On Saturday, New Belgium Brewing Co. will partner with Loveland Ski Area for their annual Scavenger Hunt. Costumes are encouraged for the spring skiing shindig, and don't count out the younger contenders when it comes to figuring out the clues and taking home the top prize. Lara Kremer likes solving puzzles, which makes her a great asset for a "hunting" party. "We have a lot of fun because it's good team building," Lara said. "You're all skiing together and trying to find stuff. I like solving riddles because it's fun for me."Last year, Lara, 12, her sister Julia, 15, and mother, Diane, teamed up to tackle the Scavenger Hunt. The event combines skiing, riding and beer drinking (if you're 21 or older) to raise money for the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance sustainability through collaboration among nonprofits, businesses, government and education. "It's cool how they're all working together to help the environment and sustain Colorado," Lara said of the Alliance.
The Kremers drive from Centennial to participate in the hunt as a family each year. At last year's hunt, Lara won a pair of skis in the raffle and donated them back to the Alliance, which held an impromptu live auction and sold the skis for $700. Lara said it felt good to give back to the organization."I just decided that I didn't really need the skis," she said. "They were way too big; I thought it would be nice and that they would appreciate it. They were thrilled, they were excited. I think they really appreciated it."Diane said the Kremers ski at Loveland often because it's not very crowded, it has a comfortable feel and it's great for beginners. Loveland holds a lot of memories for the family, she said. "My dad and I taught the girls how to ski when they were starting at Loveland, so we like to ski together and we often ski together," Diane said. So it was a natural progression for the family to become a team and tackle the Scavenger Hunt - whether that's on the slopes or from home."The first year that we did it, they said that cheating is mildly encouraged, and my dad was at home, so we called him and asked him to look up some of the answers on the computer," Lara said.
When participants register or check in for the Scavenger Hunt in teams of one to four people, they are given a clue sheet. The clues range from solving riddles about the mountain, which direct the hunters to various runs, to answering questions about the Alliance or New Belgium or chasing down on-mountain mobile clues to obtain secret words or items."When you are skiing around trying to find the characters, the mobile clues, you have to ski around and try to find them," Lara said. "Your whole team has to be present when you try to find them or it doesn't count."Points are given for each clue that is solved or collected, and extra points are given to teams in costume. The points are tallied up at the end of the event to determine a winner, and prizes are awarded to the top three teams. The Scavenger Hunt takes place all over the mountain - no area is off limits for clues, and the competition is fierce."It's competitive," Julia said. "You ski fast, and it takes you on slopes you might otherwise not go on."In addition to the Scavenger Hunt, the event also features a raffle, with prizes including a custom pair of skis with Fat Tire graphics from Rocky Mountain Underground. Each participant receives a raffle ticket with his or her registration fee, and additional tickets can be purchased for $5 each. All proceeds from the raffle and registration fees benefit the Alliance.The all-ages New Belgium Scavenger Hunt is a way to build unity, whether it's in a family or a group of beer-drinking friends."It helps you work together better because you're working together on the lift working out the clues," Lara said.