Today in Stoke: Aspen's Gay & Lesbian Ski Week

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There are more bears than cougars in Aspen this week, as my fiancée and I noticed when we rolled into town last night, and more rainbow flags than usual, too. That would be because it's the 34th annual Aspen Gay Ski Week, and this year's theme is "Wild Wild West," natch. We're just in time for the Ski/Board Day today at Snowmass and après-ski events like tonight's Hot Tub Party at official hotel sponsor Limelight Lodge (355 South Monarch Street) and the Flaming Saddles Wild Wild West party at Hunter Bar (434 East Cooper Avenue). Tomorrow the action moves to Aspen Mountain, with aprés- ski events including the Urban Cowboy party at Sky Hotel (709 East Durant Avenue). The guys and guys and gals and gals head to Aspen Highlands on Thursday and the Belly Up (450 South Galena Street) on Thursday night, where Almost Queen will be channeling Freddie Mercury and DJ Jen & Juice will keep the dance floor moving, as if it's going to need much help. The Downhill Costume Competition -- Gay Ski Week's main event -- gets underway at noon on Friday on the Little Nell run at the base of Aspen Mountain. Aspen Gay Ski Week is a fundraising event for the Roaring Fork Gay and Lesbian Community Fund, supporting its mission to promote tolerance, understanding and diversity through education, community action and service in Aspen and throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. RFGLCF grant beneficiaries include The Trevor Project suicide hotline, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), TEACH (Teachers Empowering Agents of Change), The Point Foundation's LGBT Scholars program, The Gender Identity Center of Colorado, the Western Colorado AIDS Project and local area high schools in the Roaring Fork Valley.

For a full schedule of Gay Ski Week events through Sunday, visit www.GaySkiWeek.com

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