This weekend is the last in the 2012-13 winter season for Keystone Resort, which sends winter off in style once again with a two-day bash full of live tunes and raucous events. Saturday features a rail jam followed by a live concert with Robert Randolph and the Family Band; on Sunday, the Slush Cup pond-skimming contest returns, followed by a first-time Schlittentag.Red Bull's Schlittentag - German for "sledding day" - kicks off at 2 p.m. Sunday to close out the festivities. The Schlittentag is a spectator event in which teams of three send one to three of their team members racing down the hill on a hand-built sled to launch a roller in the middle of the track. Judging is based on creativity, time and air distance off the kicker, with up to 10 points awarded for each. Crashes are to be expected. "I'm not scared; I think it's going to be a blast," said Andrew Creager, from Western State Colorado University, whose team, Canadian Hockey, built a Zamboni sled designed to carry all three team members down the course. "The other two are a little worried; they're kind of just packed into a wooden box." The Zamboni slides on two skis and has no steering wheel, so Creager plans to steer, if necessary, by dragging his feet. "We designed the sled to go in a straight line and as fast as possible," he said. "Honestly, I think it's going to be a blast."As of Wednesday, Pillow Talk, one of two teams from Signa Phi Epsilon fraternity at the University of Colorado Boulder, planned to assemble a sliding bed with skis fashioned onto the bed posts. "We have to build it and figure out how we're going to get it up to the mountain," said team member Mitch Revare, who said they have an engineer on board to make sure the sled works. The team will don pajamas for the occasion. Breckenridge residents Jacob Durci, Taylor Fredricks and Ben West make up Team Gnar, an Ullr threesome that will board a Viking-style ship crafted of welded steel pipes, wood, skis and snowboards for the adventure. "We're pretty confident," Durci said. The Schlittentag will take place on Discovery Hill at the Mountain House Base Area. First prize is a trip for three to the Red Bull Flugtag in Dallas, Texas (http://redbullflugtagusa.com), an event which takes hand-built contraptions completely airborne - pitting human-powered, self-constructed gliders against one another for regional domination. Second prize is three tickets to the Motocross Championships at Thunder Valley in Lakewood, in addition to prizes from Keystone Resort.
Keystone's weekend events start Saturday with The Last Grind, the third and final rail jam in its A51 River Run Rail Series. The jam takes place next to the Summit Express lift, where spectators can watch male and female skiers and snowboarders bust out their best tricks on the multi-rail feature."We hope to continue building the momentum from year to year after a great inaugural season," Keystone spokesperson Tucker Burton said of the A51 series. "Our first two rail jams sold out in the male categories incredibly fast and showed great turn-out day of the event." Registration for The Last Grind is $15 at www.keystoneresort.com.After the rail jam, Keystone presents a free live concert by Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Randolph, who was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, is famous for his use of the pedal steel guitar, an instrument he played growing up in the House of God church and revolutionized into the funky guitar rock he plays for secular audiences around the world today. The Family Band is composed of actual family members, backing Randolph on tour with the likes of Santana, Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews Band and headlining Bonnaroo, Crossroads Guitar Festival, Hard Rock Calling in London, Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and Austin City Limits, among others. Randolph recently signed with Blue Note Records as he prepares to release his new studio album, his first since "We Walk This Road" in 2010. Engineered by Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin), mixed by Jim Scott and produced by Randolph, the as-yet-untitled album includes guest appearances by Trombone Shorty and Carlos Santana.Robert Randolph and the Family Band take the stage at 4:15 p.m. Saturday after Jaden Carlson Band opens at 3.
Sunday's grand finale is the Schlittentag, but the Slush Cup, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m., should make for some good laughs prior. Now in its third year, the Slush Cup features skiers and snowboarders skimming across an icy pond at the Mountain House Base Area in the hopes of taking home a prize in one of three categories - best crash, best costume and best overall. Registration is $30 online at www.keystoneresort.com. Prizes include a 2013-14 Summit Pass for each of the three categories, with the best overall winner also earning entry into the 2013 World Pond Skimming Championships at Vail on April 14. There also will be crowd prizes and giveaways.For more information about Keystone's closing weekend events, visit www.keystoneresort.com/events.