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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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Trailhead Tip: Rabbit Ears Pass

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It might not look like it on the Front Range, but snowshoe season is here. So if you haven’t broken in your equipment (or your legs) just yet, we suggest a trip up Rabbit Ears Pass near Steamboat Springs.

The main five-mile out-and-back trail is a popular early season snowshoe destination due to ease of access and to Steamboat’s dependable snowfall. Unfortunately, it’s also a popular destination for snowmobilers. So we recommend branching off onto one of the non-motorized connecting loops.

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Colorado’s best Nordic skiing

This winter, just say no to lift lines. Clip into your Nordic skis and glide past the teeming slopes into the quiet, peaceful backcountry. Besides being one of thebest forms of aerobic exercise, Nordic, or cross-country, skiing is a great way to enjoy the mountains.

Aspen/Snowmass Nordic System

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With more than 60 miles of trails, this is one of the largest free cross-country ski systems in the U.S. The system connects the towns of Aspen, Snowmass, and Basalt—make a day of it by skiing from town to town.

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Snowshoe Copper… for free

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So the snow is finally here. And while that’s exciting news for skiers, boarders, and most dogs, we know it’s a real bummer for avid hikers. Well… it’s a real bummer for those avid hikers who don’t snowshoe.

Or at least it used to be, back in the dark days before Copper Mountain offered free snowshoe tours. Resort staff leads guided hikes every day when conditions allow, and the trips are tailored toward hikers of all (okay, most) ages and abilities.

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