Ever wanted to ski Mount Everest?
Well now, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the next best thing: skiing 29,029 vertical feet (8,850 metres)in one day, and all for a good cause.
The Canadian Cancer Society is hosting the third annual Slopes For Hope at Red Mountain on Feb. 22, raising money for cancer research and getting winter sports enthusiasts to ski the equivalent of the highest mountain in the world.
The distance works out to just over 12 runs from the top of Granite Mountain to the base lodge at the ski resort.
“It seems like a lot of big fundraising events happen in the warmer weather and living in the Kootenays, we are in the perfect location for a skiing and snowboarding event,” said Allison McCarthy, annual giving coordinator with the Trail branch of the Canadian Cancer Society.
For those that aren’t partial to a downhill run, Slopes for Hope organizers have now opened up registration to cross-country skiers as well. For the first time, Black Jack Cross-Country Ski Club is participating in the event.
“The goal (at Black Jack) is a 10-kilometre loop, which comes pretty close to the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest,” said McCarthy.
“Every year, we try to add a new element of the love of winter and the love of snow. We are happy to be able to include everybody who likes to be out there doing winter sports.”
The team or individual that raises the most money and skis the farthest distance will be awarded the coveted Golden Boot trophy and have bragging rights until next year.
“It is an actual kid’s ski boot that Rossland Collision painted gold for us and we put it on a trophy base,” said McCarthy. “It is super cool. (The winner) can keep it for the year. If it was a business who put together a team, then they could display the trophy in their office.”
To be eligible to take home the Golden Boot, register online at www.slopesforhope.ca. McCarthy says the event is open to teams and individuals of all ages and skill levels.
“Last year, we had three people who skied over 40,000 vertical feet by themselves,” she said. “It is very doable. They were pretty intense on their skiing, but we had a lot of families too. My son did it last year, and was five years old at the time and he skied 11,000 vertical feet on his own. It sounds like a huge goal, but it is also attainable.”
Slopes for Hope 2015 is hoping to build on the success of the previous event, which raised just under $11,000. This year, the society hopes to double that number.
“Last year, we had a $5,000 event goal and ended up raising $10,898 with over 50 people,” she said. “This year, we are going to up the ante and are shooting for that $20,000 goal.”
Want to support the cause, but aren’t exactly graceful on a set of skis or a snowboard? The Canadian Cancer Society is also hosting a raffle with some big prizes.
“We have some amazing prizes in the raffle,” said McCarthy. “First prize is a Pelican Elite Horizon Series fishing kayak worth $1,200 donated by Canadian Tire. It is a great kayak. Second prize is a pair of K2 women’s skis with bindings from Gerick’s and K2, worth $480, and third prize is a one-day Big Red Cat ski package, valued at $299.”
Tickets for the raffle will go on sale at the Canadian Cancer Society office in Trail and Gerick’s Sports starting Jan. 26. They will also be available at Red Mountain Family Fun Night on Jan. 31.
Tickets will be one for $5, or three for $10.
For more information on the event, where the money goes and how to register, visit www.slopesforhope.ca.