Most people know about the Slush Cup, but the Alyeska Spring Carnival hosts many more festivities. After the chaos of Saturday’s crowd has died down and most of Anchorage has returned to town, the mountain is still far from empty. Those who are in the know stick around to compete the three remaining events that require even more skill, creativity and bravery than hurling themselves over, and usually into, a cold pond.
The morning starts with racers swapping out edges for wheels as they attempt to survive a downhill mountain bike race along the still frozen groomers of the Main Street Trail. Shane Collins took the overall win with an amazing time of 3:25, nearly a minute faster than Jimmy Horrigan, who took first place in the under-18 division.
The party then moves to Lower Confidence where the Dummy Downhill finds out just what they mean by “Send it big!” The contest is free to enter and judged based on the creativity, biggest air and best crash. A favorite entry this year was a unicorn pool toy strapped onto a sled. (While it unfortunately went off course and missed the jump completely, it did give me an idea for next year’s Slush Cup costume contest.) This year the ski and snowboard instructors at the Alyeska Mountain Learning Center took home the first-place finish and $300 with “Betty Bubbly” barreling down the hill in a wooden tub.
The last event takes place where the Slush Cup does and manages to send even more people into the pond. The XTRATUFF Tug-O-War is free to enter and the winning team of 5 each get to take home a brand-new pair of the iconic Alaskan footwear. The only catch is that if you lose, you are going in for a swim. This year drew 26 teams which meant that more than 120 people were pulled into the water.
Unfortunately, I was unable to make it through to the end, however, the beautiful bluebird day made for wonderful conclusion to the 42nd Annual Spring Carnival.