For the fourteenth consecutive year, the Winter X Games has taken over a little place called Aspen and is chock full of contests, concerts, and plenty of parties. The whose who of the shred world have descended upon the Colorado mountain town known for its overt opulence and overindulgence in powder both on and off the mountain. As per usual, the contests and concerts of the X Games will take place at Buttermilk Mountain, where SnowPark Technologies crew of elite park builders have meticulously crafted the monstrous courses.
This year, both men’s superpipe elimination and finals took place on Thursday night, whereas in years past, finals were always the marquee closing event on Sunday. Big Air takes place on Friday night where a battle of triples will ensue during the jam session that pins the top ten jump riders against one another in a fifteen minute session, followed by an eighteen minute final. Sage Kostenburg, Torstein Horgmo, Mark McMorris, and Max Parrot will be the ones to watch as they spin to win on the massive 84′ foot jump.
Women’s superpipe finals take place on Saturday night under the bright lights at Buttermilk. Fourteen year old Chloe Kim is the one to watch as she tries to best the stacked field which includes Kelly Clark, who is sixteen years her senior and the most decorated snowboarder of all time. Kaitlyn Farrington, who earned Gold at the Olympics in Sochi, unfortunately won’t be competing in the pipe. She just announced her forced early retirement due to congenital cervical stenosis of her spine. While Farrington might not have a chance to medal in the pipe, we’d wager she’ll podium in partying.
Slopestyle closes out the snowboard side of things on Sunday. Jamie Anderson, the most decorated athlete in the slope field and has earned a medal in every X Games slopestyle event she’s competed since 2006 and has her sights set on continued dominance. She’ll be up against Silje Norendal, who beat her last year by earning gold, and other heavy hitters including Spencer O’Brien and Enni Rukajarvi.
Sage Kotsenburg, Olympic Gold Medalist at the Sochi Games, looks to get back in the limelight after a disappointing showing at the Dew Tour in Breckenridge last month where he failed to make finals. The field is packed with riders with burgeoning bags of tricks, so X Games gold is really up for anyone who lands cleanly and stylishly.
New this year is an official Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding Dual Slalom competition which takes place on Thursday. Ten Special Olympics athletes were selected to participate along side pro snowboarders including Hannah Teter, superpipe Gold medalist in the Torino Olympics of 2006. Each team consists of one Special Olympics athlete and one X Games athlete for the dual giant slalom race.
Skrillex, Snoop Dogg, Chromeo, and Wiz Khalifa are all slated to perform at the base of Buttermilk throughout the festival inspired event.
Tickets are required to access the viewing area, so cop your tickets here.
Here’s a rundown of the athletes competing, the full schedule, and best places to hit up during the X.
Best Lift to Lap: Tiehack on the right side of Buttermilk. All the action happens on the courses on the front side of Buttermilk, so to avoid the kooks and actually get a solid lap in during the weekend of craziness, head to this lift. Crank a couple turns on the steepest runs on Buttermilk, to help stay sane amongst the extreme attendees of the X Games.
Apre Scene: Jimmy’s Bodega. This is well known Aspenite and restauranteur, Jimmy Yeager’s, second operation in Aspen. Located downtown on Mill St. across from the Wheeler Opera House, the Bodega has a super fun scene for apres and dinner with specials on oysters, champagne, tacos and burgers. It’s also known as the spot for the ESPN crews to flock to. You never know who you might see. Did someone say mezcal?
Concerts: Belly Up. Every night a different show pops off at Aspen’s most notorious music venue. Snag your tickets, or try to get on someone’s list. It’s the place to be, until it’s not.
Monster Party: The top of Ajax Mountain will be the place to be on Saturday night for the annual Monster Party. A surprise performance will pop off in the super exclusive party. Good luck getting into this soiree.
Bars: Jimmy’s for post contest cocktails and a few shots of mezcal. Then everyone funnels to Eric’s, Cigar Bar, and closes out the night dancing between Escobar and Bootsy Bellows. If you don’t know, now you do.
Best Cheap Eats: Xtreme Baloney Sandwich from Butcher’s Block is $3.25. Or you can opt for a $100 Tomahawk steak at Steakhouse 316. It’s your call, but we suggest saving your pennies for partying.
Best Brunch: PoppyCocks. Lowkey breakfast spot in Aspen. Mega good eggs Benedict, prompt service, and no liquor license so you won’t be tempted to retox after you send it deep the night before.
Party Houses: The Native Roots House presented by Munich and Co. Gear up to get grimy at the house where weed can be openly consumed. Snoop Dogg is slated to perform, and there is an entire ultra VIP lounge dedicated to Foria, a new highly publicized marijuana massage gel that is being launched at X Games.
No Target Chalet this year, so ResQwater is coming in clutch with their own Chalet. Good luck getting in though, you need to know somebody that knows somebody. Or win a gold medal. That always works with the door guys.
Oh snap. Winter X Games 15, we ready.