Best Bets: End-of-Ski-Season Festivities

April 2013

Spring ski season is a bittersweet transition for Coloradans. It’s the awkward (and muddy) time of saying goodbye to the ski lifts and giving a warm hello to all that summer has to offer. But before donning the wetsuit and bike shorts, don’t miss out on the last few spring-turns on the corn snow and the ski season's closing events: a mix of music, brews, races, competitions, and of course, pond skims. 

Copper Mountain’s Sunsation music festival features two headlining stages, with music performances by Matt and Kim and Ozomatli. Warm up your dancing legs with pre-show competitions: the SlopeSoakers Floating Rail Jam is on Saturday at 11 a.m. and it's exactly what it sounds like— skiers and snowboarders attempt tricks atop rails “fixed” to inner tubes that are floating in a pool (perhaps best left as a spectator sport). The event also features a 3k-costume-footrace (retro and superhero themed, naturally) that challenges snow-lovers with frozen obstacles, including a hot chocolate pit and a human luge, on Sunday at 11 a.m. April 13 and 14

On Saturday, Steamboat Springs will host the Cardboard Classic: Competitors launch down Stampede Run in home-constructed vestibules—we’re talking cardboard, glue, duct-tape, and string—followed by the Splashdown Pond Skimming Competition on Sunday at 1 p.m. Make sure to bring your costume and check out the live concert performances, including Head for the Hills and Leftover SalmonApril 13 and 14

Snowmass Mountain has its own version of pond skimming, the Schneetag (pronounced Sch-knee Tog). Teams of four create and race in human-powered vessels down a slope, until they catapult off a jump and attempt to skim across a 75-by-20 foot pond. Even better: each team has its own theme and a pre-launch skit performance. April 14 

—For Aspen Mountain’s closing day, cardboard cutouts of Waldo will remind you of the après ski event: a “Where’s Waldo” themed poolside bash at 39 Degrees Lounge in the Sky Hotel. Grab a “Hello My Name is” sticker to add to your red-and-white ensemble and dance to DJ Dylan’s live entertainment, starting at 2:30 p.m. April 14. 

Arapahoe Basin boasts the latest closing date and subsequently, the largest line-up of end-of-season events. Amp up the energy with the Enduro Race, April 17—24, a ten-hour competition where teams of two take as many ski laps as possible on the oh-that’s-steep slope beneath the Pallavicini chair. The holding record is 72 ski runs, totaling more than 95,000 vertical feet. Or, save your quads for the skin-up and ski-down Spyder Grind race on Saturday, April 20. The race is European randonee style: competitors take a running start towards their skis. April 17—May 26

—Balance your speed-runs by relaxing at A-Basin's Shakin’ at the Basin concerts. Every Saturday throughout May, from 1 to 4 p.m., live music is performed from bands, including Crazy oTTo, High Five, 6 Million Dollar Band, and Luv Brothers. On closing day, join the Festival of the Brewpubs and enjoy music from Hardscrabble while sipping local brews from Pug Ryan’s microbreweryBreckenridge BreweryDillon Dam Brewery, and New Belgium Brewery. Saturdays through May

Winter Park Resort’s Springtopia brings two live concerts—Julian Marley & the Uprising on Saturday and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on Sunday. The Spring Splash race on Sunday at noon is your last chance for pond skimming: skiers and snowboarders rally past obstacles on a course before skidding across the ice-cold pond.  April 20 and 21

—Image courtesy of Tripp Fay