Winter X Has Come To An End

Today is the final day of the Winter X Games, and so far, it’s been my favorite. It started at Poppycocks, my favorite breakfast spot in Aspen. About halfway through breakfast, my friend Seth pointed out, very nonchalantly, that MTV reality TV star Scott Baio, the actor formerly known as Charles, was sitting at the table next to ours. Talk about a weird Winter X celeb sighting. Last night, Ryan Sheckler and the cast of Life of Ryan were hanging out watching men’s superpipe qualifiers. It’s an MTV reality fest.

After breakfast, we headed to Snowmass, my favorite Aspen mountain, to snowboard for a few hours. The conditions vacillated between sunny and warm to white-out blizzard (mainly at the top of the lifts). I was nearly blown off the lift at one point. Not kidding. After braving the first few hundred yards of a run, the winds died down and we had a fun time riding in the trees, where the wind wasn’t so blustery.

Then we hopped the bus and headed to Buttermilk Mountain to catch the ski slopestyle and skiercross contests. So far, the athletes we featured in the magazine have done really well, which is always fun and makes us feel smart. Gretchen Bleiler, our cover girl, won women’s superpipe. It was one of the best, most progressive women’s snowboard contests I’ve ever seen. Maybe that’s ever taken place. Kelly Clark came damn close to becoming the first woman to land a 1080, but she sketched on her landing. Torah Bright landed a super-technical switch backside 720. And Bleiler did exactly what she promised and added the technical tricks and amplitude she knew she needed to outcore Bright and Clark. On Saturday night, Torstein Horgmo won snowboard big air and 16-year-old Jamie Anderson won snowboard slopestyle. We sure can pick ’em.

Right now, we are bracing for a monster of a snowstorm and hoping the men’s snowboard superpipe contest will end before the clouds open. Those of us with flights out of Aspen tomorrow will not be flying out of Aspen tomorrow. So another day stuck in Aspen, snowboarding in 10-20 inches of fresh powder.

On second thought, tomorrow is shaping up to be my favorite day.

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