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Grab your cowboy hat and lasso and mosey on down to Steamboat Springs, Colo., on Jan. 15 at 1 p.m., when more than 100 cowboys and cowgirls donning chaps and hats will compete in the Cowboy Downhill. Side by side, competitors ski down a dual-slalom course, hit a four-foot jump, lasso a lady (yes, an actual person), saddle a horse, and cross the finish line. The timed event is followed by the Stampede, a mass-start race that is about as graceful as it sounds. Last year’s winner, pro bareback rider Grant Denny, completed the dual slalom in 27.75 seconds.
The night before, prime yourself for the races at the Cowboy-Up Party, preceded by the Hot Air Balloon Glow at the ski area’s base. Day of, wet your whistle in the Bud Light Tents in Gondola Square and at the Bear River Bar and Grill. Got lil’ buckaroos in tow? There’s a petting zoo, a learn-to-rope clinic, an appearance by the Broncos cheerleaders, and a concert.
The competition, co-founded by a six-time All-Around World Champion cowboy, is only open to real-life rodeo pros who mostly ride things other than skis and snowboards. In other words: It’s yard-sale central. Enjoy!
More January 2018 Events
All Month: Learn to Ski Month (Various locations). Resorts from Alaska’s Alyeska Resort to New York’s Belleayre Mountain are offering specials on lessons to lure more ski fans. Details at skiandsnowboardmonth.org.
January 6-7: 24 Hours of Stratton (Stratton, Vt.). Partner up or go it alone as you ski around the clock at the sixth annual 24 Hours of Stratton, starting at 9 a.m on January 6. The event, which also features live music and fireworks, benefits Vermont families in poverty.
January 25-28: X-Games (Aspen, Colo.). The Winter X Games will take over Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, free to all who want to watch the top freestylers go big in ski, snowboard, and snowmobile. New this year: Snow Bike Best Trick, performed on a bike where the front wheel is a ski and the rear is a snowmobile track.