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Joyce Endee

Skiers in shorts and T's kiss winter goodbye

This young skier enjoys the last bit of snow season in 80 degree weather at Gunstock last Saturday. Lauren Tiner. (click for larger version)
April 07, 2010
With a high temperature hovering around 80 degrees last weekend, the sun was shining down on Gunstock just in time for their spring fling celebration and wrap-up of a successful ski season.

Cheery skiers and snowboarders took to the slopes one last time in shorts, t-shirts, and sunglasses, while lighthearted events including a cardboard box derby on the tubing slopes and the traditional and notorious B.Y.O.D.C. (bring your own dry clothes) Pond Skim marked the Easter weekend extravaganza.

Participants in the cardboard box racing derby designed their own sleds, including the abominable snowman and a racecar, and took the boxes for a spin on the remains of snow on the tubing hill.

The next day, brave participants could look forward to the Pond Skim where they would attempt to ski across a cold, artificial pond on Gunstock terrain, with about a 70 percent failure rate.

A ski twin tip park event also took place, and Rock Star gave out dozens of free energy drinks, while visitors basked in the sun and enjoyed live music, food, and drinks on the deck.

Director of Marketing and Sales Bill Quigley said last Saturday was "a perfect spring day," and the perfect beginning for a spring celebration and goodbye to the winter season for the facility, which manages to host events and provide recreation all four seasons.

Quigley said Gunstock attempts to keep their slopes open until April, but once the sun starts shining, it is time to close up shop.

"It was a long year. Our employees worked very hard, and they did a good job in an unpredictable year," said Quigley. "Even with all the rain, the top of the mountain is still in great shape, although the bottom is not as great."

Quigley said that many residents in New Hampshire have not seen snow for weeks, so they were happy to hit the slopes one more time and enjoy the remains of snow before they all melt away.

"We try to make the end of the season fun, and the employees are in on the fun," said Quigley. "It was a successful year, and thanks to all for coming out. When springs sports start, and kids are playing lacrosse and baseball, families are busy and ready to move on."

Quigley said this transition from winter to spring is "the fun part of the season," where visitors and employees let loose and enjoy some sun and less serious events compared to ski races and competitions throughout the winter season. He said Gunstock also thanks their employees by hosting a private celebration during spring fling weekend, with spirit and safety awards.

"We put up with January so we can enjoy this weather," said Quigley. "People are tailgating and having fun. The end of the year is always a little different than the rest of the season. It is time to move on to different things."

He said Gunstock had a busy season despite a lack of natural snow, thanks to a snowmaking machine and the new beginner area. Quigley attributed much of their winter success to "great grooming and great skiing." Now he looks forward to a successful spring season with outdoor events and live music.

"It is always fun to have time to relax," said Quigley.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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