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My Extreme Aspen Experience: ESPN Winter X Games

Angela Shy's picture

ESPN Winter X-Games 15 at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, COESPN Winter X-Games 15 at Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, CO ASPEN, CO I got to spend 3 days in Aspen... DURING THE X-GAMES NO LESS!! It was a great experience that came along with a few “bumps and bruises” but I surely wouldn't trade a moment of it!

I live in Eagle and have attended at least 1 day of the “Games” each Winter since they've been in Aspen. This year was different in the manner that I got to stay Fri-Sun... had condo accommodations and lift tickets for Buttermilk! It was like I had hit a mini jackpot! I jumped on the opportunity to immerse myself in the Aspen Winter X-Game 15 experience that seemed to have just been laid at my snowboard boot covered feet :)

My adventure started with the 1.5 hour drive from Eagle. My brother Jamison and I headed out early so as to be able to get up on Buttermilk and play for a while. After settling into our “digs” we got geared up, jumped on the shuttle and headed towards the action! The sun was shining and the energy was pumping. Aspen was surely abuzz with the vibe that can only be felt when one is in the perfect place at the perfect time... I felt that vibe :)

The Inn at Aspen was hopping with ESPN'ites, X-Game 15 Athletes, friends & family of both, etc. and as we passed through towards the backside exit I felt great gratitude for my life and where it had placed me at that moment.

Once outside my senses heightened:
My ears filled with the sounds of snowmobiles revving, announcers offering insight on the goings on, attendees chattering, the chairlift running...
My eyes took in the sights like a child! The ½ Pipe was so large it seemed almost cartoon like! The final jump before the finish line for events such as: Boarder-Cross, Big Air, Mono-Ski, etc... was SOOOOO HUGE my stomach dropped a bit from just looking at it!
My tongue welcomed the SUPER SOUR flavor of the Warheads that have become a welcome X-Game staple and finally the board beneath my feet felt the touch of somewhat fresh fallen snow and welcomed it like an old friend :) What a way to start a day!! And this was only Day 1!
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Snocross practice for Winter X-Games 15!!Snocross practice for Winter X-Games 15!! Day 2 was spent watching, Watching, WATCHING!!
I filled the hours watching X-Game activities:
Snowmobiles and there amazing riders doing back-flips while they practiced the Best Trick event to be held the next day. I was able to gain access to the top of an extremely tall “scaffolding” building that truly gave me a birds eye view of what was taking place around me. I was well above the Snowmobiling area and as the sleds hucked themselves into the air the fact that I was still above them made my stomach do the same kind of flip! Snowboarders practiced racing each other down iced-up courses in hopes of being the first to the bottom and they re-vitalized my own need for speed! Maybe one day I'll actually enter a Boarder-Cross event myself!! I finished the day watching our urban snow riding friends do there thing in the new “Snowboard Street” event that wowed the crowds. This event showcased the desire to “ride” under ANY conditions no matter where one might be. It helped me to see that the cities have there own secret mountains. We just have to open our eyes and our minds to the possibilities that surround us just like these incredible guys did AND do :)

After heading “home” and chillin' out for a bit I decided to head out on the town with my peeps ;) I'm no longer involved in the mainstream party scene but do enjoy the nightlife now and then. We decided to just walk into town and see where we ended up. Downtown Aspen was hopping and after getting denied at our first 3 stops we were lucky enough to find ourselves entering The Red Onion. The place was packed, both bar & dining area, so I found myself a comfy spot to lean near the stairs to the restroom and the host's podium. After chatting with an employee about having spent much of my own personal life behind the apron, working late, busy season in action and general restaurant stuff I came to find that the gentleman I had been speaking with was one of the owners of this famed eatery! What a pleasure it was to meet someone able to look past there label and interact with me on an honest and down to earth level. My social goal now complete I decided to head back to the condo. Day 2 done :)
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Day 3... Sunday was the last day of the X-Games and with it also came another big reason as to why I was in Aspen. My Dad had a gig at Jimmy's Restaurant, the host of an ESPN employee/athlete after “games” party and Dad was the entertainment :) My Dad has a Karaoke/DJ biz, Shyguy Karaoke & DJ, that I enjoy helping out with when the opportunity arises. Though my love for singing is the underlying reason I help out this gig brought with it not only extra cash for me but a chance to try out some tasty treats off the bar menu at Jimmy's. I opted for the Alaskan King Crab Mashies and some 12 Onion Soup. DEEEEEEEELISH!! The mashies and their creaminess were close to the best I've EVER had! Enough crab that my shellfish fix was filled and the soup and pot's filled my hungry belly. The restaurant was standing room only when we got there and stayed that way pretty much until the place closed! The party was great with my personal favorite moment taking place when snowmobiling legend Levi Lavallee stepped up to the mic to belt out a little Bon Jovi, “Wanted Dead or Alive” style! A moment very few witnessed but I'm sure many wish they could have :)

The time eventually came to pack up and head back to the room for what was left of the “night” only to pack up once again the next morning and head back to my real home.

What a weekend I had had! I got to stay in a sweet condo!! I shopped at the Aspen City Market! I attended a most coveted Winter event: ESPN Winter X-Games 15!! I walked into town for coffee at Johnny McGuires! Rode Buttermilk Mountain! I feel as though I got a peek into what it's like to be an Aspen local during the coolest part of the Winter season! I'm one lucky gal :)