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Aspen and Snowmass ready to jam

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Super Diamond's "Surreal Neil" (Stewart Oksenhorn)
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ASPEN ” Homemade sleds soaring (or not) over a pond at Snowmass, free concerts, a superpipe contest featuring top female riders and a Highland Bowl challenge ” it’s all part of the celebration that is Spring Jam.

The annual celebration, now in its eighth year, is not only getting longer ” competitions and other hijinks are now spread over three weeks ” it’s getting inventive.

Take the inaugural Schnee Tag (pronounced “schnee tog,” we’re told), for example. Teams of four are invited to invent a craft that will slide down Fanny Hill at Snowmass and attempt to soar over a 75-by-20-foot pond. Each team will perform a skit before one member pilots the craft for its run. Teams will be judged on costume theme, creativity and flight distance for their craft.



There are rules: The craft must be less than 10 feet wide and can’t weigh more than 400 pounds, including the pilot. The prizes: a trip to Red Bull’s Flugtag for the first-place team, paragliding flights with Red Bull Airforce for the second-place squad, and VIP invites to the Red Bull Soap Box Derby in Morrison, Colo., for the third-place finishers.

Also new to this year’s Spring Jam is the Battle in the Bowls at Highlands on March 30. Teams of two are challenged to ski the bowls (yeah, all of them). There are awards and $3,000 in prize money up for grabs for the top three teams that finish the course, plus awards for the fastest bowl lap, slowest bowl lap, fastest time down the bowl, most vertical, most trails skied and most lift rides. GPS devices will track the teams.




Aspen snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler hosts the debut Snow Angels Invitational on April 4-6 at Snowmass, featuring top female snowboarders in a superpipe contest.

Winter X Games stars Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark, along with other top riders, are expected for the event, and some of them will teach beginners how it’s done after the competition.

Spring Jam kicks off Friday, March 21 with the Core Party in downtown Aspen and concludes with the Snow Angels Invitational on the first weekend in April.

Neil Diamond cover band Super Diamond kicks things off with a free concert at 8 p.m. at the corner of Cooper and Galena in downtown Aspen.

Top regional ski and snowboard athletes compete under the lights at the base of Aspen Mountain from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Prize giveaways, a beer garden and a DJ round out the action.

Coaches and athletes man an entry-level terrain park at Snowmass, where they’ll instruct beginners (age 13 and up) on how to safely slide a rail, hit a box and throw a trick. Open from noon to 3 p.m.

Son of reggae icon Bob Marley, Ky-mani brings his pop- and hip-hop-infused style of reggae to a free concert at Snowmass. He’ll take the stage on the end of the Snowmass Village mall at 4 p.m.

Grammy-winning hip-hop group best known for its contributions to the evolution of jazz-rap performs a free concert at 8 p.m. at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Hosted by Aspen/Snowmass athlete and former Olympic snowboarder Chris Klug, the camp offers snowboarders (age 10 and up) instruction in halfpipe, boardercross, giant slalom and slalom disciplines from the experts, including Klug, Tricia Byrnes, Travis McLain, Justin Reiter and Mitch Stout. Takes place at Buttermilk. Go to http://www.chrisklug.com/camp.html for more information.

The action begins at 3 p.m. Register at http://www.aspensnowmass.com and start engineering your craft.

The competition begins at 10 a.m. and wraps up at 2 p.m. Register at http://www.aspensnowmass.com.

Catch the participants as they practice in the superpipe at Snowmass on Friday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., followed by the finals on Saturday, April 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday features a photo shoot with the athletes at the Snowmass superpipe and quarterpipe from 9:30 a.m. to noon; several particpating athletes willl then instruct beginners in the Terrain Park Boot Camp on Fanny Hill from noon to 3 p.m.

An eight-week competition that began in February and concludes April 4. Area skiers and snowboarders hit the big jump on Fanny Hill at Snowmass, vying for a prize purse and series points. The action starts at 2 p.m., followed by live music and evening fireworks.

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