Winter Park Resort will cap season with a Splash |

Winter Park Resort will cap season with a Splash

Cyndi McCoy
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County, Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

Winter Park Ski Resort’s 2008-09 ski season will end with a flourish on Sunday, April 19, with one of the most anticipated events of the year, the annual “Spring Splash.”

The entertaining weekend features several activities, with the main event being a contest with skiers and snowboarders negotiating an obstacle course that ends with an icy pond to skim across at the ski area base ” if they can.

Participants begin their descent backing out of the starting gates, going through challenges that include a bamboo jungle, hay bales, and a custom “Oh No” zone. The 41st Annual Splash, sponsored by Coca-Cola, runs noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Although cold water awaits, so does a chance at several cash prizes. Most of the zany competitors do it for fun and have made it a tradition.

Last year 95 skiers and riders started down the lower Larry Sale Trail at Winter Park Resort’s base. Grand County competitors who audiences may want to cheer on from last year’s top spots include Beth Paige of Winter Park (second place, Women’s Snowboard); as well as Debbie Sullivan of Fraser and Jacqueline Thomas of Hot Sulphur Springs, who took first and second place (respectively).

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Last year’s Men’s Ski division winner Eric Peterson reports that he has “retired” to let someone else enjoy the limelight. He skied the Splash “more for fun” than anything. The Fraser resident estimates he has placed high in the men’s ski division the last eight or so years.

“The pressure’s starting to get to me,” he laughed.

Registration is limited to the first 100 participants 18 and older (proof required). To “spice it up a bit,” Resort Communications Manager Jen deBerge announces that this year participants will race in the order they register. Contestants may register 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sunday in the Balcony House. Entry fee is $20, or $39 for lift and entry fee. Employees can enter for $15. The registered participant who guesses closest to his/her completion time wins a season pass and cash prize.

Back to the ’80s

Not only can snow enthusiasts get in their last turns of the season, but everyone is invited to enjoy several other activities scheduled during the two-day Throw Back to the ’80s-themed weekend.

Events begin Saturday in the Plaza with live music by Colorado rock band Slopeside noon to 4 p.m. Then grab your best (canine) friend, dust off the day-glow apparel, long skinny skis and old-school one-piece snowsuits for the Dress Your Dog Hot and Best ’80s Costume contests at 1 p.m.

Along with the annual Splash, Sunday’s events include live “electrified hillbilly funk” music by band Brethren Fast in the Plaza, 2-6 p.m. The resort is also offering free bump tips both days (meet at the top of the Prospector Lift 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), as well as swag and specials.

The resort’s 10-year average snowfall is 327.7 inches, with a season to-date snowfall of 339.8 inches. As of April 16, all but eight of the resort’s mountain lifts were open, including Eagle Wind. All of the runs on Winter Park Mountain were open, as well as those in Parsenn Bowl, the terrain parks, Vasquez Cirque, and Vasquez Ridge. A majority of the trails on the Mary Jane side were open (closed are the Awe, Baldy’s, and Jeff’s chutes and Hole-in-the-Wall). Lift operations this weekend run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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