Several big ski area openings, the start of the U.S. Olympic team selection process for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and more this weekend. Read on!
Dew it up right! The Dew Tour's iON Mountain Championships is under way at Breckenridge, with finals today through Sunday, and all the heaviest-hitters are in town: This year the event doubles as the first of five Olympic selection events for the U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing teams. Shaun White and Kelly Clark won the snowboard halfpipe qualifiers -- surprise, surprise -- and will be at it again for finals on Saturday. The women's Freeski Superpipe finals are today at 9:30 a.m. and the women's Snowboard Slopestyle final is tonight at 5 p.m.; the rest of the finals will be held over the weekend. All events are free and open to the public or on live stream at DewTour.com if the cold isn't your thing. Fitz & The Tantrums and The Knocks will be rocking out on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in town at the Riverwalk Center (tickets are $25)
And wait, there's more! While all the teeming masses are over there by the pipe and slopestyle course, you'll have the perfect opportunity to sneak over to Breckenridge's Peak 6, open today with lift access for the first time ever. Ski Cooper, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk each open for the season this weekend. Chair 4 at Loveland opened on Thursday, Winter Park's Parsenn Bowl opens today, and the Grouse Mountain, Larkspur Bowl and Arrowhead lifts at Beaver Creek all open on Saturday.
Cheers! We'd be remiss in not mentioning another long-awaited opening this week: on Wednesday Arapahoe Basin's 6th Alley Bar & Grill re-opened, after massive summer renovations that carried into fall and winter. Perfect timing: A-Basin's famed Pallavicini run also opened on Wednesday.
Party on! Vail's Snow Daze party runs through Sunday, December 15, and is billed as "the largest early-season mountain bash in North America." Rebelution and opening act MiM0SA play a free concert at Ford Park at 6 p.m. tonight; Big Head Todd & The Monsters and Matisyahu bring the noise on Saturday night.
Shredit! And, just because, here's our favorite edit from the Colorado slopes so far this season, courtesy of snowboarder Torstein Horgmo, who's been warming up at Keystone and just might come out and win everything this season, from the looks of it:
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