As ski season wanes, good times roll in Colorado’s high country |

As ski season wanes, good times roll in Colorado’s high country

Scott WilloughbyThe Denver Post
ONE-TIME USE with Scott Willoughby season-ending ski season story.

When Colorado voters decided to send the state’s would-be Winter Olympics to Austria in 1976, they likely had no idea the ramifications that would ensue.Sure, there was bound to be all that political fallout and barroom debate over whether or not the action accomplished anything. But it’s a good bet no one ever saw the Red Bull 1976 Games coming to Copper Mountain anyway, especially not some 30-odd years later.The 1976 Games certainly didn’t spawn the tradition of season-ending celebrations in Colorado ski country, but they’ve added a little more spice to the mix of creative contests, lively concerts and outright oddball rituals that spring up annually as skiers and snowboarders stick a fork in another winter sports season.And when “Snowblade Cross” and “Old School Air” competition return to Copper this weekend, they will represent just a portion of the on-snow shenanigans taking place as the state’s major resorts wind up for the season in the next two weeks.All that party planning can get hectic, so here’s a primer to help you decide where to go and what to expect when you get there.

Closing day is in June, but that isn’t stopping A-Basin from celebrating spring with a long string of events:Saturday – The second annual Save Our Snow Celebration is a kid-friendly fundraiser for High Country Conservation Center.April 14 – The 21st annual Enduro race sees skiers lap the Pali chair nonstop from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The record is 71 laps.April 21 – KSMT Locals Day party to celebrate skiers, riders and the season.April 24 – The eighth annual Marmot Grind is an uphill/downhill randonee race for beginners and

The Beav is trying something new this year with the inaugural Jimmie Heuga Memorial Vintage Ski Race at noonThe Red Bull 1976 Games feature a throwback theme at Copper Mountain. (Ian Fohrman, courtesy of Copper Mountain )Saturday. Guests are encouraged to dress in vintage wool ski attire and race on old wood or metal skis. The Hay Meadow course will be a throwback to the 1940s, complete with canvas competitor bibs, hand- painted banners and natural bamboo gates.Preregister by calling the Colorado Ski Museum at 970-476-1876, e-mailing or visiting

Even for Summit County locals, Breck’s 18-day Spring Massive can get a little confusing. There seems to be something for just about everyone, and it’s just about everywhere at once. Exhibit A: The Bite of Breckenridge, a town-wide affair featuringThe Easter Bunny greets a spring skiier at Winter Park Resort. ( Courtesy Winter Park| )discounted meals at restaurants throughout the event. Exhibits B-Z are as follows:Massive Open Competition, Friday-SundayFriday – Massive Superpipe Open and Matt Wyffels Rail Jam Open, Peak 8.Saturday – Massive Style and Air Open, Peak 8; The 5 Peaks, North America’s longest ski mountaineering race with 10,000 feet of vertical and five ascents in the Ten Mile Range ( – Massive Slopestyle in Park LaneApril 17 – The Bravery, free at Riverwalk Center, 4

The folks at Copper have embraced the end of season celebration as well or better than anyone. Whether your tastes tend toward retro or new school, rock or reggae, Copper has you covered.Saturday – 2010 Alt Games College Snowboarding and Freeskiing Open Championships: Some of the country’s best college athletes go to the Catalyst terrain park to dip into the $7,000 prize pool and get a chance to be seen on the CBS College Sports Network on April 25 and 29. E-mail to register.Sunsation Stage: Free concerts featuring Pepper (5:30 p.m.), Lotus ($20 at Copper Conference Center, 10 p.m.)Sunday – Sunsation Stage: These United States (1:30 p.m.), The Expendables (3:30 p.m.) and Lotus (5:30 p.m.)April 17 – The Red Bull 1976 Games: Snowblade Cross and Old School Air, plus an award for most outrageous costume and team mojo. Stage: BC/DC – AC/DC tribute band (1 p.m.), Perpetual Groove (3:30 p.m.) and Steele Pulse (5:30 p.m.).April 18 – Sunstation Stage: The White Buffalo (1:30 p.m.), Pato Banton & Now Generation (3:30 p.m.) and Los Lonely Boys (5:30 p.m.)

Last Park Standing saves the best for last April 24, with Echo’s biggest course and contest of the year.

River Run Rocks returns closing weekend with free concerts featuring Seven Mary Three and Salem on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The mountain stays open until May 2, but the good times are rolling now.April 17 – The Loveland Poker Run Autism Society Benefit & Annual Loveland Derby combine a day of skiing with an on-hill game of poker. All of the proceeds go to the Autism Society of Colorado.April 24 – The eighth annual Corn Harvest benefit ski party for the Colorado Avalanche Information

They still do it the old-fashioned way, celebrating the end of ski season with the fourth annual Parking Lot Cook-Off and Tailgate Party. Guests are encouraged to whip up their best vittles for the contest awarding a season pass for next

The Springalicious celebration includes the 30th annual Cardboard Classic race down Stampede on Saturday, Pond Skimming contest Sunday and the free concert series featuring Donavon Frankenfurter immediately after in Gondola Square. Snowshoe racers get one last dash at the Stars fundraiser races on long-distance and sprint courses

Spring Back to Vail has emerged as one of the biggest parties in ski country due to a consistently strong (and free) music lineup and the entertainment offered up at the self- proclaimed World Pond Skimming Championships. The free BBQ is a bonus.April 16 – Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, and documentary film premier at Checkpoint Charlie, Vail Village.April 17 – Robert Earl Keen (5 p.m.) and Wyclef Jean (7 p.m.), Ford Park.April 18 – World Pond Skimming Championships (and BBQ), Golden Peak, 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Guster concert, at Checkpoint Charlie immediately

Spring Blast and Spring Splash vie for top billing at the base of Winter Park in coming weeks. The Blast features free live music by The Matt Clark Band (Saturday), Boulder’s Holden Young Trio (Sunday), Colorado breakout band Home (April 17) and Lotus on closing day (April 18). Be sure to check out the Rocky Mountain Freestyle moguls races on Ambush before the shows.The Splash celebrates 42 years of tradition April 18 as skiers and snowboarders race through an obstacle course that culminates in an icy pond skim with carnage aplenty.A-Basin longest to stay openRead more:

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