April brings rail jams, pond-skimming and Red Bull Schlittentag to Summit County
April in the hills
April 1 — Spring Fever Park Jam free rail jam, Breckenridge
April 2 — Red Bull Schlittentag sled rally, Mountain House at Keystone
April 8 — Spring Fever Park Jam free rail jam, Breckenridge
April 9-10 — Rocky Mountain Freestyle Spring Cool Down moguls event, Copper Mountain
April 10 — Slush Cup public pond-skimming, Keystone
April 15 — Spring Fever Park Jam free rail jam, Breckenridge
April 16 — Red Bull SuperSoakers rail jam, Copper Mountain
April 17 — Eenie Weenie Bikini Contest, Copper Mountain
Spring is for sun chasers. And slush hounds. And pond-skimmers. And even folks who just like to dress up, drink beer and go sledding.
This April, Summit County plays host to nearly a dozen sporting events built for the dog days of springtime, beginning with Gaper Day on April 1 and ending with last call for last chair at Copper and Breckenridge on April 24. There’s a little something for everyone before the season ends, just so long as you don’t mind skiing or snowboarding or some form of snow sliding. (If you do, then it’s probably been one hell of a long winter.)
But where to go and what to do? We’ve got you covered with a rundown of the best events for revelers of any age. Now, bring on the slush.
Copper recently extended its season from April 17 to April 24 and is now one of the final Colorado resorts to close, along with Breckenridge (April 24), Winter Park (April 24) and Mary Jane (May 7).
Until then, Copper is home to plenty of events, including hundreds of youth skiers and boarder for the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships from April 1-12. That one is invite-only for competitors, but anyone is welcome to watch the action at the halfpipe and slopestyle course.
Near the tail end of Nationals is the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Spring Cool Down, an open moguls event that closes out the RMF series. April 9 brings a day of traditional mogul racing, following on April 10 by a dual-moguls event. Both days are open to the public at $60 for the first registration, $50 for the second and $45 for any additional events. On-site registration is available for $15 extra. For more info and to register, see the event tab on the series website at http://www.rockymountainfreestyle.com.
Come April 16, things kick into high gear with the Red Bull SlopeSoakers rail jam. On the surface, it sounds like any other rail jam, with a collection of four or five features and divisions for ski, snowboard, men, women and groms. The catch? Every feature is built over, on or in a pond at the base of the mountain. Registration is capped at 130 participants, with entry fees $25 before or $30 the day of. To register or get more information, see the Red Bull site at redbullslopesoakers.splashthat.com.
April 17 is the Eenie Weenie Bikini Contest — show skin, win prizes, enough said — and the High Fives Foundation Retro Shred-A-Thon, a fundraiser for the California nonprofit. The concept is simple enough: dress in retro gear, get first chair at 9 a.m. and ride as many laps as possible until last chair at 4 p.m., all while raising money for the cause of your choice. Participation is free, but organizers ask anyone raising money to register through the website at support.highfivesfoundation.org.
What, exactly, is schlittentag? It’s German for “sledding day”; but, according to the folks at Keystone, it’s also a term for “daredevils willing to propel themselves down a snow-covered hill and over a jump on a sled they built themselves.” And it’s a riot. Held the afternoon of April 2, the Red Bull Schlittentag is free and open to anyone with a sled and crazy costumes. Check-in and on-site registration for teams of three opens at 10 a.m. at the Mountain House base area, followed by a sled inspection and a participant meeting at 1 p.m. The racing kicks off at 2 p.m. with music, food, drinks and plenty of carnage. To register, email the event organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, of course, is the Slush Cup, Keystone’s annual closing-day bonanza with pond-skimming for all. The main event is open to participants ages 14 and older, with a Kidtopia Slush Cup is for ages 6-13. Registration is $30 for the full event and free for the Kidtopia one. Registration is available online through the Keystone website, and day-of registration takes place 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Mountain House base area lodge, followed at 11 a.m. by the skimming. Our suggestion: register early. This thing tends to fill fast.
Breck has always embraced the laid-back vibes of spring, and, although the popular “5 Chair until 5 p.m.” deal is a thing of the past, the resort still has plenty of diversions planned for park rats.
Just about every Friday this April — April 1, April 8 and April 15 — the Breck park crew hosts a public rail jam with music, goodies and plenty of free hot dogs. Dubbed Spring Fever Park Jam, the series makes for three of the most laid-back events in the county, including free registration, a wide-open jam format and hardly any rules. Simply show up, throw down and earn the seal of approval from a panel of local judges.
“It’s a casual and fun rail jam,” park manager Greg Davidson said. “This is just all about promoting the park for spring, when things are fun and you can stay out all day.”
Every event begins around noon and ends at 3 p.m. The jam venue changes each Friday, and so the park crew will make it clear what rails and jibs are part of the venue that day with a tent, DJ booth and propane grill. Past events have drawn upwards of 100 skiers and snowboarders, with divisions for men and women in both sports. The prize: a full 2016-17 Epic Pass for winners in each division, each of the three days, which means 12 $800 passes are up for grabs. For free.
When everyone else shuts down for the season, A-Basin still has at least a month of riding left before its official closing date of June 5. That leaves enough time for one final rail jam on May 29 in conjunction with the Festival of the Brewpubs over Memorial Day weekend. Details are still in the works, but the event will be free, open to skiers and snowboarders of all ages and last about an hour from start to finish with a typical jam format. For more info, keep your eye on the Arapahoe Basin website.
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