To commemorate the end of the ski season, Snow King Mountain Resort puts on the Pond Skimming competition. It’s not as much of a competition as an exhibition of ski, snowboard, tube, and sled skill. As there weren’t any prizes other than Snake River Brewing giving away free beer, there weren’t too many physical rewards for this competition.
Make sure to click the photo at the right to see it full size. This guy was awesome, confident enough to skim across a 70 foot water pond with his beer, knowing he would not spill a drop. He did amazingly well, able to get across the pond without taking a header.
Being the intrepid photographer, I had to get in the line of fire and get these side shots. All of the other photographers were sitting safely at the end of the pond, where they were very safe from getting wet. For the two hours I spent watching the competition, no skier or snowboarder was able to soak the end crowd. The other photographers warned me that the sidelines where this photograph was taken were going to get very wet. They were right.
There were several water spray shots taken at my position where the crowd was. Twice I was able to shield my lens right at the pivotal moment. My D800 handled the water without even blinking. But the third spray from a very zealous teenager soaked me, my Nikon 50mm lens, and all of the people around me. It was actually pretty funny except for the two toddlers sleeping in a stroller behind me. They received a rude, 35 degree water wakeup. Their mom thought they were back far enough. But alas, that was not the case with a crazy skiing teenager.
This was definitely a Jackson event, with all the ski types out in force. I found the crowd to be quite enjoyable and cheered everyone on. When people took diggers into the pond, the same crowd “ooo’d” when the contestant disappeared under water.
Snow King was smart enough to have safety swimmers with wet suits standing on the sidelines to recover people as they went under. These off-duty ski patrol were quick and able to keep anyone from becoming a casualty. One videographer I know, Nick Staron of Jackson Adventure Video, participated in the pond skimming competition.
“When I hit the water, it just took my breath away,” Nick Staron said.
I got a good laugh out of that. Even though it was sunny and 40 degrees, the water could not have been much above 35 degrees. Even with the sun out, that’s still cold no matter what. It was a great event.
As for my soaked Nikon 50mm lens, hopefully my warmed rice dehydrator trick will recover it. Good thing I didn’t have my 85mm f1.4 lens on. That would have been a crying event.