Explore Colorado / Explore The Outdoors

Golden Ticket To First Tracks On Christmas

Skiing first tracks is a magical, almost mythical experience.  It’s even more spectacular watching the sun rise over the mountains on a fresh blanket of snow on Christmas morning.


Several years ago my friend Robert Purdy, GM of Park Hyatt Beaver Creek (one of my favorite hotels in the world!), gave me a special gift – to ski first tracks on Christmas morning.

I’d had never skied first tracks before.  I’d heard about how fantastic and exhilarating the experience is, but had never experienced it myself until that Christmas.  My buddy Darrel and I had driven through whiteout conditions on Christmas Eve to make it to the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek for a quick stay.  I didn’t have much time off for the holiday that year since I was on working as a meteorologist in Denver and was on weather duty for most of the holidays.  But a quick 48 hours in Beaver Creek was a splendid way to find some Christmas joy.

On a cold Christmas morning as the sun rose over the trees, the snow shimmered like diamonds.


As I was the first to ski across a bed of corduroy I squealed with glee.  There’s a very distinct sound as skis crush the freshly groomed corduroy.  Ironically, during a snowshoe adventure at Beaver Creek’s McCoy Park on a previous trip, my guide Tom described corduroy as the “King’s Cloth.”  That Christmas morning, I totally got the meaning.


The freedom of skiing runs with no one else around, the cold wind rushing by your face, the sun coming up over a bed of fresh snow, yes skiing first tracks is simply magical and even more so on Christmas.

As with any incredible ski experience, there has to be après – even in the morning.  Part of the Golden Ticket adventure was a fabulous continental breakfast at Beano’s Cabin.


Of course I had to warm up with an Irish Coffee topped off with whipped cream!  Cheers to making your own first tracks on Christmas morning.