There's no sense in glossing over it, drinking is practically as common as cold fingers and numb toes when it comes to snow sports. No one really knows why; it could be the fact that sitting on an immobile chairlift when it's nearing 10 below isn't a pleasant experience to have completely sober. It might be that skiing and snowboarding are effectively over by 8 or 9 p.m. at the latest, so what else is there to do? Or maybe we all just need something to soothe our sore muscles. It's anyone's guess but the subculture is deeply rooted in the sport and for many, it's celebrated.
Mountain resorts (profit from) understand this facet of the snow sports world and it's lucky for us that they do. Some of the most incredible festivals and parties ever held alongside the slopes wouldn't have come about with out the help of alcohol. Many are sponsored by beer companies like Bud Light and Guinness. Some of the events on our list are even sponsored by these companies, but what's more important is that the events exist at all.
From outstanding Cajun BBQ at Steamboat's Mardi Gras celebration to Matt & Kim headlining at Copper Mountain, these celebrations have become about so much more than drinking. They've become about more than just boarding or skiing too. Whistler's World Ski & Snowboard Festival prominently features these sports but also heads the trend in bringing music, art, food and culture together to conduct an elaborate celebration that appeals to many.
Celebration of snow sports and even the drinking habits that we all joke about is inherent and necessary, but it's even better when we can use the passion for these sports and the base of the mountain as a forum for bigger cultural trends and celebrations.
Legendary Kirkwood Banked Slalom-April 12
If you're looking to round out your season in the most classic of all competitions, head to Kirkwood for its 20th annual slalom. This competition is open to anyone over the age of 5 and always draws a great crowd. Prizes are awarded for the race and for best costume, so everyone's got a shot.
Copper Mountain's Sunsation Weekend-April 13-14
Copper has partnered with Red Bull to pull off one of the most original weekend ski celebrations out there. Don't miss their "Slope Soakers" event (pictured left), which is an awesome twist on the traditional pond skim. And make it to the adventure race-it's only a 3k, so your beer will still be cold when you finish. Oh, and they have Matt & Kim headlining on Saturday, so this year's going to be huge.
Winter Park's Springtopia-April 20
The highlight of Springtopia weekend is a 46-year-old tradition called the Spring Splash. The race sets itself apart in more ways than one; this isn't just another closing day pond skim party. Skiers and riders must first make it through ridiculous obstacles and then rush to skim across an icy pond. The timed element, tricky course and abundance of alcohol going around make the event and the whole day one huge party you definitely don't want to miss.
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