When you’re planning your next snow skiing adventure with your family or group of friends, consider putting together an Amazing Ski Race, aka A Super Fun Way to Spend a Day Having a Scavenger Hunt Spanning Five Mountains in 22 Degree Weather. Yep.
Our Orlando Ski Club (yes, Florida has snow ski clubs) group gathered around a fireplace one evening while Dale, our trip leader, explained the details and rules of our upcoming amazing race. We would have to decipher clues, find and ski to each clue/destination, take photographs at each location and email the evidence to the trip leader. First team to correctly submit all the photos would be declared The Winner.
I put a trail map on the table and our group of seven tackled the list of trail sign clues such as “large carnivore capture”, “made for your birthday wish”, and “four bases on one hit”. (Answers – Jack Rabbit, Piece of Cake and Home Run.) Our trip leader had given us over two dozen clues to figure out, so we knew we would have to be organized and dedicated to find all the answers before sundown the next day! The rules stated we could start planning that evening, but all photographs would have to be taken the following day.
Easy ski lift clues included “thirst quencher”, “UCLA home venue,” and “falls off yearly” (answers – Drink of Water, Rose Bowl and Elkhorn). Other clues were tougher and took some time. Other general clues required having a picture taken with a bald man (imagine how skiers wear hats or helmets), or in front of a fireplace or specific restaurant. Clever trail sign clues were “Goose’s Top Gun partner” (Maverick), and “Hatfield nemesis” (McCoy).
Amazing Race Day
On Race Day we hit the slopes, and our team separated into groups so we could cover more territory. My own first assignment was to find the restaurant which matched the clue “un-moved boot steakhouse” and have my picture taken. The Dusty Boot Restaurant was ½ mile down the village, it was closed, and there were no pedestrians around to take my picture. Selfies were not allowed. Eventually I found a kind soul to schlep over the restaurant sign in the window and take my picture – success!
All members of all teams had to meet at a certain restaurant up on a mountain in a certain time frame, otherwise face disqualification. My team hurried along, and ended the day with a cold beer over a hot fire pit, celebrating what we thought was surely a first place title. After all, we were quite smart and efficient, and we simply couldn’t imagine how the other teams could have beat us. And drum roll, out of three teams, we came in 3rd place! So we were disappointed, and while we did not claim the title, we had a blast and congratulated our trip leader on such a fun and challenging adventure. It was an amazing race.