The Outsider: Slush in February and the Valentine’s Day Massacre |

The Outsider: Slush in February and the Valentine’s Day Massacre

It’s President’s Day Weekend — one of the biggest ski holidays of the season — and if you haven’t been to the mountains yet you might be surprised (and just a little discouraged) by the snow conditions. The sun has been blazing for about a week straight, bringing with it unseasonably warm temperatures and the kind of snowmelt we usually don’t see until mid-April. It’s made for patio lounging, not powder charging, which might not be worth the vacation hours.

But don’t curse Ullr quite yet. Most meteorologists (including Snow Sage Joel Gratz of Open Snow) agree that a weak system will bring at least a few new inches to Summit County between Sunday and Monday, just in time to soften the ice and fill the chop before the holiday ends. That’s the circle of life in the Rocky Mountains: bluebird one day, overcast the next, powder after that and then right back to bluebird. Not a bad routine, especially since there are dozens of distractions on and off the snow.

Pond hockey in Silverthorne

Colorado isn’t usually known for outdoor hockey — except for this weekend. From Friday through Sunday, about 900 adult hockey players of all abilities and backgrounds converge on North Pond Park in Silverthorne for the Pabst Blue Ribbon Colorado Pond Hockey Tounrament. It’s the largest tourney of its kind in this neck of the woods (as in west of Minnesota and south of Canada), and it’s free to spectators from the first game at 7:30 a.m. to the final one at 11:30 p.m. every day. Check out the full article, including a schedule and info on tonight’s party. PBR, pond hockey and skiing — that’s winter in a nutshell.

Valentine’s Day Massacre

On the opposite end of the county is a much different — and just as raucous — tournament with a name that rivals the best horror films. Welcome to the Valentine’s Day Massacre, a one-day adult rugby tournament held Saturday at Kingdom Park in Breckenridge. From 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m., a collection of men’s and women’s teams from across the state brave the snow (maybe) and each other (definitely) for the title of Valentine’s Day Massacre champion. Who wouldn’t want that?

But there’s more. Around noon, the Summit High boy’s rugby team plays a scrimmage against Aspen, their first game of the new year before the regular season begins in March. Be sure to drop by 11-year-old Devon Clarke’s bake sale tent for homemade cookies, cupcakes and peppermint crèmes. Proceeds go to the Snow Leopard Trust, a nonprofit young Clarke picked when she planned and organized the sale.

Powder to the ladies

Even if it doesn’t snow, this weekend and the coming week are prime time for ladies to get on the slopes at Breckenridge. The resort is hosting female-only clinics, classes, workshops and other events from Feb. 13-21, all built around skiing with peers who are just as excited to charge powder as you are.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, SheJumps, a worldwide organization for outdoor junkies, is hosting a free get-together and group ski event at Breck. Dubbed Get the Girls Out, the group meets at the Peak 8 Starbucks (found inside Ski Hill Grill) for a day of guided skiing and mentoring with other ladies.

The week continues with free women’s yoga in the Adams Room at One Ski Hill Place. The hour-long sessions begin at 10 a.m. daily and a mat is recommended.

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