I confess, I went to the beach last weekend – it was 70 degrees and I was distracted.
But this weekend, I say take me to the River. Sunday River will be the ski event capital of the East March 26-28. There is something in the ski bag of tricks for everyone, from the best freeskiers in the country, to firefighters racing in full regalia, to a feel-good fundraiser. As for conditions, there is snow forecasted to top off Sunday River’s snowmaking depths, and if its anything like last weekend- the sun should make an appearance too.
My teens are stoked to see the second annual Dumont Cup taking place on Rocking Chair - the terrain park under the Barker Quad. Sunday River hero Simon Dumont is coming home, and he’s bringing his posse of pro skier buddies to compete in his signature pro am Big Air event Saturday. This is the freeskiers’ equivalent of Dancing with the Stars, as young park skiers compete with their Winter X Game idols. Dumont’s peeps include Jossi Wells, TJ Schiller, Peter Olenick, Colby West and Tom Wallisch - who won last year’s huge event. On Friday, 150 amateurs qualify for 20 spots with the big shots for Saturday’s showdown. Huge air and $20,000 in prizes are up for grabs. My kids will be glued to this venue (spring snow pun intended).
Going off simultaneously is Maine Handicapped Skiing’s 25th annual fundraiser. This 390-strong volunteer organization warms my heart every time I see a blind or disabled skier out on the slopes, smiling and thriving under various challenges. The Ski a Thon is a day of celebration, races, games and cookouts, raising most of Maine Handicapped Skiing funding for the 3,900 free lessons they provide annually.
On Sunday, the fun continues as firefighters from around New England race in full gear while carrying fire hoses. You can imagine the antics, the falls, and the fiery tempers as these brave (but not always graceful) firefighters fight to be first team on Tempest (ironically). Sample some heat at the chili cook-off, when local restaurants go spoon-to-spoon in a taste test at White Cap Lodge. There is a chili dog eating contest too - which I don’t recommend if you plan on bashing the spring bumps on White Heat after you eat.
The sweet tooth in the family can ski by Sunday River’s Maple Sugar Shack at South Ridge for free maple candy and syrup samples. And all eight peaks are open for skiing and riding. Should be a pretty sweet weekend at Sunday River. Better than the beach. See you there.
Heather Burke is our family ski guru, for more of her ski tips go to www.familyskitrips.com
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