SOURCE: Colorado Tourism Office

December 21, 2011 09:00 ET

Colorado's Extreme Winter Sports Take Center Stage in 2012

Ski and Snowboard Events and Adventures, Jeep Ice Racing, Ice Climbing, Ice Fishing and More

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - Dec 21, 2011) - This winter, Colorado dishes up extreme winter sports that will literally take your breath away. From being dropped by a helicopter on top of a snowy peak, to reeling a trout out of an icy lake, to summiting an ice wall with crampons and ice axes, Colorado transforms into an extreme outdoor enthusiast's playground in the winter months. Below is a sampling of adrenaline-pumping events to watch and activities to try:

  • Ski and Snowboard Events and Competitions.

    • ESPN's Winter X Games, January 26-29, 2012: For an unprecedented 11th year in a row, more than 200 ski, snowboard and snowmobile athletes from across the globe will land in Aspen/Snowmass to compete in ESPN's Winter X Games 16 on Buttermilk. All events at Buttermilk are FREE and open to the public. In addition to the action at Buttermilk, Aspen/Snowmass will host a FREE Bud Light Hi-Fi concert at the base of Aspen Mountain.

    • U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships, February 8 -12, 2012: Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) and Mountain Sports International team up to bring the U.S. and World Freeskiing Tours to the birthplace of Big Mountain competitions. Crested Butte was the first in the U.S. to launch an extreme skiing contest, and this season marks twenty-one years. Competitors vie for the largest cash purse on the freeskiing circuit and coveted prizes from all the sponsors.

    • The Telemark World Cup, February 11-18, 2012: The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club hosts approximately 100 international telemark athletes as they compete in all telemark events over seven days. See the world's best international telemark athletes compete in both men's and women's fields.

  • Extreme Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Adventures:

    • Guided Skiing at Silverton Mountain: Silverton offers extreme and unique lift-served ski adventures accessing up to 1,819 acres of backcountry-type terrain. There are no groomed runs, no cut trails, just loads of nature's finest black diamond skiing in the country. Each guided group of eight skiers or less can expect to hike 5-10 minutes to ski runs although some drop straight from the lift.

    • Cat Skiing at Monarch Mountain: Great powder, spectacular views, 1,000 plus acres of expert terrain, steeps, trees, cliffs, and bowls -- that's Monarch Mountain's snowcat terrain. Considered some of the best snowcat skiing in Colorado, guests enjoy skiing/riding in closely spaced trees, variable snow conditions and extremely steep slopes. Space is limited to 12 guests per day and the snowcat runs from the end of December through early April as conditions permit.

    • Heli Skiing with Telluride Helitrax: Telluride Helitrax operates in some of the highest ski terrain in North America: ranging in elevation from 10,000 to 13,500 feet. Telluride Helitrax is one of the most experienced yet personal heli-ski operations in the U.S. Up to twenty seats are available each day. Skiers are sorted by reservation groups, ability and helicopter load weight.

  • Ice Climbing:

    • The 17th Annual Ouray Ice Festival, January 5-8, 2012. The Ouray Ice Festival is the world's premier ice climbing event. This annual gathering is attended by ice climbers from around the world, as well as industry sponsors, inspiring speakers, and the world's top exhibition climbers. Festival events are held in and around the Ouray Ice Park as well as various other venues around town.

    • 2012 Lake City Ice Climbing Festival, February 4, 2012: This event includes timed lead and top rope ice climbing events with men's and women's categories held at the Lake City Ice Park. Hot food and beverages are served on site with an apres-climb awards party and door prizes.

  • Jeep Ice Racing: For the past 36 years, Our Gang Ice Racing has been holding jeep ice races on Georgetown Lake in the charming Victorian town of Georgetown. On weekends in January and February, Georgetown Lake becomes frozen over and is transformed into a race track for Jeeps and other four-wheel drive vehicles. Races are separated by class including a beginner's class, meaning that anyone can participate in a race, either as a driver or spectator.

  • Ice Fishing:

    • Antero Ice Fishing Contest, January 14, 2012: Get your poles, your bait, your sled and head to the Antero Ice Fishing Contest at Antero Reservoir in Park County. This contest is loaded with excitement, adventure and great prizes.

    • Leadville/Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby, February 18-19, 2012: This is an annual Leadville Rod & Gun Club event at Twin Lakes with prizes by type of fish. Categories include mackinaw, brown trout, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon.

Colorado is a four-season destination offering unparalleled adventure and recreational pursuits, a thriving arts scene, a rich cultural heritage, flavorful cuisine, and 26 renowned ski areas and resorts. The state's breathtaking scenic landscape boasts natural hot springs, the headwaters of seven major rivers, many peaceful lakes and reservoirs, 12 national parks and monuments, and 54 mountain peaks that top 14,000 feet. For more information or a copy of the 2012 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit or call 1-800-COLORADO. Media are invited to visit the Colorado Media Room at Follow Colorado on Twitter at or Facebook at

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