As much as Aspen loves hosting the X Games, the weekend presents various logistical challenges- a shortage of lodging, epic traffic, crowds of gapers, underage drinking, and rampant public displays of drunken idiocy. Curbed Ski has put together a list of tips on how to avoid being That Person, and how to deal when the worst happens- i.e. you miss the last RFTA bus back to your accommodation (FYI, last run downvalley is at 2:15 am; in Aspen it's 2am). Read on, dear X Games lover, for this trusty survival guide.
The best way to avoid getting stranded is to not get so drunk you lose track of time. Even locals can get walloped by the effects of altitude. Dehydration, hunger, getting over-served...all of these factors play into how your body metabolizes alcohol at a given time. If you're not used to altitude, play it safe. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (water and coconut water are both good). Eat at one of these awesome spots. Remember that one drink has the impact of two. Pace yourself, and have a glass of water between drinks.
Should you still end up missing the last bus for whatever reason, here are some survival tips:
· Never, ever attempt to hitchhike on Hwy 82. This has less to do with the fact that you'll be the target of a serial killer than the likelihood of ending up road kill. It's a dark, dangerous, isolated road, so just say no.
· Aspen has some of the worst drivers on the planet. Even when sober in broad daylight, be careful crossing the streets. Second homeowners commandeering fully-loaded Range Rovers while texting means you take your life into your hands every time you venture off the sidewalk.
· Have a bartender call Tipsy Taxi. It's a free service that will deliver you to your door (temporary or permanent).
· Not free, but lifesaving if you need it: High Mountain Taxi, which covers the entire Roaring Fork Valley.
· Another do-not-attempt: Every year, in ski resorts across the nation, neophyte drinkers die of exposure from passing out in the snow. Don't be that person.
· Curbed Ski can't tell you where to actually crash if you just need to sleep it off, but we've been there, literally and figuratively. Suffice it to say, there are certain hotels and other lodging facilities in town that can provide emergency shelter if you're a.) clever and b.) don't make a scene. Some have roaring fires burning all night long, others have surprisingly roomy, swanky bathroom stalls. There are basement banquettes, cozy armchairs, and heated stairwells. Just keep it on the DL.
· Note that there are no town emergency shelters. This is Aspen. When Curbed Ski contacted the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office for a quote, the official response was, "This is a touchy subject." If you really need a place to stay and act like a big enough a-hole, there's a cell with your name on it at the county jail. Please don't be that person. Stay in control, know your limits, and have a great X Games.
-By Laurel Miller
· All X Games Coverage [Curbed Ski]