Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reunions and revelry juice up Ski Heritage Week

FreeDogger party, benefit March 31

Express Staff Writer

All the pomp and ceremony surrounding next week's Ski Heritage Week and U.S. Ski Hall of Fame inductions at Sun Valley won't just be a series of ski film presentations and the induction itself on April 2.

The Sun Valley Host Committee has come up with what it calls "a big local event" that will summon up the roots of the freestyle and hot dog skiing movement 40 years ago. And wouldn't you know it's a ladies t-shirt contest at Whiskeys?

"Let the Good Times Roll" K2-Barrymore Freedogger Party is Thursday, March 31.

"We want to help Ski Heritage Week become something that's exciting and fun for locals," said Betsy Barrymore Stoll, a member of the Host Committee with Chuck Ferries, Holley duPont, Jim Garrison and Sun Valley Resort representative Mark Thoreson. "And we'll be raising money for the Bald Mountain Rescue Fund."

Although official Ski Heritage Week activities at Sun Valley require all-access passes, there are many events open to the public for free or nominal charges, including on-slope skiing demos, cruising the hill with ski legends and free screenings of classic ski films at the Sun Valley Opera House.

And "two great parties" organized by the Sun Valley Host Committee next week are the focal point for locals, according to Barrymore Stoll.

Barrymore Stoll said "I was there," when the late ski filmmaker Dick Barrymore originated the original K2 ladies t-shirt contest in 1971 at the Red Onion in Aspen, Colo. She said the beginning of the hot dog skiing and freestyle movement coincided with that fun event.

She said, "So next week we will be hosting the largest gathering in decades of hot-doggers and freestyle skiers from the 1970s and 1980s, along with employee reunions from K2, Head, Scott and Smith."

Featured event is the K2-Barrymore FreeDogger Party Thursday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. at Whiskey Jacques. Admission is $10. Up to 500 people will fill the upstairs and downstairs at Whiskeys. Doors open at 6 p.m.

"It promises to be the best party of the ski season," said Barrymore Stoll. Ski movies will play all evening. There will be product giveaways, tons of K2 prizes, best 1970s costume awards, a K2 raffle (tickets $5) and a beer pong challenge on four upstairs tables.

Highlights are the K2 t-shirt contest for ladies (no nudity allowed, Barrymore Stoll said) and the K2 Cheeseburger Eating Contest for men (she figured a beefcake contest wouldn't fly, so the committee opted for burger eating). K2 skis are the grand prizes for the winning lady and man.

Judges for the K2 contests are from the original Red Onion group in Aspen including K2 performers and ski movie stars/skiing greats Charlie McWilliams, Jim Stelling, Pat Bauman, John Clendenin, Bobbie Burns and Dick Barrymore's sons, Cole and Blake.

K2 contest entry deadline is Wednesday, March 30. Cost of $10 per person to enter includes two raffle tickets (must be present to win). Categories are: Young and Restless (ages 21-34), Always Awesome (35-49) and Vintage Classics (50-plus). Whiskeys has sign-up forms.

Like all ski events, the party tends to linger more than one evening, so the Host Committee has earmarked Friday, April 1, April Fool's Day, for the Apple's Apres Ski Party starting at 3 p.m. with a live band and the Hot-Doggers hot dog tent.

The second raffle drawing will take place at Apple's. The raffle includes prizes from ski industry companies including K2, Scott, Smith and Eddie Bauer. The K2 prizes include skis, a snowboard, helmets, ski poles, apparel, plus a week's lodging from Barrymore's Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort in Mexico.

"K2 came through for us like you couldn't believe," said Barrymore Stoll.

Proceeds from the local Ski Heritage Week events will go to the Bald Mountain Rescue Fund. It was established five years ago after a ski accident on Baldy that paralyzed Teresa Hukari. Brian Barsotti administers the fund, which celebrates mountain life and donates money to needy ski patrollers and those who have perished in skiing accidents.

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