Winter X Games 17 kicks off in Aspen next week, and to assist in building a little pre-game stoke we’ve come up with the top 9 reasons to look forward to the big show. This list is catered to those of you who will be attending the Games. For those who aren’t so lucky, consider these the top 9 reasons to be jealous of those who are.
1. Driving (or flying) into town, and seeing the superpipe at Buttermilk
How do you know you’ve arrived at X Games? The moment you lay eyes on the X-Gamesified superpipe at Buttermilk. During the week of X, the pipe is lined with massive light stands, each supporting a set of ultra powerful lights. Collectively, they shine so brightly that the pipe is likely visible from outer space. It’s an unforgettable sight. When you see it, you know it’s “game on.”
Party at the X Games superpipe. Photo by Daniel Bayer, courtesy of Aspen Ski Co.
2. Getting a good look at the best terrain park features in the world
Most every X Games competitor will tell you there’s no better superpipe in the world: 22′ tall, 60′ wide and more than 700′ long, it’s a behemoth. The slopestyle features ain’t half bad either. Large, technically challenging and perfectly sculpted, it’s the ultimate playground for the world’s best slopestyle skiers.
3. Seeing some of the most groundbreaking stunts of the year
It’s the biggest competition of the year. It’s big money, it’s the biggest spotlight, it’s the highest stakes, it’s the ultimate bragging rights—X Games pushes skiers to perform at their absolute best. Whether we lay eyes on a never-before-seen trick, or if we see a familiar stunt thrown bigger and better than ever before, you’re bound to exclaim, “Holy sh#t!” more than once.
4. Parties galore
The Freeskier/Red Bull party. The Monster party. Target’s house-party. X Games is party central. Some are exclusive, some are not. Some are fancy, some are not. Some you’ll remember well, some you’re remember bits and pieces of. Bottom line? Every night plays host to a slew of parties, and they’re all going to rock. A good indicator of your party prowess is the number of bracelets on your wrist when the week comes to a close. A true party star won’t leave with less than 10.
5. Fur and Bentleys
Surrounding yourself with attractive women adorned in fur boots, coats and hats is never a bad thing. Unless you’re a member of the International Anti-Fur Coalition. Seeing one of those same women behind the wheel of a Bentley is an added bonus. Luckily for you, in Aspen every one of those women will be behind the wheel of a Bentley. Try not to get caught staring.
6. Crashing in one hotel room with 10 of your best friends
Unless you booked two years ago, staying in Aspen during X is going to cost you a pretty penny, so you’ll undoubtedly be sharing your room with a troop of friends. Three to a bed, two on the pull-out couch, four on the floor and one in the bathtub. It’s all fun and games until you wake up at 3:40 a.m. and realize, “Yup, there’s that stranger from the bar hooking up with my ex-girlfriend on the floor right next to me.”
7. Fine dining
You only paid one tenth of the price per night for the hotel room, so you’ve got some extra loot to spend on food. Scratch that, you paid one ninth of the price, because there’s always that token friend who never coughs up the cash. Regardless, Aspen is home to many fine dining establishments, and you’d be a fool not to take advantage.
8. Shredding Aspen/Snowmass in your off-time
You’re not going to spend your whole day at Buttermilk watching the Games. You probably don’t care to watch more than one or two events per day. That leaves plenty of time for skiing. Ajax? Hike the Highlands Bowl? A quick jaunt over to Snowmass? Take your pick, you can’t go wrong.
9. Telling all of your friends back home how great X Games was
“Dude, you blew it. Thursday, we dominated the Sky Hotel pool and hot tub like you will never believe. Friday, we crashed the Caribou Club. Saturday, I got Jossi Wells’ autograph and six free cases of Monster and got hit on by so many high school girls.” The memories will last a lifetime. Bon voyage.
Check out the Winter X Games 17 competition schedule by day.