Author Archives: Barb

2023 Marks the 38th Season of Ski Challenge!

Did you know that Ski Challenge started in 1985 with around 35 people? It has grown to close to 1,000 racers. This year we will have 11 different regular season leagues to choose from for the regular season as well as two open races in December, and five open races in January and February. Some of our leagues will offer extra runs each week depending on number of registered racers.

All Wild Mountain leagues welcome all ages.
Buck Hill weekday/night leagues allow 13 years old and up. Buck Hill Sunday leagues at Buck Hill allow all ages.

This year, thanks to Chuck Reid, Ski Challenge will be implementing a new results program at the hill. This program will make computing and printing results much faster and more efficient. The program will also make reports easier to read for our Emcees.

The Race Camp at Jackson Hole is back this year. It is slated for December 8, 9, and 10. Championships at Giants Ridge are set for March 3, 4, and 5, 2023.

We are looking forward to a great season and can’t wait to see everyone!


  • 106 – Total Teams
  • 99 – Total Events
  • 938 – Registered Racers
  • 47 – The average age of participants
  • The highest concentration is in the 50-59 age group & 60-69 age groups (24% each)
  • 23% – Female
  • 77% – Male
  • 5,011 – Total Racer Starts
  • 3,750 – Buck Hill Racer Starts
  • 1,261 – Wild Mountain Racer Starts
  • 489 – Participants at Giants Ridge
  • 59% – of participants surveyed who purchased season passes
  • 60% – of participants surveyed took at least one ski trip outside of Minnesota regional area

Joe’s Ski Shop – Featured Sponsor

Joe's logo 2007 with ski shopWelcome back Joe’s Ski Shop as a sponsor for the 2021-22 season!

Joseph J. Rauscher began Joe’s as a Buick repair garage in 1930. Many of his customers found a need for live bait, so Joe began to sell minnows. Soon the garage became known as Joe’s Live Bait. The business really began to grow after World War II. On August 1, 1959, Joseph J. Rauscher sold the store to his son & daughter-in-law, Joseph D. and Loretta J. Rauscher. The ski business was added in October 1963. As the stores sales continued to grow, expansions were done in 1965, 1969, 1972, 1976, and the last in 1989.

In August of 2003, Joe’s opened their current store on 33 East County Rd B. The store on Dale St. was closed at the same time. In 2007 they launched their internet store so they could cater to customer’s nation wide.

Today the store is owned by Joseph H. and James T. Rauscher, sons of Joe and Loretta.

Joe’s has been a long time Ski Challenge sponsor going back to the start of Ski Challenge!  Thanks to Joe’s for all their support!

All Ski Challenge members receive a discount at Joe’s

Joe’s is located at 33 E County Road B, St Paul – 651-209-7800

Help Wanted!

We are currently in need of new staff members at Wild Mountain.

UPDATED JULY 31:  We have filled our WMSUNA and WMSUND openings.

Still need:  Emcee or Computer help for WMSUNP and Emcee for WMFRI

Description of Positions and Duties:

Position 1 (Computer)

  • Set up check in table 1-1/2 hours prior to race time
  • Registration/Check in
  • Computer Results
  • Assist with Awards – Take Photos
  • Clean up
  • E-mail results to Ski Challenge Office ASAP

This person needs to be well versed in Excel and able to e-mail and transfer files.

Position 2 (Emcee)

  • Set up Check in table 1-1/2 hours prior to race time
  • Registration/Check in
  • Assist Computer Person (write out awards)
  • Emcee Awards
  • Clean up

This person needs to be able to speak in front of a group

The following will also need to be done at each race by either staff member:

  • Hang running orders and any banners
  • get files and racer changes/guests to timers prior to race start
  • Take Photos outside

For either one of these positions, you may also be needed to meet outside of the specific race time/day to drop off and pick up supplies for the week.

These positions are paid (modestly) and have a lot of perks. You need to be able to commit to seven weeks (or find a sub among our other workers), and also help out a small amount at our Championships at Giants Ridge.

