Author Archives: Barb

Dedication to Sara Bauer from Guys & Dolls – 2023

To Friends and Fellow Racers of Sara Bauer:

Guys and Dolls wanted to share that we dedicate the Guys and Dolls 2023 D2 win to our friend and sister in skiing Sara Bauer.

Sara corralled up this team of diverse people and made us into this crazy close team.  She had high standards of attendance, training and performance (you didn’t want to be on the “naughty list!”)!  She (strongly) encouraged that we all get on the Atomic Redsters (we all did)!  She wrangled us all up to State for the first time in 2021 and led us to the D2 victory–a first for the team, founded in 1997 by Queen Judy Alm, who handed the torch to Sara in 2016.  This win was such a proud and special moment for Sara!  Hella celebration ensued…(it went on monthly from house to house).

In 2022 only the team knew that her cancer recurred–and we lost her on April 11, 2022.

We were heartbroken to lose our “Fearless Leader” (aka Sara’s signature).

This year, down extra skiers due injuries (Mark), illicit moves to Cali (Scott), family illness (Isabella) and other logistics (Heidi) we regrouped (thanks, Heather and Natalie/Ringer) and raced, starting every race run with a very jubilant: “SKI FOR SARA!”

We made these for the team to wear on our helmets at State, 2023, and the sun came out right before the first run–certain Sara was right there with us.

We “did this thing” for you, Girl.  You will be in our hearts forever.

Barb and Dave–thank you for all you do with the Ski Challenge.  This program and her teams were a very special part of her life.


Sara Bauer 1963-2022

Guys and Dolls 2021 Division 2 Champs with Captain Sara



Guys and Dolls 2023 Division 2 Champs–and a Burgie photo bomb (Sara laughing for sure)

2023 End of Year Wrap Up

Our 38th season of the Ski Challenge has wrapped up! It was a great year!

Despite the crazy weather year, we pulled off another fun-filled season!  Our 2023 season started off with cancellations due to too much snow, had some cold temps and then rain thrown in during mid-season, and then had to deal with more heavy snow on the tail end.  Thanks to the ski areas and Midwest Masters for helping us to get our final year-end races in.

We had more than 5,200 regular-season race results throughout the season—close to 1,500 for Wild Mountain and 3,300 for Buck Hill.  We had 255 Saturday night NASTAR racers at Buck Hill this season.

223 individuals participated in our Championships at Giants Ridge. We had close to 1,000 individual race starts in the two days of competition.

A BIG thank you to our participating ski areas and their staff at Buck Hill, Wild Mountain, and Giants Ridge. Also, thank you to all our participating Sponsors. We couldn’t do it without our great Ski Challenge staff and most of all, we thank all the Ski Challenge racers for all your support and continued participation.

Take our Survey!

Please take our 2023 survey. You will have a chance to win a $50 credit toward your fees for next season! The survey should take no more than 10 minutes.  This survey closes on Monday, April 3.


Championship Results and Photos

Check out all the results for the Championships by following this link:

Photos from our Championships weekend at Giants Ridge are available for download and viewing!

All photos are posted to our SmugMug site and also on Facebook. On the SmugMug site, you can download high-resolution photos at no charge. You can also share them on your social media sites.

If you want to tag yourself or friends, then you will need to grab the photos directly from our albums on Facebook.

A big thanks to Randal Zoeller and Derek Hennekens for taking all the great photos at Giants Ridge! Also, a great big Thank You to all the staff who helped make this year’s event a success!  And thanks to the Giants Ridge crew and Rock Ridge Alpine Team for helping us out all weekend.  It takes A LOT of hands-on to bring it all together.

Help us plan for next year! If you attended Championships at Giants Ridge this year, follow this link to fill out our Championships Survey.


2023 Week 5 News and Info


Check out the new Ski Challenge hat!  This hat is a charcoal color front with a stone colored mesh back.  Fully adjustable.  $25.

We can ship to your house for a small fee or deliver to your league race day for no charge.

Follow this link to order:  HAT ORDER FORM


Buck Hill Sunday PM – Meet in Hutch – February 5 – Week 5

Sunday PM racers will boot up and have awards in the Hutch.  Sunday AM leagues will follow what we did last week – boot up in Hutch, awards in Event Center.

The Event Center is hosting a private event in the evening, so we need to clear out of the room by 12 pm.

Wild Mountain Sunday February 19 – Week 6

Meet in Eagle’s Nest for check-in and awards.

Venmo Now Available

Ski Challenge has added the Venmo capability to pay for things at the hill.  You can pay for league fees and Guest racing using Venmo.  We still require everyone to fill out an online waiver.  There also is a fee if using Venmo for your league fees.

Find our Venmo account at @skichallengemn.


NASTAR has suddenly decided to require a subscription to an online magazine in order to view results on their website. Ski Challenge will still submit all results to NASTAR. However, Ski Challenge will no longer be providing links to races on NASTAR since not all members are able to view them. This is very disappointing for our club since we have already paid a sizeable Club fee to belong to NASTAR this year. Going forward for our open NASTAR Saturday races and our bonus leagues, we will post a PDF of the NASTAR printed results on our website so people can view all their race run results. Ski Challenge results will continue to show only the best result in each run.

