gets brutally windy even on a nice sunny blue skies. Just keep that in mind.
21 - 21 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.