Double-Black Diamonds

We got a surprise dump of over a foot of fresh powder on our last day at Breckenridge. We hadn’t been planning on skiing the last day, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ski in the fresh snow. The boys didn’t want to ski, so Emma and I took to the slopes by ourselves to do some “fast skiing.” The powder was deep, especially towards the top of Peak 10 (coming way up over my boots in many places and over knee high for Emma). Since we didn’t have the boys slowing us down, Emma wanted to step it up a notch and try some black runs. We did a bunch of blue/black and black runs on Peak 9 and 10 and then talked about finishing up the day on a double-black diamond* run.

Emma was very excited to do her very first double-black diamond run. So we headed up to the top of Peak 10 and started down the double-black diamond run Dark Rider (it borders a blue/black run so there would be a way to jump off if it got too scary). She handled it fine, so when it split into the double-black diamond run Blackhawk (no just jumping off this run!), we took Blackhawk. Emma did great! It was steep and thick powder, but being on the steep slope your legs would often go down through the powder to the icy base. Not an easy run by any means. In fact, towards the bottom we ended up on a part of the trail that had been visited by few (I could see only two snowboard tracks that had ventured there that day). Emma fell only two times. (And I only somersaulted once.) We didn’t go down particularly fast but, most importantly, Emma did the two double-black diamond runs without any fear. She was quite proud of her accomplishment once we reached the end. It was a great way to wrap up our ski season.

* For those who are not familiar with how snow trails are designated, here’s a quick primer:

green circle – The easiest trails, often flat and smooth.

blue square – Trails of medium difficulty; these may be steeper or narrower than green circles, or they may be left in a natural state rather than machine-groomed.

black diamond – The most difficult trails; these are steeper than a blue square and often involve challenging terrain such as moguls, narrow passes, unmarked obstacles, double fall lines, or gladed sections.

double-black diamond – For experts only; these trails are steep, rarely groomed and often left in a completely natural state.

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