Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Pond Skim!

Last year I skied Mt Bachelor on its final day of the season.  The place knows how to close in style, boasting a huge beer garden, live music, and the staple of spring skiing everywhere - a pond skim competition (check out photos here).  It was so much fun, my friend Kim and I vowed to return the following year.

Spring skiing on the "White Ribbon of Death"

Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend 2018.  Kim and I journeyed to Mt Bachelor to once again partake in season-ending festivities .  Unlike the snowy winter-spring of 2017, we discovered the warm, dry weather of April and May had nearly decimated the mountain's snowpack.  Instead of massive mounds of the white stuff, we found a narrow band of snow covering most of the higher runs.  It was just barely enough to ski on.  Talk about the "white ribbon of death!"  (I thought that only happened in early season)

We ran into Dolly Parton!

Nonetheless, Kim and I were here to celebrate the end of another fine ski season, and we weren't about to let lack of snow stop us.  We rode the lift up, and began sliding down a slope of slushy spring corn, already warmed by the morning sun.  It's a tradition for some folks to dress in crazy costumes on the last day, and right away we ran into a man dressed as Dolly Parton.  (His boobs were bigger than most women's!  Ha!)

Kim enjoying the snow

Despite the narrow snowfields, slushy conditions, and crazily-dressed people, Kim and I got in a solid dozen runs before another activity stole our attention......

Time to watch the pond skim!

It was time to watch the pond skim!

View from above

For those of you new to my blog, a pond skim is a contest where skiers and snowboarders slide down a steep slope into a large body of water.  The object is to hit the water at the proper angle and velocity so that the skis (or snowboard) skim across the entire pond. 


Easier said than done!  From our vantage point, we witnessed many wipeouts.

Contestants walking back up to try again

Of course the crashes were the best part!  That and the crazy costumes most of the contestants we wearing.

This guy made it

A  panel of judges sat on the sidelines.  Contestants were evaluated on their performance (but I've yet to figure out how the scoring system worked).

Scottish skimmer

I think wearing a creative costume garnered a few bonus points.  I liked this Scottish skimmer.

Wild costumes!

Of course, contestants weren't the only ones who dressed up for the occasion.  We ran into quite a few folks who used the last day of the season as an excuse to don crazy outfits.

We found Waldo!

We even found Waldo!

Leprechaun rider

After watching the show from high above, Kim and I ditched our ski gear at the car and found a place poolside.  A much better location to view the action.

This doesn't look good

And a great place to capture the daring (or crazy) riders with my camera.

Tandem skimmers

These two young guys rode on one pair of skis - and they made it all the way across!

The superhero makes it

Here's a guy dressed as a superhero (not sure which one).  His superpowers must have been working because he successfully crossed the pond.

A new way to waterski

There were lots of young kids partaking in the skimming.  I was a little surprised their mothers allowed them to participate.  One young lady, after being fished out of the water, remarked to the audience "Don't tell my mom!"


And if screaming full speed down a steep slope into a pond wasn't crazy enough - a couple of guys did it backwards!

One of the better wipeouts

Not all were successful.  This was one of the best crashes caught with my camera.

Crazy spectators

In between riders, the spectators provided great entertainment.

Parting the water

This lady was squirting the spectators

One lady came roaring down on a snowboard brandishing a huge squirt gun.  As her board hit the water, she let loose and drenched the audience.

But she ended up on the sidelines

She didn't quite make it across, landing on the sidelines.

Still smiling

But as you can tell by her smile, she still had a good time.

A jump at the end

This was a very unusual sight - a contestant in normal ski wear!  This guy did a little jump as he exited the pond.

Unicorn man

Here comes Unicorn man.  His friend was sliding behind, filming him as he hit the water.  Unfortunately, both guys sank.  The cameraman threw his camera onto the shore at the last minute.  It might have saved the camera from water damage, but I don't know if it survived the impact.

Fishing out a lost ski...

Of course, Mt Bachelor provided several guys with long poles to fish people and lost skis out of the drink.

And an unsuccessful skimmer

This guy looks like a drowned rat!  The crazy thing is, a lot of these people headed back up the hill, wet costume and all, to try again.

The abominable snowman!

One of my favorite costumes from last year, the abominable snowman, was back again for another try.  Sadly he sank again....

So ends another ski season.  Goodbye, Mt Bachelor!  See you next winter.  And see you next spring for another thrilling pond skim.


  1. WOW! so nice to see all your pictures! Lovely place to enjoy:)

  2. I've watched a pond skim here in Virginia. People were having great fun!

  3. Crazy of what but it looks like it was a fun time. Take it you di dnot fancy a go at Skimming then

  4. Fotografias bem divertidas, gostei de ver.
    Um abraço e continuação de uma boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

  5. ...ah spring and the crazies come out!

  6. Hello, it looks like a fun last day of skiing. I enjoyed all the costumes. The abominable snowman and the leprechaun are my favorites. Fun post. Have a happy day!

  7. Well that was quite entertaining. The only thing missing was you in a crazy costume!

  8. Looks a lot of fun but also cold in that pond if you fall in.

  9. More fun to watch than to participate in! I saw a couple of pond-skimmers at the end of the season at Copper Mountain back in April.

  10. Great fun!! I'd give that a go :)

  11. Nicely documented- looks like fun

  12. What fun! I do hope you decide to do the pond skim yourself next year. It sure looks like a hoot. Your pictures are great. :-)

  13. We don't have a pond skim but we do have a lawn chair race! The wipeouts are pretty spectacular (and sort of dangerous).

  14. Hi! It looks very fun for skiing even the final one. The pond skim looks very cool or cold and funny. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Our pond skim has cones you have to go around and floaty animals in the pond!

  16. Your end of ski season games are even more wild than our Mammoth Mountain end of season!

  17. Glad you enjoyed the pond skim! Interesting for sure.

  18. Bom dia, excelentes fotos de belos momentos agradáveis de convívio divertido.
    Continuação de feliz semana,

  19. As your season ends, ours opens! I do plan to go see some snow this year even if I don't ski. And we have had some early falls just to get everyone excited.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  20. The Pond Skim event looked like so much fun to watch, LInda! The costumes made it funny. It looked like a great way to end the ski season!

  21. Never saw this before or heard of it, but looks as if the skiers really got in to it and had a blast. What fun!!

  22. A wild and crazy event. glad you photographed it.


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