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This was my family's tenth ski vacation together, and it sure felt like it. We stayed in a great place on the mountain in Breckenridge, Colorado. A typical trip for me involves just four days of skiing and one day of rest if time permits, but we planned on an epic seven days of downhill from January 6-12th, excluding travel days.

Unfortunately, nature didn't get the memo and by the time we arrived in the Denver airport conditions were not looking idea; just 45% of skiable acres were open at Breck with similar numbers at Keystone and Vail. In fact, the entire continental U.S. was suffering from the worst snowfall deficit in years. It did snow twice during our stay, but no terrain above 11,000ft opened. Thus, we were forced to stay away from the steeps and bomb the groomers.

By day seven, we were tired of taking core shots on hidden rocks and dodging fledgling snowboards, so we trekked to Mineshaft for a few runs of powder up to the tips of the saplings and then amused ourselves in the park and pipe. I was very pleased with the ability of my powder planks to hug the corduroy East Coast skiers are so accustomed to.

While in Colorado, I did get to ski with several friends including Kate, Mary, and Alex who happened to be in the area. Emily (COE alum) and Brian also came down from their new home in Boulder for a day on the snow. My brother Mike served as my ski buddy for the entire trip. Overall, I was just as happy to take half-hour hot showers and read in the 80 degree condo, luxuries I rarely get, than to be out in the wind without access to challenging terrain. Hopefully Jackson Hole, WY will have fresh snow for the March trip that is on the books.