Flatlanders Invade Crested Butte

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Crested Butte, CO, Feb. 9--This past weekend, the Flatland Ski Association (FSA) returned to Crested Butte for their annual ski challenge. More than 300 Flatlanders from eight mid-western cities joined at the Butte to compete for bragging rights for the fastest skier.

The FSA was founded 36 years ago by a group of mid-western skiers who wanted to motivate and organize an annual ski trip. Today, there are more than 6,500 members of the Flatland Ski Association representing eight ski clubs from Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Their trip rotates annually to different ski areas; however the club returns to their flagship destination, Crested Butte, every three years.

"This is the home of the Flatlands," said Jan Quist, a member of the Oklahoma City Ski Club and the FSA executive secretary. "We feel a strong connection to Crested Butte because it was our original trip, and we've always had a good, special rapport with the resort."

The long weekend is filled with races, apres-ski fun, and plenty of camaraderie. "The Flatlanders are in it mainly for the fun, but they also love the competition," said Crested Butte Race Director, Pete Schaub. The races include men's and women's alpine skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country competitions.

A fund-raiser raffle and a charity auction also highlight the weekend with all proceeds benefiting the local Crested Butte Ski and Snowboard Club.

"Crested Butte has always been so welcoming to us, this is our way of saying thanks and supporting the local youth," said Quist.