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Ski areas hosting events galore

Staff Reports

For those who are sitting around wondering what to do with this weekend – feeling the polarity between winter and spring, not knowing whether to shuck the skis and grab the climbing gear or to salvage the lingering snow – realize; winter isn’t done yet.

Like the grand finale in a fireworks show, area resorts are celebrating the culmination of the season this weekend with a number of large scale events.

Sugar Bowl celebrates its 60th anniversary year with a weekend of events and races that will recall its illustrious history, reintroducing the Tiki Cup Race and the Silver Belt Race after a 25-year hiatus. Squaw Valley, in addition to hosting the Billy Dutton Uphill Race on Sunday, is also welcoming a blistering roster of hot-shot skiers for the 2nd annual Skiercross World Championships. Donner Ski Ranch focuses its attention on the old school by hosting the Heckler Magazine Reader Appreciation Party and Legends of Snowboarding Reunion which will feature the riding of some of the pioneers of the sport.

There is a little something for every star-seeking winter connoisseur.

Sugar Bowl

On Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9, two classic events will return to Sugar Bowl. In honor of Sugar Bowl’s 60th anniversary, the traditional Tiki Cup Race and legendary Silver Belt Race will again grace the slopes of the grand Tahoe resort.

Both participants and spectators will enjoy this weekend full of Sugar Bowl’s classic style and history. Event proceeds will help support the young athletes of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Ski Academy with increased scholarship funding, improved facilities and funds for regional and national racing travel.

On Saturday, April 8, the weekend will start off Hawaiian style with the colorful Tiki Cup Race. Formerly a long-standing tradition at Sugar Bowl, participants are sure to enjoy this often-amusing contest, but the real fun begins with the luau that follows. Polynesian dancers, mai tai filled canoes and a pig roast set the stage for skiing’s best-ever beach party.

Saturday night will feature a formal dinner in the Judah lodge with a silent auction and Calcutta betting on Sunday’s classic Silver Belt Race. As early as 1939, top international racers traveled each spring to Sugar Bowl for the giant slalom race that began atop Mount Lincoln. Winners of this premier skiing event took home a coveted silver-studded belt with a silver buckle.

Don Schwartz, president of Sugar Bowl for 20 years, recalls the race with pride. “One could easily equate it to today’s World Cup – all the champions and stars of the day participated,” he said.

Sugar Bowl’s Silver Belt Race, Sun Valley’s Harriman Cup, and Aspen’s Roach Cup actually were the precursors of modern day World Cup.

This year’s race for the silver buckle will take place on the challenging steeps of the Silver Belt Run where the original race was held. Invited guests include past champions and participants, Phil and Steve Mahre, Tamara McKinney, Cindy Nelson, Billy Kidd, Stein Erickson, Andrea Mead Lawrence, Babette Haueisen, Nancy Green, Abby Fisher, Greg Jones, Eric Poulsen, Daron Rahlves and other former and current world class competitors.

All are welcome to participate in the event.

For ticket information, call the Sugar Bowl Ski Team at (530) 426-6771.

Squaw Valley

The top skiercross competitors from around the world compete for $10,000 during the 2nd annual Skiercross World Championships, April 8-9, at Squaw Valley USA.

This exciting event is open to the public and follows a standard skiercross format with four competitors racing simultaneously on a course similar to motorcross with gates, banks and huge tabletop jumps.

The skiercross movement has become the hottest new event to hit the alpine world since the freestyle craze of the 1970s. This championship event showcases the best talent in the business. With the introduction of Squaw Valley’s new KT-22/Exhibition skiercross course, the World Championships make for easy spectator viewing from the Base Village and fierce competition on the hill.

Time trials take place on Saturday and competitors must qualify in the top 32 for men and top 16 for women to advance to Sunday’s competition. The final event begins on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and the semi-finals and finals take place at 1 p.m.

Registration takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9 from 8-9:30 a.m. at Squaw Valley or preregistration forms may be downloaded from Squaw Valley’s web site at http://www.squaw.com. Entry fees are $65 (without a Squaw Valley season pass) or $50 for Squaw Valley season pass holders each day. All athletes must provide proof of insurance. Helmets are mandatory.

For more information about the Skiercross World Championships at Squaw Valley USA, contact EXP Productions at 530-582-9991 or visit http://www.squaw.com.

Donner Ski Ranch

The Heckler Magazine Reader Appreciation Party will be held Saturday, April 8, at Donner Ski Ranch. The event, which last year featured seven live bands and more than 200 raffle prizes, is open to the public and is free of charge.

It is held in conjunction with the Legends of Snowboarding Reunion which will be held on the same day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Donner Ski Ranch.

Shaun Palmer, Mike Jacoby, Tom Burt, Don Bostick, Chris and Monty Roach, Mike and Tina Basich and Tucker Franzien are a few of the names that are expected to show this year. The day is filled with giant slalom and freestyle events performed on vintage equipment. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.

For information, call (530) 426-3635.


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