Winter X Games Launch in Aspen

Returning to Aspen for its 12th year, the Winter X Games are four days of intense snow-sports competition coupled with in-town aggressive partying. It all officially starts tomorrow, but the energy-drink trucks and college kids are already rolling into to town in preparation for the weekend, running through Jan. 27.

Spectators can watch it all go down from the comfort of your home on ESPN and ABC, or in person at the base of Buttermilk Mountain. Here are the hottest storylines:

  • Two-time gold medalist Kelly Clark will go for her third medal in women’s snowboard superpipe, but Elena Hight is on her heels after landing a double cork in May.
  • Shaun White has a new ‘do and a new bag of tricks. He’s tied for the most X Games medals ever, and is reportedly set to try a triple cork in the men’s slopestyle snowboard competition on Saturday afternoon, going for his 15th medal. On Sunday, he’ll go for the six-peat in men’s superpipe, after earning a perfect score of 100 in 2012.
  • In skiing big air, the tricks get bigger and better every year. Last year, Bobby Brown won with a switch double 1440 mute grab and a switch double cork 1260 high mute grab. Sound like French to you? In this case, you don’t have to know the names to understand when these skiers are going.
  • If it’s not enough to huck human bodies off insane jumps, try 500-pound machines. The snowmobile contests are crazy tests of man and metal. Snocross and one of the sport’s biggest stars, Levi LaVallee, return Sunday afternoon. Before that, catch snowmobile freestyle; last year’s winner did the first double backflip to take home Best Trick.

Stay tuned for coverage of off-the slope action and event coverage.

Shaun White holds up his chopped hair on his YouTube channel in December. He cuts his hair for Locks of Love.