Summer splash season at A-Basin |

Summer splash season at A-Basin

ARAPAHOE BASIN – Anyone who thinks water skiing is hard to come by in Summit County should think again.

In the minds of Arapahoe Basin officials, summer skiing wouldn’t be the same without the combination of alpine equipment, water and a big, cold splash.

The Basin is conducting its fifth annual Summer Solstice Splash Saturday, opening the pond at the bottom of Ramrod to anyone wanting to attempt a crossing on their skis or snowboard.

“It’s pretty entertaining,” said Jason, “Soda Pop’ Anthony, who is a regular in the splash event and who won the 2003 Enduro last month with his brother, Billy Anthony. “It’s a fun kind of thing to watch, and I recommend that everyone try it. I fell in once before. It’s only about three feet deep, but the water’s about 40 degrees. Needless to say, I didn’t put my ski boots on for about a week.

“I was coming down off the hill, I got the high side on one side and wiped right out. I’ll have to see how warm it is Saturday to decide if I’m going to try to fall in or not. They have people in wet suits in case anyone gets stuck.”

A-Basin officials expect the area’s season to end July 6. Tuesday was the last day for the Pallavicini lift, but 75 percent of the mountain is still open, and there is a 44-inch midway base. Beginning Monday, the Basin will begin the summer operating hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., but the lifts will stay open until 4 p.m. today, Saturday and Sunday.

The splash event kicks off at noon Saturday, and even skiers and snowboarders who don’t think they can make it across the 50-foot pond are encouraged to take a crack at it.

“The crowd likes it when someone makes it across, but they really like it when someone doesn’t,” said A-Basin mountain manager Alan Henceroth. “It’s pure fun and pure comedy. The judging is just crowd appeal and approval. We usually see a big participation from the local group. The ski across glacier lake has been going on for years, even decades. A few years ago, we made it into a fun, formal event.”

The Summer Solstice Splash will be followed by live music from funk-reggae act Flex Luther at 1 p.m. Registration to ski or ride across glacier lake is free.

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