Walk on Water

Spring skiing's iciest rite of passage is also a laugh-out-loud spectacle that's hard not to love.

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There’s no better sign that spring has arrived than a pond-skimming contest. Every April and May, the masses pull out their neon onesies, bunny suits, and superhero costumes, and participate in what amounts to a Slip ‘N Slide meets the Polar Bear Plunge.

Spring skiing fest
Crested Butte Pond Skim Photo courtesy of Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Brave souls shoot down an icy run with the hopes that when they hit the water, their momentum takes them across rather than into the water in spectacular failure. (Though, of course, it’s the latter we’re all there to watch.) Judged for air, distance, creativity, and costumes, not to mention best faceplant and splash, top dogs at some resorts even bring home cash and prizes.

The rite of passage lets us be kids again. Check out pond skims this spring in places like Montana’s Big Sky Resort, on April 20, and Squaw Valley on May 4. Crested Butte’s Landshark Pond Skim comes at you April 6. One of the longest-running, the 90th-annual Slush Cup, is May 20 at Sunshine Village in Banff , Alberta. But for the ultimate bragging rights, sign up for the World Pond Skimming Championships in Vail, Colo., on April 14. Happy Spring!

Squaw Valley, Calif.
March 23
This event honors late legendary skier Shane McConkey. Starting with a Hot Dog Downhill at the top of KT-22 and wrapping with a British invasion-themed gala, all proceeds go to charity.

Stowe, Vt.
April 6
Since 1939, more than 1,000 racers have donned costumes and competed in this race to mark the start of spring. The sugar on top: maple syrup on snow, donuts, and pickles at the finish.

Copper Mountain, Colo.
April 21
Grab the kids and head to Copper, where they’ll be hiding 65,000 eggs across 2,500 acres. Even adults can get in on the action with an on-mountain hunt. You’re gonna need a bigger Easter basket.


Editors’ note: This article, originally published in March 2018, has been updated with 2019 event dates.