Most Unique Pond Skimming Events in North America

Skier attempting to do pond skim during Cushing Crossing at Palisades Tahoe Image appears courtesy: Palisades Tahoe - Photo by: Hank DeVre

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There’s something about spring that brings the wackiness out of skiers. It could be the ample amount of sunshine, the deep snow pack, or maybe that the season is almost over. Perhaps this is how a pond skim came to be. A competition or rite of passage as some would describe it, contestants ski or snowboard into a frigid pool or pond with the goal of skimming across to the other side. Here are the most unique pond skimming events in North America going down this April & May.

Most Unique Pond Skimming Events (Order by Date)

Caribou Cup

Hosted By One Of The Rowdiest Ski Bars In North America
Date: April 6th, 2024

skier pond skimming at Mt Tremblant L'Ptit Caribou Cup
Image appears courtesy: L’Ptit Caribou

On the eastern side of Canada, the Caribou Cup ushers spring into the province of Quebec. Hosted by arguably one of the rowdiest ski bars on the continent – Le P’tit Caribou. Don’t believe us? Countless magazines such as Men’s Journal, Canadian Traveler Magazine, and National Geographic hail them as one of the best. Ski Canada has ranked them as the top après-ski bar in eastern North America for more than a decade. Even Forbes has proclaimed it to be the fourth best après-ski bar in the world. If you go, be prepared for a WILD weekend of fun.

Pond Skimming (Sugarbush)

Longest Pond in United States
Date: April 6th, 2024

Sugarbush Vermont Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing
Unique approach Image taken by: Patrick Breen

Spring is a time of contrasts in Vermont. One day it might snow, and the next the dirt mountain roads become slop during the infamous mud season. Those hearty East Coasters always seem to take it in stride. Makes sense that this would be where the OLDEST continuously running pond skimming event in the United States would exist. Adding to that, the Sugarbush event also claims to have the longest stretch of water to skim in the US. How long you ask? 120 feet!!! That’s like a 10+ story building.

Parc-de-Snow (Val-d’Irene)

Longest pond skim in North America
Date: April 12th 2024
Tucked away in the eastern province of Quebec is an unassuming ski area called Parc Regional Val-d’Irene. As part of their annual Parc-de-Snow party, they offer contestants a chance to pond skim across the longest pond in North America – 215 FEET. They’ll also serve up three days of partying to go with it.

Val d Irene Pond Skimming
Skier attempting the longest pond skim in North America – Image by Marcel Levesque

Mammoth Pond Skim

Start of Spring Skiing
Date: April 14th, 2024

Snowboarder gliding through the pond skim at Mammoth Mountain Resort
Image appears courtesy: Mammoth Mountain Resort

As Tupac likes to croon … Cali knows how to party and that can be seen at the annual pond skim at Mammoth. Instead of the end of season party, Mammoth’s is like the beginning of their LONG spring skiing season. The first fifty costumed skiers and snowboarders get the opportunity to huck themselves across the 100-foot pond of water.

Springfest Pond Skim (Stevens Pass)

Chuck-A-Duck, Dummy Downhill & More
Date: April 14th, 2024 (subject to change)

Stevens Pass WA Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing
Pond Skim Image taken by: Ilya Panchenko

Not to be outdone by the other pond skimming events, the PNW Wonderland resort of Stevens Pass holds their Springfest on the last weekend of the season. Besides the pond skim, they also have a dummy downhill race and a Chuck-a-Duck. The dummy downhill is like the demolition derby of skiing with chaos, mayhem, and of course fun. The Chuck-a-Duck contest is where you attempt to throw a duck into a target out on the pond. The first five ducks to make it earn a FREE season pass for the next season! All proceeds go to the Outdoors for All non-profit.

32nd Annual Cushing Crossing (Palisades Tahoe)

Done on an actual pond
Date: TBD

Skier attempting to do pond skim during Cushing Crossing at Palisades Tahoe
Image appears courtesy: Palisades Tahoe – Photo by: Hank DeVre

This pond skimming event is across a REAL pond named Lake Cushing, located just below the Gold Coast lift. The event is the brainchild of Jean Hagan, the woman in charge at the (former Squaw Valley) Beer Garden. Jean and her staff plus Tom O’Neil of Olympic Plaza along with a group of ski bums cobbled together that year’s first event. Thirty plus years later, this event is still bumping along just as wild as the first one!

95th-ish Annual Sunshine Village’s Slush Cup

The oldest Spring fest in North America
Date: May 20th, 2024

Sunshine Village Banff AB Canada Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing
Slush Cup Image taken by: Michael Lawton

Yes, you read that right! It’s back! In its 95th installment, this could be considered the grandfather (or mother) of all spring events. Started by a couple of rowdy skiers in 1928 named Cliff Whyte and Cyril Paris, they discovered that fires and logging had created ready-made ski slopes all around Banff. After skiing deep powder all winter long, these ski bums along with their buddies gathered to celebrate the snow-melt runoff and started what has become a tradition for finishing off the long ski season in Banff. Makes sense why we put these two resorts in our top 10 for spring skiing.

Mt Baker Slush Cup

The original pond skim
Date: June/July (subject to snowmelt)

The original pond skim may have started in Banff but the pond skimming movement as we know today was because of the Mt Baker Slush Cup. Just a few years after the 1st lifts came to Mt. Baker Ski Area in 1953, the 1st edition of the Mt. Baker Slush Cup was born. Throughout the 50’s, 60s, and 70s, this iconic early summer tradition was featured in countless Warren Miller films especially the most legendary 1954 edition. At almost every ski resort in the world, they’ve tried to replicate what happened that day. After a decades long hiatus, the event has been put on more as a grassroots event. To find out if and when the event is happening, visit the Mt Baker Slush Cup facebook page.

Maybe 2025?

The following events aren’t on any of their calendars and therefore can’t confirm or deny they’re happening. Fingers crossed that they’re just postponed and will be back in 2025.

Annual World Pond Skimming Championships (Vail)

Spoof on the World Alpine Championship
Date: ????

Spring back to Vail Colorado Best Pond Skimming Events spring skiing
Spring back to Vail – Image taken by: Doug Clayton @dougtheexplorer

The first thing you’ll think when you read the title World Pond Skimming Championships is “Who crowned this event with such a big name?” Well, it started as a spoof on the World Alpine Championship back in 1999. Now as part of the “Spring Back to Vail” Festival, this is a rowdy event filled with thousands of spectators. If you aren’t into skimming, don’t worry. There’s music, fun, and all kinds of other happenings going on to close out their season. But if you do want to try for the Golden Skimmer, the top male and female finishers receive a Epic Season Pass! Actually, all participants get a special Helly Hansen backpack and there’s other prizes awarded for the best crash, best costume, and more!

Big Sky Pond Skim (Big Sky)

Most Creative Setup
Date: Late April 2025

Big Sky pond skim is by far the most creative on the list. In 2011, the course contained two successive pools on the slope with a small area of snow between them. Then in 2014, there were two side-by-side water pools, one with a jump next to it and another with a long rail across it. No matter if you’re attempting to skim or just spectating, chances are you’ll be blown away. Just beware that if you do spectate, there’s a good chance you’ll get hosed from the water spraying into the crowd. Will it happen in 2024? Currently we don’t see it as an event on Big Sky’s website so we don’t know.

This is our list of favorite pond skim events happening across North America. We hope you make it to one and celebrate Spring pool-side! Did we miss any on the list? If so, let us know and tell us why.

4 thoughts on “Most Unique Pond Skimming Events in North America

  1. Cushing crossing doesn’t happen near gold coast, it happens between Washeshu and KT-22

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