Ski season ends with Pond Skim
Big Sky has 4 great parties during the ski season. New Year’s Eve, Snow Bar, The Dirt Bag Ball and Pond Skim. Pond Skim never disappoints for great entertainment. The combination of warm weather, crazy costumes, amazing skiing and even more amazing crashes is always a favorite and draws a big crowd to Big Sky on the closing weekend. This year’s edition of the Pond Skim was held on Saturday, April 20, 2019.
The idea behind Pond Skim is simple. Ski across a pond of water on your snow skis. Costumes are encouraged. The idea makes more sense if you are well lubed after a day of partying and the Pond Skim starts at midafternoon to take advantage of the libation factor and the warmer temps by late April. Big Sky always seems to luck out with sunny weather, which encourages both participants and spectators. Although this year, as the afternoon progressed, storm clouds gathered over Lone Peak and lightening eventually led to the early termination of the event so all participants and spectators could move to safe cover. That did not seem to dampen the après ski party with live music that was held after the Pond Skim was over in the plaza area at the base. For some reason a lot of medical marijuana users seem to attend this event.
As you can see from the photos, Captain America was at the Pond Skim, as were lots of tutus, a Star Wars representative, a dinosaur, an old guy in his speedo, the Hulk, several hockey players and at least two people that wanted to make skimming the pond as difficult as possible by skiing it backwards.
This year, two ponds were built side by side, which allowed couples to ski in tandem and allowed really good skimmers to exit the first pond, ski across the snow between the ponds and finish on the second pond. More than one skier did not complete this trick, which led to unbelievable crashes, a staple of any good Pond Skim. While all of the skiers walked away, you have to wonder about the aches and pains the morning after.
If one makes it across the pond without crashing, a good exit from the water is a crowd favorite and there were several notable tricks, including the hockey player who did a complete inverted front flip while holding on to his hockey stick. Others just celebrated that they had avoided a dunking in the icy, cold water.
The skier of the day came down the ramp, going really fast on a sit ski and made it across the pond to the unbridled cheers of the crowd, which was sizeable. Skimming the pond is difficult enough on two skis. A sit ski only has one ski and the skier is disabled and therefore strapped into the sit ski.
The Big Sky terrain park crew spent two days digging the ponds at the bottom of the Ambush ski run, lining them with plastic and filling them with water. This location puts the ponds within walking distance of the base area and many spectators showed up for the sole purpose of watching the skimmers and participating in the party during and after the event. The event is limited to 100 participants and was nearly full from online registrations before things got underway on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, due to the lightening, not all participants got to make a run. Many skiers show up to ski for the day in costumes to show support for the skimmers and the costumes make it a fun day of crazy and zany skiing at the end of the season.