A Launch Guide to the Breckenridge Lake Chutes

Mateusz dropping into the Breckenridge Lake Chutes

Breckenridge, Colorado has plenty to offer but some of the funnest and most technical runs can be found at the Lake Chutes.  Located at the summit of Peak 8 and not very easily accessible, the Lake Chutes are a fun test of skill with a great view.

First off, let's talk about getting to the Lake Chutes.  Breck is a huge resort with a plethora of lifts but only one will get you Lake Chutes access, the Imperial Express SuperChair.  Although you can get to the Imperial Express from the T-Bar, a much easier and forgiving route is taking the 6-Chair.  Depending on which base area you are coming from you can either take the Colorado Spruce Chair or Peak-8 Super Connect which offers a midway station you can jump on at as well.

From the top of either of those, make your way looker's left to get to the base of the 6-Chair.  From the top of 6-Chair head looker's right to the base of Imperial Express.  You will be able to spot it easily.  This hi-speed quad might not be the most impressive chairlift at first glance, but ride it knowing that it is the highest chairlift in North America and let's you out at 12,840 ft about sea level.  From this chair you get a pretty good view of the chutes so be sure to scout your line on the way up.

Breckenridge Trail Map

Now don't think your journey is over just yet.  I said the Lake Chutes are located at the summit of Peak 8 which is at 12,998 ft.  If you do the math, you still have 158 ft of elevation to go.  This last ascent is by foot.  By no means is it a daunting hike, it is only about the length of a football field.  But unless you are a local already acclimated to the elevation, you will definitely be huffing and puffing by the time you get to the summit.

Once you catch your breath, give yourself a pat on the back because it's all downhill from here.  Before you head down though, be sure to pull out your camera and snap a few shots because the views are amazing.  This is also you last chance to back out.  The Imperial Bowl right next to where you hiked up is the easiest and safest way down from the summit.

Breckenridge Lake Chutes Closeup

Now it's time to hit the Lake Chutes themselves.  Follow the ridge until you get to where you want to drop.  I won't discuss each chute individually as they vary depending on conditions so make your own assessments.  Remember how you scouted your line from the lift?  Well that means now everyone can see you and is definitely watching so once you've spotted your line, it's time to go for it!

Assuming you made it out in one piece, I recommend heading rider's right and heading through the super fun trails in that area before looping back rider's left to catch the base of the 6-Chair.  If you try heading directly back to the Imperial Express from the bottom of the Lake Chutes, good luck.  I've seen a ton of people get stuck trying!

Below is a video of myself at the Lake Chutes last April.  It was a pretty warm day with plenty of sun so the snow was pretty soft for my drops on 9 Lives and Zoot Shoot.  My third and final drop was later in the day when it started to cool down and the sun wasn't as strong.  As you can see I had a little trouble holding an edge on the steep, choppy hardened snow of Wacky's Shoot!

***This blog post definitely downplays the Lake Chutes.  Please snowboard within your limits.***

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