Crouch. Touch. Pause. Engage. And drink beer, preferably dark and most certainly plentiful: it’s important to stay hydrated during Aspen Ruggerfest. Guinness and Stout, two seasoned rugger Rottweilers, lay on the sidelines basking in the sunshine while Scott Poindexter from Colorado’s Harlequins walks by shaking his head.
ESPN Winter X Games really likes Aspen. It’s Round 14 this year but they’ve been here Round 6, in 2002 and have made advanced reservations to own town, and Buttermilk, through Round 16 in 2012. It’s only Morning Two of the four-day affair and already, the energy around downtown is a little more amped, running a little hotter. As for Buttermilk itself, it’s never seen so much action.
If you live or play in Aspen, there are plenty of practical reasons to make the 40 minute trip down valley to Glenwood Springs: cheaper gas prices, a trip to Target or Wal-Mart for an inexpensive kitchen appliance, or a hassle-free and scenic mode of transportation to Denver or points west via Amtrak’s famous “California Zephyr” as it winds through a breathtaking alpine landscape and remote mountain passes.
Practicality aside, visitors to Aspen will find ample reasons to visit Glenwood Springs other than shopping at a discounted big box retailer or a quick petro fill-up after getting off I-70.
If you’ve never been on the river with a professional whitewater raft guide, there’s really only one part of the trip to mentally preparing for: bad humor that makes one smirk, then cringe:
What’s the difference between a raft guide and a large pizza?
A large pizza can feed a family of four.
What's the difference between a female raft guide and Bigfoot?
One's a big, hairy, stinky animal and the other is a mythical creature.
How can you tell if a raft guide is lying?
His mouth is moving.
What do you call a raft guide without a girlfriend?
You get the point. However, there’s nothing funny about the vital service a good raft guide provides to safely navigate you down a rocky river while you’re giggling in delight, screaming in white- knuckled fear, or clenching your paddle for a watery rollercoaster ride.
ASPEN, CO - This year marked my first adult birthday outside of Philadelphia's city life, and I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I’ve always loved hiking and camping, but I had never been on a backpacking, camping trip before. I decided my 24th birthday was as good a time as ever to take the trek. I asked around among friends and co-workers to get the dish on the some of their favorites. Over and over again, recommendations for the Conundrum Hot Springs hike in Aspen came pouring in, and I was sold.
And on the Eighth Day, Aspen rested. It was like that final scene in 3:10 to Yuma, or any true western, where town is quiet and breath is baited and all life is hidden from view. If Ben Wade hadn’t left that hotel with Dan the Rancher, nary a tumbleweed would have blow into those deserted mid-afternoon streets.
So you think you've got what it takes to tare it up on the holy grail, Winter X Games terrain? Well, here's your chance. Back for its 7th year, the Aspen/Snowmass Open invites men and women skiers and riders to Buttermilk Mountain to show their stuff on the Winter X Games slopestyle course and the monster 22-foot superpipe before the terrain is open to the public. The competition, boasting handsome cash prizes will run from February 23 - 26, 2012, so get up and get registered now for your chance to compete.
As a beginner skier, the first thing you will notice about the Aspen Mountain trail map is that there are no green runs. This is true. Aspen Mountain (also known as Ajax) is not a good place to learn how to ski, but once you feel as if you can comfortably negotiate blue runs, you will find plenty of interesting terrain to explore.
If you’ve spent any time in the Aspen area, you’re probably well aware of Aspen Highlands’ reputation as a mecca for expert skiers. The steep runs of Highland Bowl and Steeplechase are clearly the mountain’s public face, but there’s plenty of great terrain for intermediates and even beginners if you know where to look.