You are also able to compete in the race that you work at. You may not be able to race with your team at certain times but that is a rare occurrence.

Call Barb at the office at 952-894-9220 or e-mail to for more details.

2021 Championships at Giants Ridge – Summary

March 5, 6, 7, 2021 at Giants Ridge. 

We are doing our best to offer a fun filled weekend of racing.  A few things will be a bit different from past years due to the ongoing Covid Rules and Guidelines.

Everything will be outside this year except for check in.  We will not be having awards in the garage this year.  And, we will not have any evening awards presentations in the main chalet.  See below about Giants Ridge’s policies for indoor spaces.

CHECK IN:  Racers will be able to check in and boot up in the Sprung Building/ Sports Pavilion at the bottom of the hill right above the parking lot.  Only 15 people will be allowed inside at one time.  Once you are checked in and booted up, you will need to take all your belongings out and store them in your car.  We encourage everyone who is able to get dressed and booted up prior to coming over to the race venue and check in.

PARKING LOT:  Racers are welcome to tailgate in the parking lot as long as they are keeping the proper social distance of 6′.  Giants Ridge is tentatively going to have some food and drink available for purchase at the races.

AWARDS / RESULTS:  Tentatively, Results and awards will be given out after each race in a designated spot in the parking lot.  We will be doing this even after the Friday Open Race and King and Queen of the Hel.  No gatherings or awards are allowed inside and we will not be using the garage this year.  We will still have great prizes for the the winners of the Friday Team Open Race and the King & Queen of the Hel Race.  We will also have Plaques for each Team Division winner.  Door prize winners will also be drawn after each race.  We do not plan on handing out neck medals or pins this year.

DIVISION TEAM RACING:  Depending on the number of racers signing up this year, we may move to have all Division racing on Saturday.  All Division Team Racing will be held on Innsbruck.  What this means is we would be running two divisions at once.  Plaques would still be awarded to the winning team in each division.  Divisions will be determined on Monday, February 8 after Week 5 is complete

CAPTAIN SURVEY:  A survey was sent out to all captains on Monday, February 1 to find out if their team(s) are planning on participating.  This helps us to determine an approximate number of racers and helps us to determine the schedule for racing.  GO HERE TO FILL OUT SURVEY

REGISTRATION FOR ALL EVENTS:  Will open on Monday, February 8

INDOOR SPACES:  Giants Ridge’s Burnt Onion Restaurant and Main Chalet can be used by reservation only.  Follow this link for more information:  BURNT ONION RESTAURANT




For Team Photos this year we will be following the State of Minnesota COVID guidelines.

  • Each team will meet at the bottom of the race run after first runs.
  • Racers will line up in one line, shoulder to shoulder.  No one will stand in front of anyone.
  • Masks must be kept on the entire time.  (This will give us great memories of this crazy year and will sure make us appreciate “normal” years)

Most leagues will get photos taken at week 5.  Because of Super Bowl Sunday, a few of our leagues will get photos taken at week 4.  Please note below.  This information can also be found on our Calendar

  • BHSUNA – Week 5 – January 31
  • BHSUNP – Week 4 – January 31
  • WMSUNA – Week 4 – January 31
  • WMSUND – Week 4 – January 31
  • WMSUNP – Week 4 – January 31
  • BHMON – Week 5 – February 1
  • BHTUES – Week 5 – February 2
  • BHWEDD – Week 5 – February 3
  • BHWEDP – Week 5 – February 3
  • WMWED – Week 5 – February 3
  • BHTHUR – Week 5 – February 4
  • WMFRI – Week 5 – February 5

Photos will be posted online and FREE to download.



Check-In for Week 1 of the Season – 2021

2021 – This year is obviously different from past years.  We will definitely be racing the first day of each league.  It’s an ever changing situation.

We will be holding Timed Practices from January 4 – January 13.  Team Competition will begin on January 14.  To keep everyone safe and in compliance, the rules below must be followed.


