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Race the Winter Park WipeOut

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At Bootprints, we have simple tastes. We like to spend time in the mountains, and we like to race. We really like drinking beer in silly costumes. And we don’t like to drive very far to do those things. So every year we save space on our calendars for the Winter Park Wipe Out.

Scheduled for Saturday, March 28, the Wipe Out is a 2.5-hour scavenger hunt / adventure race designed to appeal to racers of all ages. It’s the sort of race that involves tubing and party beads… so don’t worry too much about training.

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Run Colorado’s fastest trail race

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Running is free. But every year, Coloradans spend millions on registration fees for running events. And when we do, we’re paying for four things: an official time, a cool t-shirt, a finisher’s medal, and an excuse to drink beer in the morning.

The folks behind the Greenland 50k know this. The May 2 race has the fastest course of any trail race in Colorado, and this year they’ve doubled the size of the finisher’s medals. The shirts are non-cotton tech Ts, and the beer is… still beer.

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Hike Evergreen’s Elk Meadow

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Sure, it’s February. But three weeks of high temperatures have brought a premature thaw to the high country, and that means Colorado’s elk herds are already headed northward.

Just an hour from Denver, Elk Meadow Park in Evergreen virtually guarantees elk and deer sightings during the transition months. The area’s mild climate also makes it a boon to hikers, cyclists, and equestrians early in the year.

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Party over a cold, dead body

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If you’re among our longtime readers, you already know how we feel about Nederland’s annual Frozen Dead Guy Days. The three-day festival brings together costumed hooligans, quirky events and craft beer in a crunchy mountain town, and that pretty much puts it at the top of the list of our favorite things.

From March 13–15, the festival will celebrate the afterlife of Grandpa Bredo: a dead body cryogenically frozen with dry ice in a local Tuff Shed (no kidding—read all about it here). The party is now in its 14th year, and it’s bigger than ever.

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Run or hike at Green Mountain

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By now, you’ve heard it from everyone at the office—Colorado weather is weird. And while the Centennial state’s climatic quirks make for pretty dull conversation, they can definitely throw a wrench in weekend plans. So this week, we looked for a spot near Denver that isn’t often buried in the white stuff.

Enter Green Mountain—a mesa just a few miles west of Lakewood. The area contains more than 17 miles of awesome hiking/running trails. It’s known for mild weather and quick-drying trails, making it a draw for those folks who’d rather not wait until Memorial Day to lace up their hiking boots or trail runners.

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Race Crested Butte’s Alley Loop

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Here at Bootprints, we take some pride in the diversity of our readership. Some of you are hardcore athletes looking to push your limits. Others are day-drinking costume enthusiasts, and still more of you are just looking to try something new.

Well we found something for all of you. The Alley Loop Nordic Marathon, which goes down in Crested Butte Feb. 6–7, is one of the most popular ski races in the state. It’s also Crested Butte’s biggest costume party of the year.

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Ride snow at Copper’s WinterBike

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Some people just aren’t in sync with the rhythm of the seasons. You’ve probably seen them playing on roller skis in July and eating peaches in March. And you’ll find a whole lot of them this weekend at Copper Mountain’s WinterBike races.

The 15-mile race will start at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, and is open to races of all abilities on all sorts of bikes. Because the terrain is mostly covered in snow, however, most racers will use special fat-tire snow bikes.

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State Forest State Park’s full moon hikes

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We have no way to know whether seeing a moose by the light of the full moon is on your bucket list. But if it is (and we think maybe it should be), then we have the trip for you: a full moon snowshoe through State Forest State Park.

The park, which is home to more than 600 moose, just announced that it will once more host its “Full Moon Open House” event Jan.31 and Feb. 28. Those aren’t quite full moon nights (the moon will be waxing gibbous), but both are Saturdays.

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Climb Grizzly Peak (it’s easy)

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Mountaineering is cool. That’s why pictures of mountaineers are all over those motivational posters in your office (you guys have those too, right?), and why every preschool-aged boy and girl wants to grow up to be Sir Edmund Hillary.

But climbing big, snowy mountains is scary—and it’s hard. So most of us have never gotten the chance to try it. Unless we’ve tried Grizzly Peak, that is. The 13,427-foot summit can be reached by a (relatively) gentle climb that makes the peak an accessible winter prize for mountaineers of all abilities.

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Worship Ullr in Breck

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To maintain favor with their gods, which presumably was needed to keep the sun coming up every morning, the ancient Aztecs famously pulled the still-beating hearts from hundreds of captives, slaves, and other die-hard sunrise enthusiasts. 

The Norse god of snow is not so demanding. But the worshippers of Ullr still flock by the thousands every year to Breckenridge (Jan. 11-17), where they sacrifice their livers and their dignity in return for a plentiful powder harvest.

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