Skiers and snowboarders who call Breckenridge their home resort can expect another boost in terrain next season.
The proposed development of Peak 6, the resort’s fifth mountain, has weathered the U.S. Forest Service approval process and recently received a final go-ahead after an appeal period ended in November 2012.
Although more litigation has been threatened, the Forest Service decision appeared solid enough for the resort to make a definitive commitment to getting Peak 6 operating in the 2013-2014 season.
Expansion down the Ten-Mile Range means five new alpine bowls and more than 500 new acres of both lift-served and hike-to-ski terrain – a 23 percent increase for the resort. The addition will be the first at the Summit County resort since Peak 10 came on line more than a decade ago.
Peak 6 will have 10 new trails, 13 runs that begin above treeline and the resort’s first above-timberline intermediate terrain. Access will be on a four-seat chairlift and a detachable six-seat chairlift from Peak 7. A new warming hut will sit atop of the mountain, and plans call for a restroom facility at the mid-load location.
Resort officials had to fight a long bureaucratic and political battle for the expansion. Prime among opponents’ arguments was protection for the endangered Canadian lynx and the prospect of cutting down healthy trees in light of the devastating pine beetle infestation that killed all the lodge pole pine in Summit County and farther north.
Owned by Vail Resorts, Breckenridge is among the most-visited resorts in the United States, with about 1.6 million skier-days recorded in recent years.
Photo: Peak 6, Breckenridge Ski Resort