Some fans more fanatical than others in storm
Aspen Times Staff Writer
After perfect weather on Friday and Saturday, X Games fans were forced to deal with a late-January winter storm that dropped snow most of the day and sent temperatures plummeting.
Some of the approximately 12,000 fans who showed up coped with the situation. Others just left.
From a midday high in the mid-20s, the temperatures fell sharply through the day, into the mid-teens by 2 p.m. and a bitter 6 degrees above zero by 8 p.m., when several thousand showed up for the snocross snowmobile races.
The first fan letdown of the day came at about 1 p.m. when the Moto X best trick competition ” motorcycle riders performing their best high-altitude trick jumps ” was postponed for a day.
“This is a big event for me, to watch crazy people,” Basalt resident Bill Striegler said.
While he was disappointed with the cancellation, Striegler said he’d likely be back today for the Moto X best trick, even if it means skipping out on a powder day.
“It’s a tough call, but I can board all year long. This only happens once a year,” he said.
But the cancellation of the Moto X ended the weekend for at least one group of fans.
“You guys planned this really well,” Denver resident Greg Skistian said sarcastically. “Everything is canceled.”
“You can’t even get inside the restaurant,” Skistian’s buddy David Seiwell added. “It’s nuts, they won’t even let us in.”
The two were standing in the long line for the buses that formed after the postponement of Moto X and the ski slopestyle competition. “I’ll probably watch it on TV next year,” Seiwell said.
The wait to get into Bumps restaurant at the bottom of Buttermilk was several minutes long, as security guards at the slopeside entrance and parking lot exit kept the number inside to the 375-person limit set by the fire department.
Upslope near the grandstand, Mark and Kay Cesark of Missouri Heights said they had no plans to leave. “If these guys are out here giving it their all in this weather, then we’re out here to support them,” Mark said.
Some of the fans, mostly younger ones, wiled away the delays by going from sponsor tent to sponsor tent collecting free goodies. Basalt residents Chase DeMeulenaere and Alec Toney, for instance, were hanging out in the Jeep tent collecting snowboard star Kier Dillon’s autograph and goodies.
Asked what makes Dillon so cool, DeMeulenaere, 9, answered, “All the cool things he does in the pipe.”
“And his bright-green pants,” Toney, 9, added.
Buddies Patrick Flanagan and Cody Vickery estimated they had collected more than 200 freebies from the tents.
Meanwhile, Allison O’Brien, 18, of Colorado Springs was waiting in line outside a sponsor tent where snowboard slopestyle champion Shaun White was signing autographs.
“The cold weather’s getting to me, but I’m all right with it,” O’Brien said.
Once the ski slopestyle competition resumed at about 2 p.m. the grandstands at the bottom of the course filled up to about a third of their capacity.
“I stuck it out just to see this ” slopestyle, halfpipe, that’s what it’s all about,” said 16-year-old Glenwood Springs resident Jared Aigner, watching the competition on the Jumbotron behind the stands.
In the stands, the Carr family ” Rich, Jen, Gage and Libi ” said there was no way the weather was going to force them back home to Emma.
“Once you’re here, man, you’re here,” Rich said.
Six-year-old Gage added that he was “here for the duration.”
Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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