Resort continues to turn a sport into a party


Posted Tue, Apr 27, 2010

WINTER PARK, COLO. The 42nd annual Coca Cola Spring Splash took place on Sunday at the Winter Park Ski Resort. On this sunny, final day of the season, 100 skiers and snowboarders registered to compete in this entertaining tradition. 

 Locals and tourists who have been a part of this big closing-day celebration don’t consider it just another day on the hill. “It’s just a big party,” said Jarrett Grant, a 20-year-old from Westminster who has been snowboarding for 14 years at Winter Park.

 “The snow is a lot different during spring skiing, but it’s a good reminder that summer is on its way. And summer reminds us that fall is on its way. And fall means winter is almost here so the season can start again! Spring Splash is always a sweet closure to the season, because we can just come up here and have a blast.”

Grant isn’t the only one who thrives on Colorado ski seasons. Snowboarder and Metro State student Chelsea Martinez, 21, of Arvada got “up the hill” over 60 times this winter.

 “It’s so freeing to be riding down the mountain, so I don’t know why I wouldn’t take advantage of living here. I appreciate late-winter snow, but the Spring Splash is something I look forward to all year.”

 The first 100 who register are eligible to compete, and Martinez was too late this year. It would have been her fourth year to compete.

 “I was pretty bummed that I didn’t make it this year, but the whole day in general is worth coming up for. Everyone throws on crazy clothes, has snowball fights while they’re shredding down the mountain, and it’s just a crowd of people wanting to have fun. It really is just a huge party!”

The temperature was in the 50’s, and bikini’s and swim trunks seemed to be the wardrobe for many of the participants in the competition. The participants in the Spring Splash begin by struggling through obstacles then speed down a fenced trail to launch off of a jump into an icy pond. The goal is to skim across the water and reach the finish line on the other side, but very rarely do contestants stay on their feet.

 “It’s not as fun to worry about posting a good time. It’s more fun to make a show out of it,” said Martinez, while letting a grin show through her bandana. Martinez back-flipped into the pond in 2009.   “I really hope this tradition, well more like ‘party,’ sticks around until my grandchildren can compete in it. Just so I can show them up!”

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