Today is the first official day of the 2012 Winter X-Games in Aspen Colorado! Much like years past X-Games are set to bring snow to the mountains of Aspen as we have 7-10” of snow in the forecast for Thursday night through mid-morning on Friday. As always, the various courses and obstacles, from Superpipe and Slopestyle to the snowmobile courses are incredibly impressive, even from as far away as the highway. The entertainment factor and energy of the X-Games is through the roof. But what separates it from other more conventional sporting events is the guarantee that at least one athlete will set a new standard in their said sport, which in turn makes their competitors react so that they are able to stay competitive. This is perhaps why every year we all ask “what will they do next?” This year’s events of course have a special meaning and unusual gravity in comparison to years past due to the untimely and tragic passing of one of the biggest icons in the skiing industry, Sarah Burke. Her legacy will be honored throughout the weekend. To view the schedule of the weekend’s events, go to: http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/entertainment .
Another aspect of the X-Games that adds to the excitement of the weekend is music. This weekend at The Bellyup, which is Aspen’s premier live music venue, big acts such as Nas, Deadmau5, The All American Rejects, and Sebastian Ingrosso will all be putting on performances. In addition to these concerts, Awolnation will be putting on a free concert at the base of Aspen Mountain on Saturday, January 28th at 5:30 PM. The concert is timed so as not to conflict with any X-Games events. All in all it should be a great weekend!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
While Aspen is best known for its ski slopes, what truly distinguishes it from other ski resorts is its historic town and abundance of things to do if one decides they need a day off from skiing or snowboarding. Even the most dedicated skier or boarder will need a day off from time to time. Fear not! Aspen has plenty of great activities both cultural and physical, that don’t involve buying a lift ticket (yes, even in the winter). There is of course always the option of perusing Aspen’s famous shopping scene, or eating at one of the many world class restaurants, or checking out one of the many art galleries. But for those of you that still want to experience the great outdoors on your day off from the slopes, opportunities abound. Believe it or not, winter is a favorite time of year for dedicated anglers. Not only is the fishing still fantastic, but crowds are nearly non-existent. While the cold can be a challenge, the right equipment and proper guidance can make winter Fly Fishing a very pleasant experience. Much like Fly Fishing, people think of Aspen’s hiking trails as a strictly warm weather pursuit. What many don’t realize is that with a good pair of boots and stabilizers, or some snowshoes, most of Aspen’s most popular hiking trails lend themselves well to winter hiking. There is nothing quite like watching a winter sunrise over Aspen from your favorite hiking trail! Aspen has quickly become well known for the miles and miles of free Nordic skiing trails. From the impeccably maintained municipal golf course and Rio Grande trails, to the back-country, Aspen has something to offer for all levels of Nordic skiers. If your body truly needs a rest, yet you still want to get outside, Snowmobile tours with the T-Lazy 7 ranch are a great option. These tours will take you through the stunning Maroon Creek valley just outside of Aspen. Another popular activity is to take a guided snowshoe tour with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. These tours depart from the summit of Aspen Mountain every day at 10:00 and 1:00 pm. The two hour tour costs $57 for adults, $45 for youths (13-27) and $35 for children (7-12) and seniors (65+). This ticket price includes the gondola ride to the top and back, beautiful scenery, snowshoes, a knowledgeable guide, and basic snowshoe instruction. Not only are these tours an invigorating way to experience the outdoors, they are also very informative. Guides with The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies are trained educators equipped with a vast knowledge of local geographic history, wildlife, and human history. So as you can see, Aspen has a lot more to offer than lift-serviced skiing!