By Alicia Dziak

To celebrate the (almost!) end of winter and the ski season, Holiday Valley hosts their annual Pond Skimming this weekend. On Saturday, March 18, downhill enthusiasts can brave the elements and head down the bottom of the Yodeler slope to skim over an icy cold pond.

A pond at Yodeler, you ask? If you’ve never noticed it, that’s because it’s only there for this event. The pond is created from the huge mound of snow used for the Winter Carnival Snowbar. 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.

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 make it even more fun, many of the competitors don a costume for a chance to win a prize for Best Costume. Other prizes will be given out for Best Skimmer, Best Kid and Best Splash.

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 at about 1 p.m. Spectators welcome!

“Pond skimming is all about having fun and welcoming spring,” said Jane Eshbaugh, Holiday Valley’s marketing director. “It’s a great event to watch, have a beer from the mini snowbar, or a ‘cheeseburger in paradise’!”

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