We survived, barely…
After 36 straight hours of skiing, partying and sleep deprivation Team Freeskier emerged from the 36 hours of Keystone in one piece, uninjured and slightly hungover. For those not familiar with the event, let me break it down for you. Once a year, Keystone keeps the lifts and lights on for 36 straight hours. The goal is to form a team of 3 to 4 members, each hour one member of that team must take a run. Complete the challenge and you’re entered in a drawing for $3,600 in cash and a pile of bragging rights. During the 36 hours of operation Keystone keeps almost everything in the village open, has live music, food and this year something very special a 36 hour Guitar Hero 3 competition.
The event started off strong, we were motivated, caffeinated and ready to tear up the slopes. Everything was going strong for the first 20 hours, then we got some visitors. A couple phonecalls and a knock on the door was all it took to derail our hopes in completing the challenge. In a matter of minutes the Freeskier team HQ became party central as we were joined by TJ Schiller, Colby James West, PK Hunder, Simon Dumont, John Symms, Peter Olenick and more. I guess thats what happens when you’ve got an Xbox 360 with Guitar Hero, yo-yo, coffee ice cubes, Scrabble, warm condo and fresh copies of the 2008 Photo Annual kicking around.
Within minutes our quiet base of operation was tipped upside down and was in full party mode. PK Hunder zoned out for the next 8 hours and worked on his Guitar Hero skills, someone in the kitchen was doing a shoe, the Scrabble board was getting some action from TJ, Simon and Symms, Peter Olenick was wandering around wearing the Viosport helmet cam and ordering pizzas. We were in full party mode, the 36 hours challenge quickly became an afterthought.
The next morning after we emerged from our comatose state and cleared the masses from the room we headed up to the hill to continue our quest to get in as many turns as we could. Sure, we knew that we had no hopes of winning anything but we pushed on. Helmet cams were mounted to skis, Mike Clarke was throwing backflips and snow was steadily coming down. Some folks still hanging tough in the challenge looked destroyed from the skiing, partying and lack of sleep but somehow they pushed on.
Sure, we didn’t survive the 36 hours but looking back it was a great time with friends, we got to ski whenever we wanted no matter what time it was and Keystone kept it rocking for two straight days. If you’re anywhere near Colorado next year I highly suggest you scrape together three friends and head up for 36 hours of Keystone. While it is uncertain that you’ll ski away with $3,600 but you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time.
Special thanks to everyone at Keystone for their generous hospitality. Also, be sure to head up there soon for the opening of A51. The snowguns have been cranking on the park and it should be opening up shortly, click here to see a photo!