X Marks the Spot

The ESPN Winter X Games are back in Aspen this weekend, bringing 200 of the world’s top snow-sports athletes to Buttermilk Mountain. The extreme action will be carried live on ESPN and ABC, but there’s nothing quite like seeing the mayhem – including the new Women’s Skiing Slopestyle and Snowmobile Best Trick events – up close. You can ski along the skiercross and snowboard-cross course, looking down on the action instead of up at it. “A lot of people are down watching the games, so it’s pretty mellow to ski that weekend,” says Meredith McKee of Aspen/Snowmass. That’s despite the 70,000-some spectators the X Games bring to town.

This year might see fewer, though. There’s still some lodging available, which is a little unheard of. “In a way, that makes it the best time to come, because the lodges are offering deals and there are still spots in town,” McKee points out. Plus, it’s free to watch the games, and you can catch all sorts of freebies from sponsors while you’re there. In town, free concerts by the Flobots and Pennywise will take place at the base of the gondola at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

For schedules and other info, go to espn.go.com or look for lodging at www.stayaspensnowmass.com. For schedules and other info, go to http://espn.go.com or look for lodging at www.stayaspensnowmass.com.
Jan. 22-25, 2009

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