Breckenridge Ski Resort closes 2017-18 season with Plunge (with video) |

Breckenridge Ski Resort closes 2017-18 season with Plunge (with video)

Breckenridge Ski Resort packed it up for the winter Sunday, closing out yet another ski and snowboard season with the always wacky, often inebriated, guaranteed-to-get-you-wet Breck Plunge.

For many, the last day of skiing is comparable to a last day of school. Happy in many ways, but bittersweet at the same time.

People were thoroughly enjoying themselves Sunday, getting one last chance to hit the slopes with a big party to boot. But there’s also a tinge of blues, knowing these will be the last runs until the next go-round.

“Sadly so,” said Ward Malek, who took home top honors at the plunge before agreeing there’s really no better way to end a season. The 36-year-old ski instructor added that he’ll be back next year and every year after that “until the day I die.”

Story continues under video.

For the plunge, the resort put up a pond at the base of Peak 8. All the roughly 75 participants needed to do was sign up, pay the fee, dress the part and possess the necessary courage to attempt to skim the frigid water.

The best tip offered: the faster one goes, the more likely he or she is to reach the end. Regardless, taking the plunge remained a very high possibility, and while many did find reason to celebrate at the end, more failed than succeeded — depending, of course, on how one defines success.

Skimming the pond wasn’t the only way to score points and win prizes because the resort also honored the participants with periphery awards, like best dressed and best plunge.

Dressed in a panda suit, Brian DeGryse had to hold his head on when he hit the jump coming into the pool. Like so many others, he didn’t make it to the end, but soaked, he was a hit with the crowd and won best costume for his efforts.

Malek himself came as “Fast Eddie,” a throwback of sorts, clad in flag-inspired attire, including a pair of shorts made to look like the Stars and Stripes and a tank top with whom else but Chuck Norris, firing two Uzis, no less.

Throughout the beginning of the 2017-18 season, as the state snowpack remained below normal, almost everyone was wanting. April was a gift, however, with more than 5 feet of snow falling on the resort during the last three weeks.

That was far from everyone’s mind Sunday as clear skies helped temperatures shoot into the low-50s, and swimsuits were all too common, not just among the competitors, but in the crowd as well.

“What better way to close out than the Breck Plunge?” Zak Sos, a resort spokesman, asked rhetorically. “You have people and their zany costumes having a lot fun with live music. It’s just a great party scene.”

Attention has already turned to this summer, with Epic Discovery at Breckenridge Ski Resort expected to open June 8. Epic Passes are also now on sale for the 2018-19 ski season, Sos mentioned, as he encouraged people to act now to lock in the lowest price.

In Summit County, Keystone Ski Resort closed out its season two weeks ago while Copper Mountain Resort held its end-of-season festivities last weekend. Now, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, which expects to close in June — along with nearby Loveland Ski Area, which goes until May — are the only two left running.


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