Pond skimming closes Bachelor season

Slideshow: Zany annual event brings costumed athletes

By Hillary Borrud / The Bulletin / @hborrud


Published May 26, 2014 at 12:01AM / Updated May 26, 2014 at 06:43AM

It was sink or skim on Sunday, for costumed contestants in the annual North American Pond Skimming Championships at Mt. Bachelor ski area.

Skier Maxwell Cook, 18, of Bend, managed to do a 180-degree turn at the end of the pond, earning applause from the crowd. Cook said he competed in a couple of previous Mt. Bachelor pond skimming championships, and it helps to avoid heavy costumes.

“The less clothes, the better,” Cook said.

The annual competition brought a close to the ski resort’s spring season. Mt. Bachelor plans to reopen in July for chairlift rides, sunset dinners and mountain biking.

In Sunday’s event, skiers and snowboarders were allowed two runs down the short hill and, hopefully, across the 100-foot pond at the resort’s West Village. Five judges awarded points for style, costume and how well the competitors made it across the pond. The event was open to all ages, and the entry fee was $25.

Sunday was the first time Audrey Botti, 22, of Portland had tried pond skimming, and she made it all the way across the water on her skis while wearing a purple tutu. Botti said two tactics helped her ski across the pond.

“Keep your skis together like a water ski,” Botti said. “When you get to the bottom (of the hill), give it one more oomph to get across.”

Ryan Palo, 30, offered advice on how to snowboard across the pond.

“You just don’t use your edges at all,” said Palo, who wore a “Canadian tuxedo” of cutoff denim shorts and a denim vest. “You just mainline it.”

Teddy Charlton, 14, nearly made it across the pond before sliding back into the water. Charlton said it was nerve-wracking to wait at the top of the course, especially “when two of your friends go in front of you and totally eat it.”

Mt. Bachelor employees stood by with poles to help out people who sank into the frigid pond.

“There’s chunks of ice in there, and you can’t feel your body when you’re in there,” said Missy Little, 30, who dressed as a boxer in a pink Everlast robe and boxing gloves.

“It was one of those things I had to try. I don’t know if I’ll do it again.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7829, hborrud@bendbulletin.com