All Katy Stevenson needs is a pair of skis and a Colorado mountain to make her the happiest


Katy Stevenson skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado

Weaving through a winter wonderland of trees down an icy slope is at the top of sophomore Katy Stevenson’s to-do list when skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado. Not for the speed and racing aspect but rather for the beautiful, unforgettable scenery.

In mid-winter, Katy and her dad were in search of a ski run that met both their preferences—her dad’s being a hill full of moguls and Katy’s being a hill stacked with high treetops. 

Katy’s favorite new ski hill, Briar Rose, grants both their wishes.

“It was Christmas Day,” Katy said, “[and my dad and I] took this random path to this hill called Briar Rose. I was obsessed with it. It’s all through the trees, and in the trees, there [are] moguls,  and it’s a long, long run, so it takes a while to get down, and it’s so pretty. I called my friend and was like ‘meet me here,’ and I probably went down it ten times—it was my favorite run I’ve ever done.” 

Fortunately for Katy, she gets the privilege to return back to Briar Rose and even ski down it ten more times if she wanted because just recently, her parents bought a place out in Breckenridge for some eternal family fun. 

[The town] is like walking in a Hallmark movie, and there [are] little restaurants, and everyone is so friendly.”

— Katy Stevenson

“We just got a place this year, but my parents have been going there for a while,” Katy said. “I went when I was younger—my parents would take me because I’ve been skiing since I was three, so I’ve been going since I was really young. One day, my parents were like ‘we bought a place,’ and I was like ‘what.’ So when [COVID-19] was [first] here, we didn’t want to fly; so, we drove for three days [with] our whole family and all of our dogs in the car and bought the place.”

Now that the Stevensons can travel to Breckenridge whenever they please, they’re making it a goal to visit as much as possible. Fall, winter, spring, summer—every season is suitable for this type of vacation when COVID-19 allows.

“We’re going to try and go every Christmas,” Katy said, “and we’re going to go in the fall because it’s really pretty, even when [the] ski season isn’t happening. [We also like] to hike, and we want to go [to Breckenridge] in the summer too and whenever we can honestly.”

Katy and her family adore the cute, little town of Breckenridge so much for its countless opportunities for family bonding, getting some fresh air, and, of course, skiing. 

Adding on to the bundle of fun, the Stevensons have family friends who own a place in Breckenridge as well. Katy loves spending quality time with their close friends, the Werkemas, whether it’s skiing, relaxing, playing cards, or going into town for dinner or an event.

“I love skiing there,” Katy said. “[The town] is like walking in a Hallmark movie, and there [are] little restaurants, and everyone is so friendly. Breckenridge is pretty small, so we walk out of our place and walk like three minutes, and [we’re] in the town. So [we] can walk to dinner, walk to get coffee—I just love the town and the people there.”

As well as strolling through the town square, Katy and her family make it a priority to have multiple game nights when staying in Colorado. They adore Euchre and made it out to be their favorite wind-down activity.

“[My family and I] play a lot of card games when we’re there,” Katy said, “because at night, [we’re] pretty wiped out and cold, and we just sit around a fire. My family plays a lot of Euchre—we have six people in our family, so you have to take turns, and we get pretty competitive; we like to bet money. It’s always fun.” 

Relishing the time she gets in Colorado for the ski hills and family games, Katy never finds a dull moment out west. And she has always felt this was about skiing as she was born and raised on the slopes; Katy’s skiing journey began when she was only three-years-old and has loved it ever since she first clicked her heels into her skis. 

“I was born into it—I thought everyone skied,” Katy said. “I just thought it was a thing [everyone] did when growing up. I used to do the red ropes where my dad would connect the rope to his stomach, and it’d hook onto my body, and he’d ski down, and I’d ski in front of him. I was three, so I started [then], and it [has] always [been] a part of my life.” 

Katy has gained her motivation for skiing from her older brothers. As a result, she has obtained a lot of skills when it comes to flying down more advanced hills. Colorado is known for its ski resorts and famous hills, so it takes some real competence and experience to shred down these mountains like a pro. But besides the competitive aspect, the family bonding and extension of relationships is what makes skiing a sport that brings the Stevensons together. 

“I’ve never been the best at [skiing],” Katy said. “My brothers are super good; [I mean], I can go down anything, but I feel like I don’t look the best, or I’m not the fastest, but I think it’s so fun with my brothers because we have that [passion] in common. We don’t have a lot of things in common, so skiing is a lot of fun, and my dad loves skiing with us and talking about ski runs, so it’s good bonding.” 

From Katy’s many skiing experiences, she has had various learning opportunities that have helped her in the long run. Of course, not all are positive ones—one major component that Katy abides by is learning from her mistakes, whether they’re big or small. This case, in particular, was a big one. 

“One time, we were in Utah skiing,” Katy said, “and because I was younger, I didn’t understand that speed catches up with you, and you can go really fast, so I fell on my butt, but my skis kept going. We have a video of it because we had go-pros on so we could film ourselves, and there’s a video of me on the go-pro going down, and I hit this tree. It’s so funny. Nobody noticed at first; they were all looking the other way, and then you just see me. I look so dumb: sliding on my butt [at] full speed.” 

Although not all of Katy’s skiing experiences are grand—this scenario being one of them—she always tries to keep her head held high and her skis higher. Thanks to her brothers, she has learned how to be unafraid of taking on new challenges that push her abilities to the edge. The encouragement and words of wisdom from Katy’s siblings are what allows her to continually and eternally love skiing. 

“You don’t even need to be the fastest or the best, you can get down every hill—that’s what my brothers always tell me,” Katy said. “They [say], ‘You can get down every hill; it doesn’t matter. You may not be going super fast or look very good, but you can do it.’”