Seeking powder skiers |

Seeking powder skiers

BRECKENRIDGE – Consider it a challenge.

Rick Ascher, organizer of the 23rd annual Breckenridge Powder 8 Championships, would like to see some Keystone and Arapahoe Basin loyalists enter the fray.

The contest is scheduled for March 26 or 27 (whichever day has better conditions) on Peak 7. About eight teams (of two) are registered, and about eight spots are available. The event has a strong Breckenridge following, but Ascher is looking to introduce some new local skiers.

“I’d like to get some people from the other side of the county,” Ascher said. “A lot of the teams that have been doing it have been doing it for a while. So I’d like to get some new blood, stir things up a little bit.”

The Breckenridge Powder 8 Championships was once an international event. It was founded by Jim Hamilton, who passed away four years ago, and for most of its run, was a major stop on the powder 8 circuit. Ascher took over the event for Hamilton and scaled it down, reclaiming it for Summit locals.

“It was getting a little bit too big,” he said. “And a lot of the local guys just wanted it to be a local event.”

Now, though, it’s almost too local to Breckenridge.

The contest moved from Imperial Bowl to Peak 7 last year. The move eased access to the terrain – skiers can traverse to Debbies Alley, Vertigo and Y Chute as opposed to hiking about 30 minutes to reach the Imperial Bowl terrain. Three runs are required to win the event, but endurance now plays a lesser role.

“You still have to do three runs,” Ascher said. “There’s still some endurance factor. But not as much as when it was in Imperial.”

Breckenridge Ski Patrol will close Peak 7 a couple days before the contest to increase the possibility of fresh snow. The teams are judged on the shape of turns, speed and how in sync they ski.

Those interested in competing should contact Ascher at (970) 485-1022.

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