Four days of Xtremes |

Four days of Xtremes

For the third year in a row, the base of Buttermilk Mountain was transformed into an outdoor snow circus, as Winter X Games VIII descended on Aspen from Jan. 24-27.

It was a wild week, owing not only to the high-flying, high-speed, high-octane competitions, but to the weather. From warm, sunny skies on Saturday, conditions veered to biting winds and heavy snow Sunday, reducing crowds, canceling a couple of events and angering some athletes. Chances are a few spectators even lost their cherished souvenir foam Taco Bell hats.

Still, the foul weather and subzero temperatures couldn’t slow the overall momentum. The Games continued through Tuesday, when California post-punk band The Offspring closed the festivities with a rousing street concert in downtown Aspen.

Many Aspenites reveled in the energy and hype; others avoided it religiously. But like them or not, the X Games have set up shop in Aspen: They’ll return each winter through 2007.

Sweeet, dude.