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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment June 28, 2016

4/16/2013 1:52:00 PM
Wet and wild Hoodoo wraps up season
By Jim Williams

On the eve of wrapping up it's 75th year of operation, Hoodoo Ski Area put an exclamation mark on the season with it's annual Spring Fling celebration on Saturday, April 13.

With rocks and the occasional bare spots showing on some of the runs, Old Man Winter was showing his age; but, reluctant to leave just yet, the old guy provided occasional gusts of wind and snow flurries along with glimpses of the sun.

The day was filled with activities including the Ultra-Cross Chaos. Competing in teams of two, a skier and a snowboarder take down a course dotted with gates, attempting to hit as many gates as they can. Teams looking to take some time off their runs could take off 10 seconds by attempting to skim across the pond at the bottom of the course.

Few chose that option.

The Ultra-Cross was just the set-up for the main event of the day, the always-popular Pond Skim. Competitors took the Green Chairlift up the mountain and assembled mid-run for the attempt across the icy, 90-foot, man-made pond. Each competitor got one attempt to make it across. Depending upon your perspective, the successful ones got to continue on to the next round. Each attempt starts a little lower down the hill, making each successive attempt that much more difficult. The winner this year received a season pass good for next year's season at Hoodoo.

Last year's winner and 15-time competitor Brice McMorris of Bend had some advice for his fellow skimmers: "The strategy is to tuck it and make sure you don't sink," McMorris said. "You have to build up a lot of speed, and I always like to look across to the other side of the pond, it's where you need to focus if you want to get across."

In a first for the event, Phoebe Smoot, 15, and Anja Gnos, 16, both from Sisters, attempted to cross the pond in tandem. Anja's dad Marco added a second set of bindings to each ski for the daring pair who were making their first visit to the event.

"Go for it!" said Smoot. Gnos added, "Go big or go home."

One of the last competitors, Smoot and Gnos smoothly came down the mountain, hitting the water with great speed and technique. Sadly for them, the water had other ideas about them "going big" and sent them home in a wave of skis, goggles and gloves.

Expect to see the beginning of Hoodoo's 76th season around Thanksgiving.

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