The Winter X Games, the coolest competition in all of winter sports, returns to the Aspen area for an eighth straight year Jan. 22-25.

Winter X Games is an annual gathering - this is No. 13 in the series - of the world's premier winter athletes in the winter action sports of snowboarding, skiing, and snowmobiling. The Games are so huge in fact that most of the featured events are held under the lights so they can be televised live (on the ESPN and ABC networks) in prime time around the country.

The schedule calls for four full days of competition for men and women, with three new events - snowmobile speed and style, skiing big air, and snowboard big air - and a new stage on Buttermilk Mountain thrown in for good measure.

Finals in five events are scheduled Thursday and Friday evenings:- snowmobile speed and style and men's skiing superpipe Thursday, and women's skiing superpipe, women's snowboard superpipe and skiing big air Friday.

Twelve different finals are scheduled to take place both day and night over the weekend. Women's snowboard slopestyle, men's and women's boardercross, and men's snowboard slopestyle will be contested in the afternoon, and snowmobile snocross and snowboard big air will be held under the lights Saturday.

Men's and women's skiercross, mono-skier cross, and skiing slopestyle are scheduled for the afternoon, with the 13th Winter X Games coming to a close that evening with snowmobile freestyle and snowboard superpipe finals Sunday.