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Winter 2016

Get X-treme

The X Games have been growing in popularity each year by super half-pipe proportions. People from around the globe make the trek to Snowmass ski resort in Aspen, Colorado, to see big air, even bigger wipeouts, and a whole lot of free giveaways from sponsors like Monster energy drinks, Jeep, GoPro, and the US Navy. Some have even made it a yearly pilgrimage. Here are some tips from the pros.

Dress for the Occasion

The snow up at Snowmass is perfect for people who know their powder.

It can get cold up there—very cold. Temperatures, especially at the evening events, can drop below zero before you even begin to factor in windchill. It may look sunny, but be prepared, or you might end up a frozen no-fun fan before they even start throwing in the big tricks.

Go Early
As the days go on, more people arrive and the atmosphere buzzes with excitement as the big events approach, but more people means less free swag for you. Get there early in the week (and the day) and take advantage of all the giveaways before the crowds show up and the deals disappear. Just as important, find a good spot to watch the events ahead of time. Make sure to get in position at least a half-hour beforehand (an hour is advisable for the really big events like most of the big air and half-pipe competitions).

Prepare Yourself
The athletes do better when they prepare well for the games, and so will you! Look at the schedule beforehand and map out which events you have to see and which ones you wouldn’t mind missing, then draw up a game plan. If you have a plan, you’re much less likely to miss your favorite event. Be sure to slot out enough time before big events to reserve a good spot!

Whatever you end up doing in Aspen, make the X Games yours by mixing the planned activities with whatever you love to do! The slopes are open during the day for snow bunnies and ski bums. There are free shuttles to downtown Aspen for foodies and shopaholics, and there are nightly concerts for music buffs and anyone that likes to party!

Everything is bigger up at Snowmass.

Insider Tip: Every year so far the Navy has held a pull-up competition; the daily winner takes home a sick snowboard. If you want to get a jump on the competition, dust off that pull-up bar and get big!

—Kate Zeller
Featured photo by Nate Abbot. cc