The Outsider: A-Basin opening day and Breck Halloween dodgeball
Oh hey, there’s snow on the ground.
This week brought the first legitimate snowfall to Summit, which means it also brought a flurry of snowmaking updates, opening-day predictions and, of course, plenty of early-season snow porn on Facebook, Instragram and in the pages of the Summit Daily. It’s funny how a stand of lightly dusted pines in October can brighten the mood around here, when three months from now the same light dusting would be outright depressing.
But that’s how it is in the mountains — the more snow, the better, at least for folks who enjoy playing in it. Beyond that, it also marks the official end of summer sports season. Trails are now too mushy for traditional mountain bikes (look to the sports section for two winter-ready fat bikes), and fall high school sports are about to wind down.
It’s been a hit-or-miss season for the Tigers. The hard-hitting girls rugby team is well on its way to another state championship, the girls cross-country team barely (by one point) missed the cut for the state meet, the boys soccer squad struggled to find a rhythm and the senior-heavy volleyball team faced one of the toughest 4A rosters in years. But, again, that’s how it is in the mountains, where the preps athlete pool is also filled with World Cup downhillers, snowboarders and big-mountain skiers. For some, football and volleyball and the rest were just distractions until the snow arrived.
So as the fall sports season winds down, here’s to the Tigers and their coaches. No season is a waste, even if the record seems to say otherwise.
A-Basin opening day?
It’s the question on everyone’s mind: When will Arapahoe Basin open the High Noon strip of death? As of now, the ski area still hasn’t pinpointed an exact opening date. Snowmaking began in earnest early the morning of Oct. 21, and the storm on the next day added a much-needed coating of the natural stuff. A-Basin opens when the base on High Noon reaches 18 inches, so keep an eye on the weather and the live web cams. As long as the weather stays chilly they should (hopefully) open in the next week or two. A-Basin will make the announcement 24-48 hours in advance.
Halloween dodgeball tourney
For the sixth year in a row, the Breckenridge Rec Center is hosting an adult dodgeball tournament for Halloween on Oct. 30. Yep, you know what that means — wearing ridiculous costumes to spend a night pelting your friends with soft, spongy balls. I feel like they made a movie about that one time, but here, in Breck, you won’t be going up against Goliaths from the depths of the former USSR. No, the round-robin tourney is all about having a damn good time. Registration is capped at eight teams, with every team getting at least three rounds of play on the gym court. Cost is $110 per team. Every team needs three guys and three gals, but there’s no limit to the roster size. There’s also a prize for best costume. The only question is: Do you dress as White Goodman or Steve the Pirate?
Vail Ski Swap
The granddaddy of them all returns to Dobson Ice Arena in Vail this weekend when Ski and Snowboard Club Vail hosts its annual ski swap fundraiser Oct. 23-25. There are literally thousands of new and used items available, including skis, snowboards, bindings for both, softgoods, alpine racing equipment, Nordic gear — the list goes on and on.
As usual, the early-bird shoppers on Friday get the absolute best buys, but there are plenty of steals to be had this weekend. General entry is free for anyone on Saturday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), with select items discounted by 25-percent on Sunday. Head to vailskiswap.com for more info.
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