Are you still Wearing Glasses When You Ski?  Check out Goggle Inserts!

It’s finally ski season. All your snow gear is finally being put to use after a year in the shed – until you look at your ski goggles and wonder “do I want to fight with my glasses and goggles on the chairlift?”

Instead of wearing contacts notorious for irritating your eyes (and ruining your favorite time of year), try Heavyglare’s prescription Goggle Inserts!

Made for a universal fit, these will fit snugly into any ski, snow, or moto-goggles. The wide field of view ensures you’re performing at your best. Using an anti-fog cleaner will help keep you from stopping your momentum to wipe your lenses.

Backed by our 30-day prescription guarantee, this is your ticket to enjoying your ski season!


2023 Week 4 News and Notes


Meet in the Eagle’s nest for booting up and awards.  Wild Mountain is hosting the Blizzard ski group that day and they will be taking over the Bear’s Den.

We will also be in the Eagle’s Nest on Sunday, February 19.


Team photos will be created digitally for everyone to download for FREE.  We will also make one printed copy for each team to be used in league first-place plaques.  If your team doesn’t win the league, we will give you your printed photo at week 7 awards.

WMFRI – Week 5 – February 3
WM Sunday Races – Week 5 – February 5
BHWEDD – Week 3 – Completed
BHWEDP – Week 3 – Completed
BHTHUR – Week 4 – Completed
BHSUN AM & PM – Week 5 – February 5 – CHANGE
BHMON – Week 4 – February 6 – CHANGE
BHTUES – Week 5 – February 7 – CHANGE


Our race time is going to be 15 minutes earlier

  • Lifts start at 9 am
  • Course Inspection 9:15 – 9:45 am
  • Race: 9:45 am

Boot up, check-in, and get ready in The Hutch. Doors will be open at 8 am. You can leave your bags in the Hutch during the race (it will be reserved for us).

After the race is done, Head up to the Event Center, and grab a table for awards. The Event Center/Restaurant will have counter/bar service in the room where you can order beverages and food off the full menu. As a “goodwill” gesture, Buck Hill will provide the $5 off coupons to our group once again to be used on Sunday. We will not be reserving team tables.

A few things we just need to do to make this work.
  • Ski challenge team members shouldn’t be in the event center getting ready prior to the race. (Please don’t try and “reserve” tables for after the race before the race starts – get ready in the Hutch)
  • No outside food or beverage in the Hutch or event center
  • Please try to keep the Hutch in the same condition as it was found.


Having the right gear, great-fitting boots, and having your skis and bindings set correctly make all the difference in the world!  It could even mean a faster race time with a lower handicap.  If you’re feeling like you need a tune-up or just want to start over with your equipment, all of our sponsor shops offer Ski Challenge members great service, knowledge, products, and even a discount!  Our sponsors contribute greatly to The Ski Challenge program helping to keep fees down.  Please thank them by spending your $$ at their shops!


2023 Week 3 News & Notes


Team photos will be created digitally for everyone to download for FREE.  We will also make one printed copy for each team to be used in league first place plaques.  If your team doesn’t win the league, we will give you your printed photo at week 7 awards.

Wild Mountain Team Photos are scheduled for the following races:

  • WMFRI – Week 5 – February 3
  • WM Sunday Races – Week 5 – February 5

Buck Hill Team photos are scheduled for the following races:

  • BHWEDD – Week 3 – January 25
  • BHWEDP – Week 3 – January 25
  • BHTHUR – Week 4 – January 26
  • BHSUN AM & PM – Week 4 – January 29
  • BHMON – Week 3 – January 30
  • BHTUES – Week 4 – January 31


Unfortunately, we ran out of time to get a printed newsletter for week 3 done in time to get to the Wild Mountain Friday and Sunday races.  The digital E-news covers everything in the printed newsletter.  Follow the links and find all the information you need to find!  Look for a printed version next week.


Did you know you can fill open spots on your roster at any time? Even after week 3? The best thing to do is fill your 10 roster spots before the season. But we understand that people commit and then drop out at the last minute. We also understand that occasionally someone gets hurt or just can’t race anymore.

If you have a spot filled by someone who now can’t race, you can “sell” their spot to someone else. Just make sure that you notify the Ski Challenge office and have them check in at the registration table before racing. That way we can make sure they are in the computer and get their proper points and medal.

Ski Challenge budgets and rates are based on how teams are filled. By filling your team, you help keep fees down. Unfortunately, when rosters aren’t full, the fixed costs need to be spread out among fewer racers, so fees rise.


You only need to check in once at your league races.  Once you have signed a waiver, paid, checked in, and picked up your bib and T-shirt you are set for the season.  If someone ends up replacing you mid season, you must check in with the Ski Challenge office to make sure we have all the information needed for the new racer.  Then you can transfer your bib to them.


Unfortunately, we’ve had a bumpy start to the season with the weather. Luckily, we’ve been able to schedule make-up dates. A few leagues are now behind on weeks. We will just keep the weeks going consistently and finish up with week 7 for each league.

