By Alicia Dziak

Start spring break off with a splash at Holiday Valley’s annual Pond Skimming March 19. This wet and wild event is a great way to take advantage of the rising temps and melting snow.

Pond Skimming, which began in the early 2000s as a way to get more spring skiers to the slopes, attracts competitors of all ages to the Yodeler slope. Those in the know wear awesome costumes, ski down the hill, and at the bottom, skim across an icy cold pond.

If you’ve never noticed a pond at the bottom of Yodeler, that’s because it’s there for this event and this event only! The pond is created from the huge mound of snow used for the Winter Carnival Snobar. A Snowcat digs the hole, which is then covered with a tarp and the snowmaking system is used to fill it up. Since the water is cold to begin with, and surrounded by snow, the end result is an extra-chilly makeshift pond, perfect for challenging those daredevils as they head down the hill on skis and try to skim across.

You can sign up to ski across the ice-water filled pond or just watch for a guaranteed good time either way. Registration starts outside Yodeler Lodge at 11 a.m. for $5. (Kids under 18 must have a parent signature, minimum age is 8 years old.) All participants get a one-day pool pass for the Holiday Valley summer pool complex.

Pond Skimming starts about 1 p.m. and prizes will be awarded for Best Skimmer, Best Costume, Best Kid and Best Splash.

If that’s not enough, enjoy music, a mini-snowbar with margarita and beer specials, and a barbeque.

Dive in—the water’s NOT warm, but the fun will make it feel like a heat wave!