The Winter X Games, which return to Aspen January 24-27, are an invite-only affair, with a guest list filled with the likes of Shaun White and Kelly Clark. But the United States of America Snowboard Association has developed a workaround, staging an annual amateur rail jam at the Winter X venue in Buttermilk between the main events.
To qualify, throw down in the USASA/X Games Rail Jam at 4 p.m. December 31 at Copper Mountain, presented by Woodward at Copper and the Rocky Mountain Snowboard & Freeski Series. "It's pretty cool, because they get to compete under the lights, and the top-place finisher gets to go to X Games," says Woodward at Copper program director (and former Olympic gymnast) Phoebe Mills. Entry is $27.50 (USASA membership required) at www.rockymountainseries.com.
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The contest is part of Copper Mountain's "En Fuego" New Year's Eve celebration, and will be followed by a torchlight parade and fireworks over the resort's West Lake. Not quite X Games-ready? Woodward at Copper is offering winter day sessions starting at $150 for intermediate and advanced riders, Mills points out, featuring a half-day of coaching in the Barn, Woodward's indoor training facility, and a half-day in Copper's terrain parks.
Mon., Dec. 31, 5 p.m., 2012