Highland Games: Grab your tartan and toss a caber
September 22, 2005
Don’t let the guys in the plaid skirts fool you. They heave logs around for fun.That’s right. The brawny men in kilts are back for today’s Highland Games at Snowmass Village. The event moves from last year’s venue at Aspen Highlands to the soccer fields near the Rodeo Grounds at Snowmass. The competitions get under way at 10 a.m. There’ll be entertainment and an awards ceremony before the activities wrap up at 3 p.m.The Highlands Games have defined the word “tough” since Scottish men began testing their strength by tossing trees and rocks.Modern-day games include tossing a 16-foot log and other feats of strength (one involves a pitchfork).Visiting clansmen (and women) will compete, but locals are also invited to step up. There will be various divisions for men and a women’s competition. Kilts are mandatory, except in the novice division, but there’ll be a rent-a-kilt booth for newcomers who want the full experience.”If you think you’re a really burly man, get a 16-foot log and see how you do,” advised Allison Johnson, director of publicity for the Snowmass marketing department.The caber toss – a highlight of the games – requires strength, balance and timing. The caber is a tapered log that weighs 60 to 140 pounds. Competitors cradle it in their hands, attempt a brief run and then heave the caber into the air so the heavy end hits the ground and the lighter end falls forward.Today’s event will also bring Scottish vendors and wares. There’ll be food and drink, and the Colorado Youth Pipe Band will provide traditional Scottish music. Various clans will provide information on Scottish heritage and genealogy.