Why should you get out of Denver and head for the hills this weekend? Let me count the ways.
1. Snow Daze: The brand new Chair 5 High Noon Express Lift opens at Vail this morning, replacing the old fixed-grip triple, cutting the ride to the Sun Up and Sun Down Bowls to less than six minutes and increasing the lift's capacity by about 70 percent. Yes, please! It's also the tail-end of Vail's Snow Daze week, with concerts this weekend by Dwight Yoakam, O.A.R. and Weezer.
2. Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix: Ski Superpipe is coming to the Winter Olympics, if the USASA has anything to say about it (it does). In anticipation of a final decision from the International Olympic Committee, the USASA has added skiing to this weekend's Visa U.S. Halfpipe Grand Prix at Copper Mountain. Ski finals are today at noon, snowboard finals are tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. and, if you can't make it up or you're too busy taking runs of your own, NBC will air its full event coverage on Sunday at noon. 3. The Summit Action Sports Film Festival screenings conclude tonight in Breckenridge at Brooklyn's Tavern, 500 South Main Street, and Denver-based Level 1 Productions will be bringing the house down at 10:15 p.m. with Eye Trip, followed by an awards ceremony tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Riverwalk Amphitheater, 150 West Adams Street.
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4. Disabled Sports USA's 22nd annual Hartford Ski Spectacular concludes this weekend in Breckenridge with races and events today and tomorrow: The week-long event has featured lessons, race camps and Nordic skiing and biathlon workshops under the motto "abilities in action." Hold the dis. 5. PinPin Zero Dollars: On Sunday, sit out the ski traffic back to Denver at Johnny G's Bar, Nightclub, and Pizzeria in Frisco, 409 Main Street, for the 10 p.m. premiere party to see what the Summit County locals at PinPin Films and Minimum Wage Entertainment have been up to. There's no cover, there should be plenty of sponsor swag and the filmmakers and most of the featured riders will be in the house (we mentioned these guys were a crew of Summit County locals, right?).