While Mother Nature heaps on the extreme weather in Colorado, extreme sports fans are counting the days to when winter sports take to the Rocky Mountains in 2012. Does your adrenalin skip a beat when you’re dropped from a helicopter onto a snowy peak? Maybe your thing is sinking your ax into the ice while summiting a wall. You’ve come to the right place — Colorado has your extreme sport.!
Whether you’re a diehard extreme sports participant or a fan, find a sampling below of adrenaline-pumping events to watch or winter activities to try:
Ski and Snowboard Events and Competitions:
ESPN’s Winter X Games, January 26-29, 2012: For the 11th year in a row, more than 200 ski, snowboard and snowmobile athletes from across the globe will land in Aspen/Snowmass to compete in ESPN’s Winter X Games 16 on Buttermilk. All events at Buttermilk are FREE and open to the public. In addition to the action at Buttermilk, Aspen/Snowmass will host a FREE Bud Light Hi-Fi concert at the base of Aspen Mountain.
U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships, February 8 -12, 2012: Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) and Mountain Sports International team up to bring the U.S. and World Freeskiing Tours to the birthplace of Big Mountain competitions. Crested Butte was the first in the U.S. to launch an extreme skiing contest, and this season marks twenty-one years. Competitors vie for the largest cash purse on the freeskiing circuit and coveted prizes from all the sponsors.
The Telemark World Cup, February 11-18, 2012:The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club hosts approximately 100 international telemark athletes as they compete in all telemark events over seven days. See the world’s best international telemark athletes compete in both men’s and women’s fields.
Extreme Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Adventures:
Guided Skiing at Silverton Mountain:Silverton offers extreme and unique lift-served ski adventures accessing up to 1,819 acres of backcountry-type terrain. There are no groomed runs, no cut trails, just loads of nature’s finest black diamond skiing in the country. Each guided group of eight skiers or less can expect to hike 5-10 minutes to ski runs although some drop straight from the lift.
Cat Skiing at Monarch Mountain:Great powder, spectacular views, 1,000 plus acres of expert terrain, steeps, trees, cliffs, and bowls – that’s Monarch Mountain’s snowcat terrain. Considered some of the best snowcat skiing in Colorado, guests enjoy skiing/riding in closely spaced trees, variable snow conditions and extremely steep slopes. Space is limited to 12 guests per day and the snowcat runs from the end of December through early April as conditions permit.
Heli Skiing with Telluride Helitrax:Telluride Helitrax operates in some of the highest ski terrain in North America: ranging in elevation from 10,000 to 13,500 feet. Telluride Helitrax is one of the most experienced yet personal heli-ski operations in the U.S. Up to twenty seats are available each day. Skiers are sorted by reservation groups, ability and helicopter load weight.
The 17th Annual Ouray Ice Festival, January 5-8, 2012.The Ouray Ice Festival is the world’s premier ice climbing event. This annual gathering is attended by ice climbers from around the world, as well as industry sponsors, inspiring speakers, and the world’s top exhibition climbers. Festival events are held in and around the Ouray Ice Park as well as various other venues around town.
2012 Lake City Ice Climbing Festival, February 4, 2012: This event includes timed lead and top rope ice climbing events with men’s and women’s categories held at the Lake City Ice Park. Hot food and beverages are served on site with an apres-climb awards party and door prizes.
Jeep Ice Racing: I remember my first sighting of jeeps racing across the frozen Georgetown Lake. I happened to be driving past on I-70, and it was a beautiful — and scary sight! For the past 36 years, Our Gang Ice Racing has been holding jeep ice races on Georgetown Lake in the charming Victorian town of Georgetown. On weekends in January and February, Georgetown Lake becomes frozen over and is transformed into a race track for Jeeps and other four-wheel drive vehicles. Races are separated by class including a beginner’s class, meaning that anyone can participate in a race, either as a driver or spectator.
Antero Ice Fishing Contest, January 14, 2012:Get your poles, your bait, your sled and head to the Antero Ice Fishing Contest at Antero Reservoir in Park County. This contest is loaded with excitement, adventure and great prizes.
Leadville/Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby, February 18-19, 2012:This is an annual Leadville Rod Gun Club event at Twin Lakes with prizes by type of fish. Categories include mackinaw, brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon.
Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 26 renowned ski areas and resorts.
Want more Colorado? Order your 2012 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide now by visiting www.Colorado.com or call 1-800-COLORADO.