Survey Drawing Winner!

Congratulations to Chris Jacobson for winning the $50 off of a Ski Challenge membership in the survey drawing.  Chris races with the “DTwSP” team on Monday nights at Buck Hill.

Thanks to everyone who took the survey.  It helps out a bunch!

The History Of Ski Challenge

THE SKI CHALLENGE is a recreational alpine ski racing league at Buck Hill and Wild Mountain.  The Ski Challenge provides an atmosphere which caters to all levels of skill and competitiveness from the beginner to the veteran racer.  Adults, kids and families can participate.  There are many first time racers as well as past, or current, USSA, High School, and Collegiate racers participating.  The unique team format and scoring system promote great camaraderie and interaction among racers.

The Ski Challenge began in 1985 as a Twin Cities Metro Area recreational ski racing program founded by Patricia Lecy.  Patricia enjoyed racing through NASTAR courses and thought it would be fun to turn a simple NASTAR type of race into a grand, team event.  She kicked off her idea with the “Media Challenge”.  The idea was to get reporters, weather people, and other media celebrities outside in the winter participating in a ski racing.  Patricia thought that if the media was engaged and interested in an outdoor, winter activity, they would be more apt to promote winter weather in a positive light instead of scaring people to hole up inside for half the year.  This would be a good thing for all the participating ski areas and ski shops by encouraging more people to get outside during the long, cold Minnesota winters.

The Media Challenge was so much fun that Patricia thought it would be a great idea to invite the general public to join in.  Thus the Twin Cities Ski Challenge was born.  The program began with four teams (approximately 35 people) roving each week to different ski areas.  After a couple years the program began to grow and Patricia decided to keep each league at its own venue.  In time Buck Hill, Afton Alps, Hyland Hills, Trollhaugen, and Welch Village were involved with the Twin Cities Ski Challenge.  As the years went on, the Challenge grew and grew.

In 1988 Patricia and her business partner at the time decided to split the Twin Cities Ski Challenge into two groups.  Patricia kept leagues at Buck Hill and Hyland Hills and added Powder Ridge to the list.  She also changed the name to “The Ski Challenge”.  After a few years, Patricia added Wild Mountain to the race venue choices.

After 12 years Patricia grew the Ski Challenge to close to 1,200 registered racers.  There were 12 leagues at four ski areas that included a total of 112 teams.  There were seven leagues at Buck Hill with 62 total teams.  Hyland Hills hosted two leagues with 20 total teams, Powder Ridge had one league with nine teams, and Wild Mountain had two leagues with 21 Teams.  In 1997, Dave and Barb Everson purchased The Ski Challenge from Patricia and Roger Lecy who retired to Tucson for the winters.  Sadly, Patricia Lecy passed away in 2006 from Cancer.

Buck Hill has the largest number of Ski Challenge leagues.  Prior to 2000, the facilities and timing capabilities at Buck Hill only allowed 10 teams per league.  In 2000, Buck Hill opened a new facility, Buckstone Lodge and upgraded their timing system.  Buck Hill and The Ski Challenge worked together to make races run efficiently and smoothly.  These improvements gave The Ski Challenge the opportunity to add more teams to each league and increase the maximum to 16 teams per league with a potential of 160 racers per league.

Ski Challenge has evolved into one of the finest and largest team-oriented recreational race leagues in the country allowing adults, kids, and families to participate.  Ski Challenge is ranked as NASTAR’s number one race club in the country nearly every year and Buck Hill is oftentimes the number one NASTAR resort.  Today, close to 1,500 racers of all ages register for Ski Challenge each year. There are 103 regular season teams at Buck Hill and 29 at Wild Mountain.   Ski Challenge’s size and long time commitment to its members are testimony to the exciting racing and quality experience that it provides.

2017 Ski Challenge Survey

Fill out a survey for a chance to win $50 off of one league fee for the 2018 season!

Our 2017 Survey is now available and will be open through Sunday, April 23.  Your feedback is appreciated and will be used for our demographics packets we create for our sponsors and participating ski areas.

2017Championships Recap

We had another successful Championships Weekend at Giants Ridge March 3-5.  The weather was fabulous and the conditions were awesome!  We had a total of 603 racer starts during the three days.  The Ski Challenge OPEN Team Race was held on Friday.  Divisional Team Racing was held on Saturday and Sunday.  And, the new “King of the Hel” race was held on Saturday afternoon.  Scroll down to see more about each race.


Ski Challenge Friday OPEN Team Race on Innsbruck

“NoWax” team was the winner out of 18 teams again for the third year in a row!  The team included Mark Cater, Bill Christopherson, Jukka Mahonen, Doug Nordmeyer, Terry Lutz, and Pat Hiller.  We had 101 participants in the race.  An awards ceremony was held Friday night at the new chalet next to the Burnt Onion Bar.

To see all results click here:


TEAM RACING

Team racing took place on Saturday and Sunday of the Championships Weekend.  Divisions 1, 3 and 5 were on Saturday and Divisions 2, 4, and 6 were on Sunday.