  • Check in starts 1 hour prior to course inspection
  • Find us for check in the parking lot spots next to the Hutch at the base of “Teacher’s Pet”.
  • Please keep 6′ apart and wear a mask.
  • Masks – Face Coverings are required at all timesexcept when in the course – masks must be worn during inspection.
  • Waivers need to be signed digitally prior to check in.  If you have not signed a waiver you will be asked to go and fill one out on your phone and then come back.
  • Follow this Link for all of BUCK HILL COVID GUIDELINES


  • Check in will be held in the “Bears Den” and will start 1 hour prior to course inspection
  • Each participant will pick up a bib and T-shirt.
  • Waivers need to be signed digitally prior to check in.  If you have not signed a waiver you will be asked to go and fill one out on your phone and then come back.
  • Only a small number of participants can be in line to pick up at a time and need to remain 6′ apart.
  • Masks – Face Coverings are required at all times – except when in the course – masks must be worn during inspection.
  • Participants are allowed to boot up in this room.
  • Follow this Link for all of WILD MOUNTAIN COVID GUIDELINES


  • Masks – everyone is required to wear a mask inside all facilities and when outsideexcept when in the course – masks must be worn during inspection.
  • Each team is considered a “Pod”.  Each pod must remain 12 feet apart from other pods.
  • Inspection will start 1/2 hour prior to start time.  You will need to remain 6 feet apart, wear your mask and space out at the top while waiting to get in the course to inspect.
  • Only three people per side allowed on the ramp.  One in each start gate, one on the ramp, and one at the bottom of the ramp.  Please stay in bib order.  Lining up in a crowd at the bottom or on the ramp is prohibited.  Stay 6 feet apart in the area around the ramp while waiting.  Keep an eye on what bib numbers are going so you can get to the top at the right time.
  • When you complete your run you can watch your team.  You all must remain 6 feet apart at the bottom of the run.  Once your team is done you need to move on to allow for room for the next team.
  • NO SPECTATORS ALLOWED – Spectators will be allowed starting January 14.  They will need to follow all the ski area Covid guidelines and rules.
  • Everyone is assigned one number that will be used throughout the entire seven week series.  No one else can wear your bib or use your number.  This bib number is tied directly to your information on our database.  Once you pick up your bib for the season, just show up at the top of the hill each week for your runs.  If you forget your bib, please alert the starter.  There is no need to check in after the first race you are in.
    • Your bib number is our way to track who was at each event for contact tracing.


If you have a guest who would like to participate, or if you want to participate as a guest at a league you normally don’t participate in, follow this link for more information.  You must register online to participate as a guest this year:  GUEST

NASTAR for 2021

NASTAR has pulled itself together and we have finally come to an agreement with them.  All Ski Challenge scores will be sent under the “Ski Challenge” name.  Neither Buck Hill nor Wild Mountain will be participating as NASTAR Resorts.

Ski Challenge will be holding four Open, NASTAR type of races on certain Saturday nights throughout the season.  GO HERE for more information.

Welcome Back to Racing!

2021 marks the 36th season of Ski Challenge!  It looks like it’s going to be a little bit different kind of season this year due to the Pandemic.  We know no matter what, our racers are die-hards!  The members of Ski Challenge make our program the success that it is.  You are enthusiastic for the sport and can’t seem to get enough!

This year we will be focusing on racing and enjoying the great outdoors.  We may need to modify our traditional awards ceremonies or may not be able to have them, but we will do all we can to post results quickly online and honor all of our racers.  We will know more as we get closer to the season.  The safety of our racers and staff is our main priority!

We’ve added a COVID update page to our website.  Check back for updates as we get closer to the season.

Did you know that Ski Challenge started in 1985 with around 35 people?  It has grown to over 1,000 racers.  This year we will have 12 different leagues to choose from for regular season as well as a couple open races in December.  We’ve added four Saturday night open races to our schedule at Buck Hill.  These races will offer participants a chance to just run gates, get times and handicaps.  Two of the races we are planning on offering a lane of slalom!

We are still planning on our Championships at Giants Ridge this Spring.  We will know more about the format and schedule as we get closer.  Hopefully we will be in a much better position with the pandemic by then.