If you are anything like me, the first time you skinned a mountain, you did not have the most confidence. That is because when you are in the backcountry, things can and will go wrong. There is not the luxury (unless you are hiring sherpas) of calling for help when you have an issue. Either you or someone in your crew is going to have to figure it out, or you are stuck in the middle of nowhere.
That is why I encourage more newcomers to the backcountry to start off skinning up resorts (which happens to be free). Although you are still out in nature, you are not in the middle of nowhere and even if you start hiking uphill at 6am, you only have about 2 and a half hours before you start seeing workers and other morning movement on the mountain.
It is a very straightforward process. All resorts have a website stating their uphill policies. Generally, there is an uphill accesss hotline (Breckenridge's number is 970-547-5627). If you call the hotline number the morning of your climb, you will be given details on where you can and cannot be during your ascent.
Make sure you have a sturdy back-pack that can carry food supplies, ample water for the duration of your trip as well as first aid supplies. Also have a shovel, a probe and a beacon. I would also recommend gear for warm and cold weather as temperatures will change throughout your day.
You can hike a resort anyday of the week. The cool thing is that you actually have from 5pm the night before until 8am the next day to hike or camp. Once the mountain opens you have to be ready to head downhill.
We watch all of the action sports films and we want to get lines like the professionals are getting. We want those sick powder runs that Jeremy Jones and Travis Rice are getting, but in that fiendish thirst, we are not taking into consideration the work they had to put in to get to the great lines. We all have illusions of grandeur, but because it is about staying alive in the backcountry, you need to practice and become familiar with your gear before you hit that first backcountry hike. You are familiar with the resorts that you visit, now start hiking them in the morning just to get a taste.