Trainors course |

Trainors course

Steve Benson

It’s X Games week, which means crews at Buttermilk are getting everything at the venue just exactly perfect. The pipe, terrain park and other courses are closed to the public as they get buffed out for the competition.But over at Aspen Mountain, the terrain park known as Trainors remains open. A precariously steep area off the ridge of Shadow Mountain, Trainors was not molded by man.Narrow trees, cliffs, rollers, rocks, roots, downed branches and old mining shafts make Trainors a freaky, natural terrain park.And instead of lines and crowds, the area is a virtual private playground that sees little traffic. While the rest of the off-piste terrain at Aspen Mountain is turning into one large, hard mogul, Trainors is still full of soft snow.T1, the first shot in the area, is the most skied out, but offers punchy, grippy snow. Heading farther out to T2 and T3, the snow is softer, wilder and super variable. Areas of funky, damp crud are lathered through the narrow trees. But the ride is generally smooth.If you choose to dabble in this seldom-open area, keep your eyes open for, well, everything. Rocks, grass, stumps and fallen limbs loom in abundance. While the solitude is calming, the mixture of obstacles (things you can bash your head into) and steeps will get your heart pumpin’.While Colorado remains under a ridge of high pressure, they’re skiing deep, dry powder in the Northeast. Resorts in Vermont have received more than 2 feet of snow, while New Jersey’s Mountain Creek picked up over a foot and a half of fresh.The high pressure is expected to break down by Wednesday night with a chance of snow through the weekend.Steve Benson’s e-mail address is

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