As each ski resort’s ski season draws to an end, it’s traditional in Canada (and the rest of the world apparently) to end the season with a slush cup (all will be explained). As Sunshine Village tends to have the longest season in Canada, lasting usually into mid-May, Sunshine’s slush cup tends to signify the end of all skiing for that year, and therefore is cause for a bigger than usual party. This year is the 88th Annual slush cup at Sunshine, and also, we’re led to believe, the 1st annual pond skimming world championship.
At some point or other, some lunatic discovered that if you ski fast enough and at the right angle, you can hit a patch of water and skim straight across it without any trouble – much like waterskiing.
Pond skimming however, is far from as simple as waterskiing though, and the transition from land to water tends to be a treacherous one. Add in a nice little jump in front of the water, and your odds of wiping out go up drastically.
The ultimate aim though is to ski down to the water at high speed, hit the water, ski across it and out the other side – emerging victorious!
The slush cup itself is a pond skimming championship open to anyone. All you have to do is show up on the day with your skis and preferably a ridiculous costume and you’re more than welcome to ‘get your feet wet’ (disclaimer, you’ll probably get more than your feet wet) and give it a try. We recommend bringing a towel if you’re planning to get involved (maybe some hot coco and a space blanket)!
The Slush Cup champion is the person that manages to traverse the whole length of the pool and emerge onto the snow on the other side. Failing that, it’s whoever travels the furthest along the pond. Points are awarded for distance and style, so showmanship is key.
It’s a day of stupidity and fun, and costumes are welcomed, even if you’re not competing. It’s less a day of skiing, more a day of drinking and partying (mainly because the snow is all slushy), but it’s still a lot of fun even if you’re not a big drinker. There’s usually a live band and prizes and it’s something that everyone should experience once! (Check out some awesome photos here!
Each year, Sunshine digs a long trench out in front of the Day lodge and fills it with water. You’ll have a great view of the events if you’re staying in the hotel, or if you just want to climb the hill opposite the lodge and sit on the snow you’ll be able to see everything. You don’t need to be able to ski to enjoy the festivities, you just need to take a short trip up the gondola!
This year’s slush cup is scheduled for May 23rd, but if the weather continues the way it is, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it moved a little bit closer. Watch this space for updates, or check out Sunshine’s events calendar.
Here are some photos of us living it up at the 2014 86th Annual Sunshine slush cup!
Find a place to stay in Banff at www.booking.com. Or ski-in, ski-out at Sunshine Mountain Lodge!