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It’s a slushy scene on Colorado’s ski slopes right now, but beer isn’t the only way to turn those spring conditions into a party. The STARS Mountain Challenge happening at Steamboat next weekend (March 27–28) turns slush-skiing into a fundraiser for adaptive athletes.
It’s like a scavenger hunt, but on the slopes: Shortly before the 8:30 a.m. start time, teams receive a course map that dictates various challenges, like riding every lift on the mountain and tagging landmarks along the way. Your mission might be to shoot a selfie with the Buddy Werner statue atop Storm Peak, or strike a pose beside the “Heavenly Daze” ski run sign. Not only do you become intimately acquainted with the Steamboat ski area, but your jolly day of slush-skiing benefits athletes with disabilities.
Each Mountain Challenge team member pledges to raise $250 or more for Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS), an organization that helps disabled adults and kids learn skiing and snowboarding as well as bicycling, fishing, even archery. Last year’s event generated more than $70,000 for the organization’s adaptive sports programs, and this year, organizers hope to top $100,000.
Team registration costs $85, and includes access to a full lineup of events beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon, when the Colorado Avalanche sled hockey team takes on former players from the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. Afterward, there’s a martini gala at the Steamboat Grand ($60 per person, with one complimentary ticket included with your Mountain Challenge registration). To register, visit steamboatstars.com.