It may not have been the nicest of spring days but the Keystone Resort faithful still came out Sunday for one last shot at hitting the slopes. A handful of the more daring among them also suited up for Keystone’s fourth annual Slush Cup pond skimming contest. With costumes ranging from an adult-size Easter peep to a bathing-suit-clad lifeguard, participants shot down the slope above the Mountain House base area to launch off a kicker and attempt to cross a roughly 20-yard-long man-made pond.
“This is always such a fun way to close out the season,” resort spokeswoman Laura Parquette said after the competition.
After a fair amount of unbalanced splash landings, it was a 360-throwing mustard bottle by the name of Oliver Umpleby that took top honors for the day.
“I had a bunch of friends that did it last year and it looked like it was a lot of fun,” a shivering Umpleby — still clad in a sopping wet mustard suit — said after winning. “I’m surprised. I didn’t think it was going to happen. I was just going to go out and have some fun with it.”
While both of Umpleby’s final run 360s ended with crash landings, the creativity was enough to earn the judges’ favor. For his shivers, Umpleby earned a season pass for the 2014-15 ski season. Passes were also awarded for best costume and best crash.
When asked about the wet landing, Umpleby said, “It was cold but your adrenaline’s pumping, so it wasn’t that bad.”
With the April 20 closure Keystone ended its longest season in over a decade. Breckenridge Ski Resort and Copper Mountain Resort will follow suit this coming Sunday, April 27.
Breckenridge going Big next weekend
Breckenridge will close its season with style next weekend as recent Olympians and members of the resort’s Epic Pro Team will showcase their talents in the mountain’s team Big Air Showcase exhibition Saturday, April 26.
Guests can watch from the base area of Peak 8 or up on the hill as the group of pros launch off the large slopestyle jump at the bottom of the resort’s Freeway Terrain Park. Confirmed athletes include 2014 Sochi Olympians Bobby Brown, Keri Herman, Faye Gulini and Possum Torr, as well as pro team members Eric Willett, Zach Black, Brett Esser and others. Willet only recently returned to snow after cracking a vertebra during the Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain earlier this season.
Athletes will be on hand afterwards for photos and an autograph signing. Festivities will continue at the mountain on Sunday with a closing day luau. Breckenridge will be open all week leading up to the Sunday, April 27 closing, but under limited operations. Peaks 9 and 10 closed for the season April 20.
Copper Mountain will be closed during the week but will reopen for their final weekend starting Friday, April 25. They will also close for the season April 27.