  • BHTUES – extended to February 21
  • BHWED day and PM – extended to February 22
  • BHMON – tentatively extended to February 27

We understand that some “normal” colder weather is coming at the end of January – the beginning of February. It’s a lot easier and safer to race in colder temps than rain and slush! So, bundle up, and let’s race!


You are allowed to guest race two times per regular season race league. The fee is $15.  We recommend that all guests register and pay online at least TWO hours prior to course inspection.  If you are unable to do this, you can show up at the hill and pay and sign up there.  Follow this link to register:  GUEST REGISTRATION  .

If you plan on racing more than twice for a specific league and there are still open spots on teams, you will need to join the league.  If all spots in the entire league are filled, then you may race as a guest more than twice per league.

The day of your guest race, check in at the registration table up to an hour prior to inspection.  You will get a temporary bib for the race.  You can race anywhere in the order.


This Sunday is a double race!  Our first race will start at the normal race time.  9:30 Inspection, 10 am race.  Everyone will take one run on each course based on the running order for the first week of the two weeks we are covering.  Once everyone has gotten their one run in each course complete, the course setters will tweak the course and make some minor adjustments.  Everyone can slip the courser and then we will start the next race based on the next week running order we are covering.

The awards ceremony will follow the completion of the second race.  It will be an abbreviated awards ceremony for each of the two races.  We will still honor Fastest, Fast and most improved of each race and then will shorten team awards depending on where we are at with time.

Having Double Headers is the last thing that we want to do.  We appreciate your patience and understanding with this situation.





2023 Week 2 New and Notes

NO BUCK HILL SUNDAY AM – on January 15

There is no race this coming Sunday, January 15 for the Buck Hill Sunday AM race.  Buck Hill is having a FIS race all weekend.  Sunday PM will still go on as scheduled.

Sunday, January 22 we will be having a double race.  This will be considered week 2 & 3.


Please try and clean up the best you can after being in the Hutch.  Throw away any paper products and pick up any garbage that may have fallen to the floor.


If your team moves tables together for your race night in the Buck Hill Event Center Room, please move them apart and put in original place before you leave.  This will help our server for the night get the room ready for the next day.

Pre-orders – Don’t forget to use the pre-order forms and write when you estimate you will be coming in.  That way you will get your order in a timely manner.  If you order after you get it in, it will take a lot longer to get your food.  You can use the pre-order forms for both food and beverages.


Just a reminder that your race fee of $170 is strictly covering all expenses and fees for racing.  You can go here to see more about fees:  RACE FEES.  All racers must purchase a separate lift ticket or have a season pass from the ski area.  Buck Hill offers a discount if you purchase your ticket ahead of time online.


You can find us on Facebook and Instagram!  We share many things on social media including our league racers of the week and photos from each race.  We also post information about schedule changes and cancellations.  Sponsor events and sales are shared too!


Fastest: Always the female and male, girl and boy with the lowest handicap at that race. This award will be given out all seven weeks.

Fast: This is the next fastest female and male, girl and boy who have not received a fast or fastest award yet. This award will be given out all seven weeks.

Most Improved: Always the female and male, boy and girl with the most improvement from the previous week. This award can be given to someone who has earned it before. This award is given out at weeks two through seven.

Each winner will receive an award certificate. The top five in each category are announced each week. Winners are posted in the newsletter each week.


Every Ski Challenge member needs to fill out a liability waiver online.  This only needs to be done once and will be completed if you fill out an online registration form.  If you did not register online, paid at the hill and signed a paper waiver, this only covers you for the race you signed at.  You still need to sign an online waiver.  You can go here to see if you have signed a waiver online:  ONLINE WAIVER PAGE

We will be sending an email after week 1 to all racers who have not set signed an online form.

Happy Retirement to Joel and Linda!

Joel and Linda have worked with Ski Challenge for 30+ years. They were an integral part of the formative years. Linda and Joel first worked for Patricia Lecy, the original owner of Ski Challenge. They helped set up leagues at Wild Mountain, Welch Village, Powder Ridge, Hyland, and Buck Hill. They also helped enormously at our Championships at Giants Ridge. They have decided to step away from Ski Challenge work and will be greatly missed!


Want to see how you rank as an individual within your age group and overall?  Or, how your team is doing compared to the other teams in the entire league?  Follow these links to see it all!  These reports will be updated each Thursday of 2023





Double Header Races

How does a Double Header Race work?

If you can’t make it for the start, try and get there when you can and we will do all we can to get all your runs in.  Sunday AM start time still 10 am.  Race will just take a bit longer.  Weeknight double races we will try and start racing at 7 instead of 7:30 pm.  Inspection is always 1/2 hour before start time.

Everyone will take one run on each course based on the running order for the first week of the two weeks we are covering.  Once everyone has gotten their two runs in, we will pause for a bit and either slip the existing courses, or make minor reset.  Then we will start the next race based on the next week running order we are covering.

We will have an abbreviated awards ceremony for each of the two races.  We will honor Fastest, Fast and most improved of each race and then will abbreviate team awards depending on where we are at with time.

Having Double Headers is the last thing that we want to do.  We appreciate your patience and understanding with this situation.


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