There’s nothing like the energy of having a Super Bowl contender making a run for the title during the height of ski season. And there’s nothing like the home team winning it all.
Sugarloaf captured this spirit by offering a promotion on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3, inviting skiers and riders to show up wearing New England Patriots jerseys and rewarding those who did with a $59 lift ticket. Pats fans who donned the jerseys and who participated in a group photo/ski down the Whiffletree trail, also received a voucher for a complimentary lift ticket.
The resulting imagery made national news and garnered plenty of positive attention across social media. Coupled with a Patriots victory over the Rams, the promotion was a win-win.
The River Fund, formed in 2018 to support youth enrichment initiatives in Greater Sunday River, Maine, will be the full focus of supporters’ attention for 24 consecutive hours as they participate in the first 24-Hour Charity Challenge on March 16-17 at the resort.
From 9 a.m. to 9 a.m. the following day, participants will get the chance to compete in dual giant slalom on the Race Arena trail. People can compete as individuals, as teams or as corporate entries in the event, which will feature both on-snow and off-snow activities.
Participants can register online as an individual or as a team up to 12 people. Each participant is required to pay a $50 registration fee in addition to fundraising $250 prior to the event. Organizers are hoping to raise $125,000.
A pre-event party will be held Friday night, March 15, at the Foggy Goggle. In addition to skiing and riding, a slate of off-slope activities will include a Mechanical Unicorn challenge and a Giant Twister challenge.
Red Parka Challenge set for March 15
Sharpen those edges and get ready for another legendary day on the slopes at the 46th annual Red Parka Challenge Cup Race, taking place March 15 at Attitash Mountain Resort.
The race, considered the longestrunning dual giant slalom in the nation, also is the second-largest fundraising event for the Eastern Slope Ski Club, a nonprofit that provides ski equipment and helps in ski development programs in the Mount Washington Valley.
In 2018, the Challenge Cup committee successfully rallied its racers and supporters to “bump it up,” beating a set goal of $15,000 for fundraising totals, up from $10,000 in 2017. That 50 percent increase was thanks in part to a new initiative that challenges racers to fundraise using PledgeReg, an online fundraising system that racers can opt-in for when they register for the Challenge Cup.
When a racer hits $300 in fundraising efforts, the registration fee is waived. There also are grand prizes for individuals and teams that raise the most money.
“This race is all about coming together for a day of friendly competition with a single goal in mind, which is to raise as much money as possible for ESSC,” said Terry O’Brien, longtime Challenge Cup event director and owner of the Red Parka Pub. “PledgeReg has enabled us to get support and awareness beyond our racers, sponsors and event attendees, which in turn helped us raise $15,245 last year.”
Red Parka Challenge
The Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup Race is a 21-plus race and features top racers from throughout New England. The registration fee is $70 and includes a full-day lift ticket, guaranteed two runs on the course, an official race hat, a raffle ticket and a buffet dinner at the awards ceremony served by the Red Parka Pub in Ptarmigan’s Pub after racing concludes.
Registration for the event is now open at skireg.com/red-parka-challengecup-race. Online registration closes on Wednesday, March 13.
Kearsarge Brook begins phase 2
After selling all 18 units of its Kearsarge Brook Condominiums at the base of Cranmore Mountain, resort officials are now accepting non-binding reservations for phase 2 of the project, which will consist of 19 new ski-in, skiout units at the base of South Slope.
Residences in the second phase will include two- and three-bedroom units and range from 1,250 to 2,100 square feet. Construction of the second building is projected to begin as early as spring. Based on this schedule, the 19 new units would be ready for move-in prior to the 2020-21 ski season.
Phase 2 is the second of what will eventually be six new base area buildings at the base of Cranmore. New buildings eventually will replace all of Cranmore’s existing facilities, with the exception of the Cranmore Ticket Office building and the historic summit Meister Hut.
New ski facilities will include a restaurant, cafeteria, seating, locker rooms, restrooms, changing areas, rental shop, ski retail shop, snowsports instruction registration and other skier service areas.
