Expect to see lots of chaps worn over ski pants at today's Cowboy Downhill. Steamboat's thirtieth annual ski rodeo features more than one hundred professional rodeo cowboys from the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo that's going on down in Denver. The free spectator event starts at 1:30 p.m. and will consist of two competitions: the head-to-head Dual Slalom Race -- during which cowboys have to lasso one of Steamboat Resort's mountain ambassadors and then saddle a horse while wearing their skis or snowboards -- and the Stampede, a free-for-all race to the bottom.
"Cowboys have no problem facing a 2,000-pound bull, but put them out there on the slopes, and some of them definitely have anxiety," says Steamboat public-relations director Mike Lane. "Some slide through the gates on their butts."
The festivities will wrap up with a 9 p.m. all-ages concert starring country-music artist Chris LeDoux; tickets are $30 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-922-2722. For more details, visit www.steamboat.com. -- Julie Dunn
Hotfooting in the Cold
Ultra-marathoner and racing coach Scott Weber is no crybaby, and he won't tolerate any wimpy entrants at the Frozen Ass Trail Race, which will be unleashed today at Chatfield State Park. The ten-, twenty- and thirty-mile runs are designed for participants who "do not need to be rescued" from a course that features a run through the Platte River and conditions that could include mud, snow and ice, Weber says. Runners in this USA Track and Field-sanctioned event will have seven and a half hours to complete their course and have their finish times officially recorded. Non-registered runners, those under age eighteen (with exceptions made on a case-by-case basis) and farm animals are not permitted on the course, Weber says. The entry fee is $30. Race-day check-in time is 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. For more information and to register, log on to www.coachweber.com. -- Karen Bowers
The Ouray Ice Festival is a climber's cornucopia
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For a slip-sliding good time, hit this weekend's Ouray Ice Festival. "Ouray is the ice-climbing capital of the world," says Erin Eddy, manager of the Ouray Ice Park, which is sponsoring the festival. "We have hundreds of different climbs within a quarter-mile of town."
Along with the ice-climbing competitions held at the Ouray Ice Park on Saturday and Sunday, the festival will feature more than fifty free interactive clinics, film screenings, a silent auction, lectures, gear demonstrations and a climbing-equipment fashion show. And this San Juan Mountain town will be rockin' on Saturday night with the Ouray Ice Breakers Ball, with live music by the Foster Hill Band.
"Ice climbing is relatively easy, but the routes that these competitors are climbing, 99 percent of the population couldn't do," says Eddy.
The fest runs today through Sunday, and many events are free; pre-registration is required for the interactive clinics. For a complete schedule, visit www.ourayicefestival.com or call 1-970-325-4288. -- Julie Dunn