By Kellen M. Quigley
Winter sports enthusiasts know that this time of year means a whole new set of conditions on the slopes.
Since the early 2000s, the annual Pond Skimming event at Holiday Valley has been a great way to welcome the spring skiing season, and this year it returns on Saturday, March 23.
This wet and wild event is a great way to take advantage of the rising temps and melting snow.
Those in the know wear creative costumes, ski down the hill and skim across an icy cold pond at the bottom.
If you’ve never noticed a pond at the bottom of Yodeler, that’s because it’s only there for the pond skimming. It’s 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.
Registration is free and starts outside Yodeler Lodge at 11 a.m.
Participants under age 18 must have a parent signature. Minimum age for participants is 8 years old.
Pond Skimming starts at about 1 p.m. and prizes will be awarded for Best Skimmer, Best Costume, Best Kid and Best Splash.
All participants get a one-day pool pass for the Holiday Valley summer pool complex.
Stick around for music, mini-snowbar with margaritas and beer specials and a barbeque.
You can sign up to ski across the ice-water filled pond or just cheer on the brave competitors — it’s a guaranteed good time either way.
For more info, visit www.holidayvalley.com.