X Games redux
The Aspen/Snowmass Open, which offers the opportunity for up-and-coming skiers and snowboarders to compete on the Winter X Games slopestyle and superpipe courses, will debut this weekend.Prestige will be on the line – as will $30,000 in prize money. The top skiers in both disciplines automatically qualify for the 2007 U.S. Freeskiing Open.More than 300 male and female athletes from five countries will compete at Buttermilk between today and Sunday. Local skiers Steele Spence, and Peter and Michael Olenick, are slated to attend, as are snowboarders Avery Karas, Justin Bartle, and Teddy and Jordie Karlinski.”There is no other event out there that combines snowboarding and skiing in an open registration format on this scale,” said Dave Perry, senior vice president of the Aspen Skiing Co. “The event is receiving incredible hype and response in its inaugural year and promises to set the standard for open competitions.”Qualifying for both men’s ski slopestyle and men’s snowboard superpipe takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today. Men’s snowboard slopestyle and ski superpipe qualifying will take place during the same time slot Friday.On Saturday, ski slopestyle finals will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the same time the male and female snowboarders take to the superpipe. The riders will switch disciplines on Sunday. An awards ceremony will conclude the event following the competition at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.The Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series continues in downtown Aspen, where P.O.D. will perform from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday.Avalanche reportThe backcountry avalanche danger in the Roaring Fork Valley is considerable above treeline, especially in wind-affected areas. Near treeline the danger is moderate with pockets of considerable in wind-affected areas. Below treeline the danger is moderate.Strong winds have created some different wind-loading patterns and moved snow low into start zones, even affecting open areas well below treeline.Avalanche danger details provided by the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center. For more information, call 920-1664 or visit http://www.rfavalanche.org. For conditions around the state, call the Colorado Avalanche Information Center at 920-1664 or visit geosurvey.state.co.us/avalanche.
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Friends of Colorado Avalanche Information Center has contributed to the state’s avalanche center for several years to help with forecasting for backcountry visitors. It cannot hold in-person fundraisers this year so its asking supporters to sign up for an annual membership.