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Fly, slide, splash? It’s the skiers’ choice.

Local News

The wacky tradition of spring pond skimming is returning to resort towns, including those in New Hampshire.

A skier participates in a pond skimming event at Gunstock Mountain Resort, Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Gilford, NH. The wacky spring tradition is happening this month at ski resorts across the country and is often held to celebrate the last day of skiing. season. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)

GILFORD, N.H. (AP) — A costumed skier slides down a slope, hits a pond and floatplanes halfway. He pirouettes then dives into the icy water before jumping and waving to the cheering crowd.

It’s the wacky spring tradition of pond skimming, and it’s happening this month at ski resorts across the country. It is often organized to celebrate the last day of the ski season before the chairlifts close until the following winter.

Among the resorts hosting pond skimming events this weekend are Snowbasin in Utah and Winter Park in Colorado. The mountains of New England and California have already held events or scheduled them for later in the month. The tradition dates back decades, made famous by the late filmmaker Warren Miller who began documenting the Mt. Baker Slush Cup in Washington state in the 1950s.

Nowadays, most resorts make their own ponds with plastic sheeting and water about 1 meter deep. The idea is that skiers and snowboarders try to gain enough momentum going downhill to cross a pond. People ski in pajamas, dressed as movie characters, holding fishing rods or shirtless.

While skimming the pond at Gunstock Mountain Resort in New Hampshire this month, Dan Nutton made one of the most spectacular splashes of the day. His skis dug into the water early on, propelling him into the air with his arms outstretched like Superman before hitting the water. Hard.

“It was a little difficult going into the corner, then we hit a bump and I was going a little slow,” he explained with a smile. “So I navigated it wrong and made a mistake.”

Gunstock ended up making its pond longer and more difficult this year after too many skiers were left dry during last year’s event.

“We actually enjoy it sometimes when they don’t come – it gets the crowd more excited and it’s a little more fun,” said Tom Day, the station’s general manager, who is retiring after more than four decades in the ski sector. . “We rush out. It’s a beautiful day. We have music on the terrace, barbecue and hamburgers.

Many skiers and snowboarders showed off their prowess crossing the pond. Edward Murphy, dressed in a bright green suit, was not one of them. He said he realized halfway through that he wasn’t going to make it.

“I decided to go get some water,” he said.

“It feels good,” he added. “Dive into spring.”


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