Lift lines stayed long as no one stayed in at the bottom of the hill for long in their quest to make the almighty 20 runs.

Challenging Everest heights

A T-bar, a crowd and 20 runs of gruelling fun.

How many runs do you get in when you go out to Troll? Five? 10? 15? How about 20? That’s 20 trips up that t-bar and twenty trips down the hill and no time to sit on a chair lift and relax. It’s also 30,000 vertical feet, which is roughly analogous to Mt. Everest.

That sounds heavy, but skiers aged 4-73  were out on the slopes angling to hit those Everest-reaching heights.

The idea started with a long time skier, as he and Leonard Sinclair were talking about how many runs they would get in during a day.

“Last winter he was telling me how he could ski 18 or 20 runs a day, so  we started to equating that to how much vertical and how far that was,” Sinclair said.

“And 20 runs is just over 30,000 feet of vertical – 20 runs on our red t-bar it’s two kilometres up and two kilometres down, so at the end of 20 runs you’re going to ski 80 kilometres or more. And so, Gary was talking about trying to get his 20 runs in everyday.

“So I started thinking we should probably do a fun event for the public to come out and challenge themselves – because in the ski world it’s all about vertical.”

The fact that skiers and borders here can make 20 runs, all without that chair lift break, is a testament to local skier’s fitness, said Sinclair.

“We have t-bars and a big mountain without a chair. We always say we love t-bars because we’re in better shape than people who ski on the chairs.”

Participants donned bibs over ski wear and outrageous costumes and threw themselves at the challenge as soon as the t-bar started..

But to make sure the event went off well and to add a little more spice to the event, there were a few rules.

“To make it a little more difficult, so they don’t just go up and come down the shortest run, we designated seven runs that you have to ski,” Leonard said.

“So that adds a little bit of strategy to it.”

It also had participants touring the whole hill in the search for their 20 runs.

Everything was run by the people up top, as they counted runs and took tokens that were given out on each required run, so no one slipped through without going the whole nine yards, or rather 30,000 feet.

To facilitate success, the ski lift was kept open an extra hour.

“What we want is for people to complete the event – it’s a personal challenge, not a race,” Sinclair said.

Originally, the challenge was restricted to a mere 80 people, but a glut of skiers and boarders in the early morning hours convinced Hildur and Leonard Sinclair to open the event up, so next year more skiers and borders will be accepted.

Participants were put in five age categories, varying from 0 all the way up to young at heart and prizes were drawn out of the names of those who made all 20 challenging runs.

Top prizes in each category were a pair of new skis.

Participants were also encouraged to make the event more colourful by coming out in costumes and the best and most colourful was awarded a prize.

A busy month

For the ninth year, Telefest will bring telemarkers and those who want to try on those novel skis, to Troll March 1.

Event coordinator, Dougal Hines is excited about the upcoming festival.

“The big news is the Joey Only Outlaw Band – they’re smoking hot,” he said.

“We’re expecting a great show from them – a family show.”

And a raft of sponsors offering up their wares for raffle, including Barkerville Brewing, Sleemans, Rocky Peak and Red Shreds, rounds out the extra-curricular activities at the mountain.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you’re going to get a draw prize, which is the cool thing this year,” Hines said.

The main course, however, will be the telemark skiing, as veterans will hit the slopes and the race track and neophytes will have the option of trying out equipment to see if the sport is for them.

The event will be capped by a race  through a specially prepped track to the bottom where they will search for beer buried in the snow with an avalanche beacon.

Afterwards, a meal of curried dishes and salads will be on offer for tired skiers to bridge the gap between concert and skiing.

Hines is expecting 80 telemarkers and telemarkers-to-be to show up at the event, with some extra people coming at night to crash the Joey Only concert.

The event will once again feature a specially designed t-shirt, designed this year by Claire Kujundzic.

Cover charge for the concert is included in the entry fee, lift tickets are sold separately at a discount and dinner will be available for a nominal fee.

For information, or to buy a ticket, call Troll at 1-250-994-3200.

Also on tap for the month is the  Rail Jam, March 8.

This year with the improved park, participants will be jamming there.

 

Check with Troll Ski and Snowboard for more details, or if you want to help out call Scott Zacharias at 1-250-994-3352.

 

 

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