Uphill races, downhill races, jib jams, and other ways to celebrate winter this weekend
The snow just keeps on coming up in the hills where it matters most, and conditions at most Colorado ski areas are as good as they get. There might be a few more inches of fresh powder on the way this weekend to top it off, according to OpenSnow.com meteorologist Joel Gratz, with bigger storms on the way next week for the powder chasers. In the meantime, we've compiled a list of excellent ways to get out and play in all the pow that's already piled up.
Courtesy Monarch Mountain
Get jibby with it! Monarch Mountain's annual Jibber Jam is on Saturday with ski and snowboard categories for ages 7-12 and 13+ in the Never Summer terrain park. Registration is free and begins at 10 a.m. Oh, and check the powder report: Monarch's been getting dumped on this week and Jibber Jam happens to coincide with a demo day from made-in-Salida Albritton Skis and a two-day made-in-Denver Never Summer snowboard demo event, in case you need a fatter plank or two under you feet.
Field trip! Keytone's "The Ultimate Field Trip" promotion begins on Saturday and runs through March 2, featuring a roster of free speakers, workshops, and family-friendly activities. Ready for some more field trips? Pop in on Keith Bellows' "100 Places That Will Change Your Child's Life" presentation on Friday February 28 to get the inside scoop from the editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
Going up? The Vail Mountain Winter Uphill on Saturday will send racers 2,200 feet up from the Lionshead base area to Eagle's Nest at 10,328 feet, in memory of US Mountain Running team pioneer Lyndon Ellefson. Ski, splitboard, snowshoe, hike... your choice. Registration ($30 in advance, $40 day of) benefits literacy programs in Eagle County and the US Mountain Running Team. Get there early: the mass start is at 7 a.m., well before the lifts start turning.
What goes up must come down! Breck is hosting a trio of races on Saturday: The Five Peaks Mountaineering Race is billed as North America's longest ski mountaineering race, covering 10,000 feet of vertical in and around the ski area on five separate ascents. If chairlifts are more your thing, there's also the American Cancer Society's annual Hope on the Slopes Ski & Ride for a Cure fundraiser. And if all that alpine ski racing from Sochi has you fired up, come check out Team Summit's Summit Cup, a pair of Giant Slalom races free and open to kids ages 6-14, including an entry level race for beginners.
Ski for NCSD! The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NCSD) brings its 39th annual Wells Fargo Ski Cup to Winter Park this weekend, pairing world-class disabled ski racers with Colorado celebrities including Denver Broncos alumni, along with amateur skiers and snowboarders of all abilities for the Mazda Corporate Cup. Other weekend events include the Denver Health Kids Snowplow Sprint and the main event, the World Disabled Invitational.
The future is now! The Aspen/Snowmass Freeskiing Open is on this weekend, Friday through Saturday, on the same slopestyle and halfpipe courses used for X Games. It's a perfect chance to peep some of the up-and-comers you might be hearing a lot of four years from now when the Olympics roll around again. The event is sanctioned by both the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) and the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Just the ladies! Backcountry Babes guides Emily Hiekkinen, Sarah Barclay, Patti Banks, and Leslie Ross are hosting a two-day $375 Deep in the Steeps women's clinic at Wolf Creek for intermediate and advanced telemark and alpine skiers looking to get onto more advanced un-groomed terrain. Sunday is also College Day at Wolf Creek: bring a valid student ID for a discounted $38 lift ticket.
Shred some paper! And, just because we thought this was cool... check out the latest installment of Signal Snowboards's "Every Third Thursday" video series. This time the crew made some snowboards out of cardboard and let rip at Copper Mountain: