Town Talk: Ski racing not your thing? Try axe-throwing instead.

Bud Light Mountain Challenge brings quirky, participation-oriented events to Snowmass

Ski racing not your thing?

Maybe axe-throwing is a bit more your beat.

It’s one of several upcoming events in the Bud Light Mountain Challenge, a series of free competitions designed to add a bit of fun, little-to-no-experience-necessary programming to the spring skiing season, said Aspen Skiing Co. Director of Event Development Deric Gunshor.

Programming begins with the “Beers and Gears” fat tire banked slalom race on Fanny Hill on Friday.

All it takes is some gumption to enter. Participants should bring their own bikes if they can, as there will be a very limited supply available at the race, according to Gunshor.

Also on deck this weekend: a “Shoot and Scoot” ski mountaineering-style biathlon that combines skiing and paintball guns on Assay Hill on Sunday.

“We’ve had a lot of success with different participation-(oriented) things,” like the “Game of Stones” curling series in Base Village, Gunshor said. That event also was presented by Bud Light; the springtime games continue the momentum from that winter programming.

The programming picks up speed as the end of the season approaches, too: the “Bad Axe” axe-throwing competition is slated for April 16, followed by an on-mountain snow golf course for “Grip it and Sip it” on April 18.

Then comes the last weekend of the season, with two events that are not for the faint of heart or stomach.

The Gelande Quaffing Rocky Mountain championships bring a high-octane beer-sliding-and-catching competition to Base Village on April 23, when participants will work in teams to send beers sliding across a 10-foot-long bar top, catch the brews mid flight and guzzle them before sending another back the other way.

On closing day, “Scrambled Legs” will send competitors barreling down a mogul course, running up back up the hill and skiing down to a 30-foot-tall finishing platform in a dash to the finish line.

“All these things go so well with spring skiing,” Gunshor said. “It was the perfect fit.”

As with curling, none of these events require an elite level of athleticism to participate, Gunshor said; that’s was part of the point of hosting events focused on participation alongside a hearty schedule of national-level alpine racing and freestyle competitions across Skico’s four mountains.

But for some events, like “Beers and Gears” and “Scrambled Legs,” it doesn’t hurt to have some experience in on-snow sports. Anyone and everyone can sign up for most programs; participants must be 21 or older to partake in the alcohol component of some events.

Gunshor’s advice for those interested in signing up: “Bring your fun shoes.”

“It’s lighthearted, and just a fun way to celebrate the end to a successful season,” he said.


April 9: “Beers and Geers,” a fat-tire bike banked slalom race on Fanny Hill from 2 to 4 p.m. Register on Daly Lane.

April 11: “Shoot and Scoot,” a ski mountaineering-style paintball biathlon on Assay Hill from 2 to 4 p.m. Register at the Bud Light tent near the base of the Village Express.

April 16: “Bad Axe,” an axe-throwing competition in Base Village from 2 to 4 p.m. Register near the Guest Services ski check in Base Village.

April 18: “Grip it and Sip it,” an on-mountain nine-hole ski golfing course that begins at the midway station of the Village Express from 2 to 4 p.m. Register at the Bud Light tent near the base of the Village Express.

April 23: Gelande Quaffing Rocky Mountain Championships, a beer-sliding-and-catching (and drinking) competition in Base Village from 2 to 4 p.m. Register at the top of the Skittles gondola near the Snowmass Mall.

April 25: “Scrambled Legs,” a race to complete a mogul ski course, run up the hill and ski down again to a 30-foot-high finishing platform in the Spider Sabich racing area from 2 to 4 p.m. Register at the Bud Light tent near the base of the Village Express.

All events are free; registration is available on the day of the event. Participants should bring their own skis, snowboards or fat tire bikes (for “Beers and Gears”), but specialty equipment will be provided. This schedule is subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the Bud Light Mountain Challenge and update the registration location for the Gelande Quaffing Rocky Mountain Championships.


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