Ullr Fest 2013: Get Your Snow On

By any standards, the United States boasts some truly worthwhile winter getaways, from the blue shores of Lake Tahoe, to all those East Coast resorts that try to compete with their Western counterparts yet never do. Out in Colorado, a state known for its generous mountain profile and equally epic outdoors scene, a major holding of winter locales are routinely bustling with activity and serving up satisfied customers. Bullz-Eye was given the chance to experience a few days at Breckenridge, one of the premier resorts Colorado has to offer, during one of its most enjoyable times of the year: Ullr Fest.

When I first got the email regarding Ullr (pronounced Ooler) Fest, I was in a state of complete darkness as to the meaning. In the back of my head, crude images of massive stone hammers and snowy, bearded warriors filled the void, vainly trying to conjure up any sort of applicable knowledge. It turned out my premonitions weren’t completely off, and the whole celebration was in fact Breckenridge’s way of honoring the Norse god of snow, Ullr.

All people who share a love for the outdoors have some sort of relationship with the weather. Cyclists pray for absence of rain, surfers yearn for hearty swells and so on. Snowboarders and skiers have that similar connection, yet take it to a whole other Bobby and Whitney sort of magnitude. The degree of snowfall can literally make or break half of the year for those who passionately delegate an entire season to winter sports. On a grander scale, resorts can lose significant amounts of revenue due to lackluster precipitation and the disinterested wake that follows.

So what actually happens at Ullr Fest? Are there droves of cute females walking the streets, clad only in fur bikinis and Viking helmets? Is the whole town mobilized into a party mode that rivals New Year’s Eve levels of intensity? And better yet, what does the whole experience say about Breckenridge and its ability to provide a worthwhile winter vacation? To make a long story short, the whole week was quite an epic adventure, but to adequately answer those questions, an introduction must be made about the team who participated, because seldom are the times when an individual alone is able to truly breathe in all the possibilities a new area has to offer:

Press:

Dane, Thrillist: More or less average build, with a clever and hilarious way of adding to every conversation and setting. Mannerisms similar to comedian Dane Cook.

Seth, Maxim: Nickname earned due to his uncanny facial similarity to Seth Rogen; if it weren’t for his towering height, he may actually be a full-fledged twin.

PR:

Drew: Pleasantly down-to-Earth, yet seriously extensive in her knowledge and passion for the area. Drew Barrymore doppelganger.

Daphne: Beautiful, interesting and once from Seattle. Being that Martin Crane’s physical therapist is just about the only female I know from the area, the nickname will have to stick, and yes, that was a “Frasier“ reference.
Kanye: The mastermind behind the entire organization and execution of the trip. A true professional, and much like the aforementioned rapper, Chicago raised.

Early frustrations

Do you ever have nightmares depicting missed flights or late/botched airport arrivals? Both seemed to rear their ugly heads last Tuesday when I stared in disbelief as my phone relayed a text from my “ride.”

“Shit came up, can’t give you a ride. Sorry man.”

Can’t give me a ride? Two hours ago would have been a perfect time to drop such a bomb, but not now. Oh well, I quickly thought, all is not lost – Go-Go Gadget Drive Myself. I flew down to the car and punched it aggressively for the next hour, cursing the heavily inundated 19th Avenue of San Francisco and looking at every red light as if I had never seen such an atrocity before.

As I neared the airport, the horrible realization was that I had zero time to drop my car in nearby Millbrae and instead was forced to throw up a Hail Mary. I drove straight into 2-hour parking, tossed my luggage outside, and then left forty dollars, the parking ticket, and my car keys in a tissue box deep inside the trunk. The final touch was the front door unlocked and a text message to my buddy who lived a short distance away, pleading with him to grant me this one favor.

Colorado, finally

After the day unexpectedly morphed into such a hectic beast, I was overjoyed when the plane touched down in Denver and I was soon aboard the hour and 40 minute shuttle towards Breckenridge. Something needs to be said about the drive up to Breckenridge. The road lazily tilts upward and soon you get the feeling that an ominous space mission is being made into the dark skies, ear-popping and all.

It was throughout the drive that I found myself laughing at our shuttle driver, Ted; not at him personally, but at the routine which followed whenever he chose to make but the slightest change in heater settings. He’d crank the dial ever so slightly and almost immediately, a reprieve would echo from the shadowy passengers in the rear.

“Umm, Ted, can you turn that down a hair?” or, “Ted, could you make it blow less? Like, the temperature is okay, but there is a lot of air coming out, right on my head,” and further, “Ted, the passenger in the back would like it to be a bit colder. Thanks.” This pattern repeated itself multiple times, to the point where the lady in the front seat reached over and patted his shoulder, saying, “You’re doing great, Ted.” This made me laugh.

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App of the Week: Twist

Developer:
Twist and Shout Inc.

Compatible With:
iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Requires:
iOS 4.0 or later

Price:
Free

Available Here

Do you know somebody that’s just impossibly perfect? They’re always impeccably dressed, are constantly in a good mood, and never seem to be late?

That last one’s just not natural. I mean, I rarely intend to be late (unless its work, school, or dreaded social obligations), but things just happen sometimes. Yet for as inevitable as running late is, it still manages to complicate your life in tremendous ways, as the act of running late has seemingly become socially understandable, but the acceptance of having to wait on someone running late has not. So what’s the answer? Do we all just work to become that perfect individual who leaves on time, anticipates delays, and keeps to their word?

Well, thanks to the new app Twist, such self improvement is no longer necessary. Twist recognizes that you’re going to be late no matter what amount of traffic, directions, and planning apps you already have on your phone. Rather than combat the inevitable, Twist simply helps you adjust your life to accommodate it. Using a GPS system, Twist allows you to see exactly where your friends are en route to you, or vice versa, and can alert you as to their progress. Not only that, but the app provides an estimated arrival time, as well as functionality with other applications. An example would be if you see your friend is lost. You could use your phone to then send the appropriate directions from their exact location (especially helpful as it keeps them from having to use their phone in traffic, or in the middle of a crowded street). More than just serve as a social convenience, though, the developers of Twist are also using it in an effort to cut down on dangerous acts like texting while driving.

Very few of us can get through the day without meeting somebody, somewhere, in some fashion. Besides the life saving features it incorporates for people running late, Twist also allows for a tremendous level of communication between people meeting up, even if the timing is right. While it’s another app that borders somewhat on stalking if used in the wrong hands, it does mean we may finally be able to end the sitcom scenario of being late for your date and madly scrambling to keep them in touch regarding the wacky events that transpired leading to your tardiness.

For that, this is a no brainer app of the week.

  

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