Krass nabs World Championship silver
New Hampshire native Julia Krass, a freeskier whose six-year tenure on the U.S. Ski Team has focused on slopestyle events, took home a World Championship silver medal in her first-ever big-air competition at Park City Resort in February. Krass’ best-scoring runs included a right-side double-cork 1080 safety grab, followed by a switch 1080 safety grab.
The Hanover native who first learned to ski at New Hampshire’s Whaleback Mountain made the U.S. Ski Team as a member of its inaugural slopestyle team that competed at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Age 16 at the time, Krass finished 11th at the Sochi Games.
Her first major career result was a second in both halfpipe and slopestyle at The North Face Park and Pipe Open at Waterville Valley in 2011. She then reeled in a few Revolution Tour podiums as well as a fifth at the 2013 FIS World Junior Ski Championships and a silver and bronze at the 2013 USSA Junior Nationals.
Krass started competing in moguls at age 8, training at one time with the Whaleback Core Team under coach Evan Dybvig, a two-time Olympian in the discipline. Shifting her focus to terrain parks, she moved part time to Park City to train with Team Axis.
In Hanover, Krass is captain of her high school soccer team in the fall and enjoys freeskiing at Waterville Valley.
Stephens captures bronze
Laurie Stephens of Wenham, Mass., earned her eighth career World Championship podium by capturing a bronze medal in super-G sitting at the 2019 World Para Alpine Skiing Championships, held in Sella Nevea, Italy. Stephens, a four-time Paralympian, also finished fourth in the super-combined. She was the Paralympic champion in the discipline at the 2006 Torino Paralympics.
“There’s plenty of room for improvement, but I had fun out there,” Stephens told the press afterward. “I’m glad that I could come away with a medal at these World Championships.”
Born with spina bifida, Stephens started skiing at age 12 at Loon Mountain and began racing at about 15, joining Chris Devlin-Young’s New England Disabled Ski Team. By 2004, she was the overall and giant slalom World Cup champion as a rookie.
She secured a spot on her first Paralympic Winter Games team in 2006 and was named Paralympic Sportswoman of the Year in 2006 by the United States Olympic Committee. She was a 2006 ESPY Award nominee for Best Female Athlete with a Disability.
Ski Vermont joins climate partnership
Ski Vermont joined six other state ski trade associations from across the country in pledging support for the Outdoor Business Climate Partnership, formed to provide leadership on climate change.
“Pursuit of climate change solutions is a defining issue for ski areas across the United States,” Ski Vermont states. “Many meaningful solutions are possible with action at the state and regional level. As economic drivers in our respective states, we urge policy makers to understand that we can’t wait for lasting, bipartisan action to reduce carbon emissions, promote energy innovation and support a rapid, responsible transition to a clean energy economy. We applaud and join with the broader outdoor recreation community and the National Ski Areas Association as they pledge leadership and advocacy for climate solutions across the country. We pledge to do the same with our respective state advocacy efforts.”
Other ski trade associations united in support of the climate partnership include Colorado Ski Country USA, Ski Utah, Ski California, Ski Areas of New York, Ski New Mexico and the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association.
Sunapee snowmakers win accolades
Garnering nearly 4,000 votes over a 12-day contest period, the snowmaking crew from Mount Sunapee topped five other finalists representing resorts from across North America to win the HKD I AM a Snowmaker contest. The crew will receive a prize from HKD Snowmakers and recognition for their accomplishment.
“The dedication of our snowmaking crew is second to none,” said Bruce Schmidt, Mount Sunapee’s vice president and general manager. “They deserve the recognition this award provides.”
Other finalists in the HKD I AM a Snowmaker contest were Mammoth Mountain, Mont-Sainte-Anne, Panorama, Taos and Wildcat. Each crew created a compelling video for the contest, and the public was asked to vote for their favorite. All of the videos highlighted the hard work and camaraderie shared by snowmaking teams across North America. The contest aims to recognize how critical these crews are to the success of the industry.