Winning Teams: ALL RESULTS

Division 1:

  1. RE/WAX – Buck Hill Wednesday DAY
  2. Bud Bunch – Wild Mountain Sunday DAY
  3. Premature Release- Buck Hill Thursday

Division 2:

  1. Team Brew Ski –  Buck Hill Thursday
  2. RUdoneW/that? – Buck Hill Friday
  3. The Young & Edgeless – Buck Hill Sunday AM

Division 3:

  1. Tasmanian Snow Devils – Buck Hill Sunday PM
  2. GoPro – Buck Hill Saturday
  3. Sunday Screamers – Buck Hill Sunday AM

Division 4:

  1.  Buhler Blizzard – Buck Hill Sunday AM
  2. Parabolic Furs – Buck Hill Sunday PM
  3. Buck Naked – Buck Hill Wednesday DAY

Division 5:

  1. The Rookies – Buck Hill Thursday
  2. Drunkin Skidiots – Buck Hill Tuesday
  3. Special Ed Racing – Wild Mountain Wednesday

Division 6

  1. The Cruzin Wild Bunch – Wild Mountain Sunday DAY
  2. Flat Tire – Buck Hill Monday
  3. Bucket Boys – Buck Hill Sunday PM

To see all results CLICK HERE


KING OF THE HEL RACE

This was the first time for the King of the Hel race held on Saturday on Helsinki.  This race was open to all Ski Challenge members and non Ski Challenge members.  If you were a Ski Challenge member, we took your “rated Handicap” going into the race and compared what your earned handicap was in the race.  We then determined a % improvement (or un-improvement).  We crowned a King and a Queen of the Hel based on the best % of improvement.  We also gave prizes to the fastest racer in various age groups.

An awards ceremony was held on Saturday night in the new Chalet next to the Burnt Onion Bar.  Gina Tester was crowned Queen of the Hel.  Eddie Overholt was crowned King.  To see all the results for this race follow these links:

King of the Hel – 2017

This was a fun race that gave racers who enjoy racing on Helsinki a chance race on that run.  We had about 25 people pre-registered for this event.  We ended up with 84 participants.  It was an open running order allowing participants to run when they wanted.  We did not anticipate that this race would be so popular.  We plan on having a King of the Hel next year, but will probably go to a set running order based on when you sign up for the race.


PHOTOS

To see photos from the weekend you can find links on our website here:  PHOTOS.  Or you can find the photos on our facebook page here:  PHOTOS

 

 

 

2017 League Wrap Up

Thanks for  the good season!?  Well, thanks for participating in the season!  It was a tough end to our regular season league racing.  With the warm temperatures in February spilling into March, it meant an entire week (much of our week 7) had to be postponed.  We were able to get all of our Wild Mountain races in.  We tried to make up our Buck Hill leagues that were postponed.  We got most of them in except our Monday, Thursday and Friday leagues.  Due to some thin snow coverage, a few turned up rocks, and the lack of cold temperatures, Buck Hill just couldn’t get enough coverage back up at the top of our race run to hold those make up races.

Black Diamond was kind enough to let us have an awards ceremony for each league last week. Fun was had by those who attended with door prize games and awards.


Buck Hill Monday Night Fun!

2016-17 By the Numbers

For the 2016 Preseason season we ended up with 302 racers starts.  This is a 23% decrease from 2016.  Unfortunately, with the slow start to winter, our first week of racing had to be postponed.  Buck Hill Friday was combined with Buck Hill Tuesday.  We were able to get all three weeks of Wild Mountain racing in, but had to get our three week league series crammed into two weeks at Buck Hill.  Buck does not allow racing during the Holiday Break so we just didn’t have enough time for three weeks.  Look for some new ideas for preseason next year.  We are going to attempt to offer more gate training and open races during the December preseason time.

The total number of racer starts for our regular, seven week league series was 6,540.  This was an 11% decrease from 2016.  We will chalk this one up to weather once again.  2017 was the first time in Ski Challenge’s 30 year history that we were not able to complete our seven week league series for three of our 14 leagues.  That decrease probably would be close to non existent if we did not have such a warm February and March.

We appreciate the patience and understanding that our racers have shown during this tough season.  Here’s to hoping for a normal winter next year!

 

 

BHTHUR Make up Awards Night

BHTHUR – Week 7 Awards – Thursday, March 9

Buck Hill has informed us that they are unable to get enough snow to stick at the top of the race run in order to put gates in and make a safe race course.  So, we are not going to be able  to race on Thursday, March 9.

We will be having an award ceremony / party on Thursday night.  Meet in the regular Ski Challenge Room.  Doors will open at 6 pm.  Awards at 7 pm.  Black Diamond will have beer specials for the night.

It saddens us that the season has to end this way.  We apologize if these schedule changes do not work for everyone.  We are doing the best we can with this terrible weather.

Buck Friday Awards Week 7

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Most of you probably already know that Buck Hill is closed today.  BUT, we will be having an awards ceremony for Buck Hill FRIDAY league tonight.  We are able to use the regular Ski Challenge Room next to the Black Diamond Bar.

Here is the schedule for tonight:

  • 6 pm – room open
  • 7 pm – Awards Start

We will have some door prize “games”.  And, will base all of our awards on six weeks of racing.  The Fastest and Most Improved of the season awards will be modified to include racers with 3 or more races for the season instead of 4 or more.

We apologize for the messy ending of our league series.  It’s very disappointing that the weather has been so awful the last few weeks.  Hopefully many of you were able to attend Championships at Giants Ridge this past weekend where the weather was perfect and the conditions were great.

Buck Monday Awards Week 7

Monday, March 6, 2017

Most of you probably already know that Buck Hill is closed today.  BUT, we will be having an awards ceremony for Buck Hill Monday league tonight.  We are able to use the regular Ski Challenge Room next to the Black Diamond Bar.

Here is the schedule for tonight:

  • 6 pm – room open
  • 7 pm – Awards Start

We will have some door prize “games”.  And, will base all of our awards on six weeks of racing.  The Fastest and Most Improved of the season awards will be modified to include racers with 3 or more races for the season instead of 4 or more.

We apologize for the messy ending of our league series.  It’s very disappointing that the weather has been so awful the last few weeks.  Hopefully many of you were able to attend Championships at Giants Ridge this past weekend where the weather was perfect and the conditions were great.