End-of-season blitz at Red Mountain Resort

It’s the final month of skiing at Red and the resort is putting on a full-scale blitz to the finish with games every day from March 12 to 20.

  • Mar. 10, 2011 12:00 p.m.
A snowboarder soars during the Big Air competition at Red Mountain in March last year. The resort again has a series of events planned to wrap up the ski season this year.

A snowboarder soars during the Big Air competition at Red Mountain in March last year. The resort again has a series of events planned to wrap up the ski season this year.

It’s the final month of skiing at Red and the resort is putting on a full-scale blitz to the finish with games every day from March 12 to 20.

Events range from a randonée (ski-touring) race to downhill biking in the snow, a scavenger hunt, a hill-wide poker run, and many other races from ski cross to cliff dives to moguls.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Red’s Mika Hakkola, “we’re just going through the prize vault now.”

Each day, registration will run from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Kokanee tent beside the day lodge at the base. Races begin at 11 a.m. with prizes and partying at 3 p.m. in the lodge.

Two avalanche beacons are up for grabs for the top male and female contender in the first annual Redhead Randonée Race on March 12. Participants will skin up Dale’s Trail and Sally’s Alley and scream down the Cliff and Face. Entry is $10.

That evening, the Kokanee Kickoff Party in Rafters ($5 tickets) has a blue-and-white theme, with prizes for the best costumes, while DJs Incorrigible and Bryx keep it grooving.

On March 13, Alpine Canada’s Ski Cross Showdown begins at 12:30, but registration is actually the day before, on Saturday afternoon, and last chance registration ends at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

The cost is $35, or $25 for Alpine Canada members, with 50 per cent off contestant’s lift tickets. For more information, contact Lynn Carmichael at 362-7384, or lynn@redresort.com.

The RBC Riders boarder cross event is a day of high-level coaching on March 14 aimed at kids 14 and younger. It costs $30 ($20 for BC Snowboard Association members), and you can register by calling Cathy Astofooroff at 250-491-7626 or admin@bcsnowboard.com.

Spring Fest fun steps up a gear for Tuesday, March 15’s photo scavenger hunt. Teams of all ages and stages can register for $10 and, using their own camera, go looking all over the mountain for answers to riddles.

“The first person to show up with the right photos in the right order, there’s your’ top dog,” Hakkola said.

Cruise the Blues, a popular and long-standing event put on by Potsie Crawford, will run on Wednesday, March 16. Participants ski all the blue runs, checking off a card with stamps and stickers. Entry is free.

The Poker Run on March 17 run by Chantal Lajoie gets participants to follow directions on a clue sheet to ski to five locations. At each spot, they choose a card from a deck, and return to the lodge with five cards.

Registration is $2, but for an extra toonie, you get a sixth “bonus” card. The highest poker hand wins, with prizes for the top three finishers.

Friday, March 18, sees the return of an old favourite: the Fat Tire Slalom.

“We recognize there’s a lot of crossover from skiing to biking,” Hakkola said. “Spring’s starting to creep from the valley up and people are starting to think of it.”

Bring your own mountain bike and a full-face helmet, plus $10 to register. The race goes down rider’s right of the Face of Red, in the same place where the luge events were held during Winter Carnival.

“There’s fantastic prizing from Revolution Cycles,” Hakkola added, with “goodies” from hydration packs to downhill padding and biking attire.

The same day, a free ski competition open to anyone aged eight and older ($10 registration) will run down Papoose bowl.

“Clearly, they have to be confident to ski advanced terrain,” Hakkola said, “but knowing what and how the kids ski around here, I don’t think that’s much of an issue!”

On March 19, the long-running Cliff Dive race begins at 11:30 a.m. on the top of Red Mountain.

Registration is $10 and anything goes — participants can race on skis, snowboards or teles. At the end of the day, Fernie’s Shred Kelly will get Rafters hopping.

Spring Fest ends in style on Sunday, March 20, with mogul racing on the T-bar slope (registration is $10), and a free day of freestyle coaching put on by Canada Freestyle, running from 9 a.m. to closing.

“Try Freestyle” is a new program designed to increase awareness of the sport. Multiple coaching sessions will run simultaneously, helping kids develop everything from carving turns to jumps in the terrain park.

For more information, visit www.freestyleski.com.