Afton Alps’ Spring Fling brings the party to the hill

Every year the winter season comes to an end, the snow melts, and ski resorts must close for the summer. However, Afton Alps enjoys giving one final hurrah before closing in their annual Spring Fling event. Held on Mar. 15, Spring Fling includes a barbecue, music, public race courses, obstacle courses and the beloved water skipping.

Ski instructor Carissa Phelps looks forward to the event every year, and believes it to be her favorite part of the ski season.

“I wait and wait all season for Spring Fling every year. I have been going with my family since I was about six, and we have always had a blast. Now, I bring my friends and we have the most fun we ever have during the season,” said Phelps.

Although geared for the customers, Spring Fling is just as much a celebration for the Afton Alps employees.

“Every year I find myself very distracted by the Spring Fling events and pray that I don’t get lessons so I can go have fun,” said Phelps. “Don’t get me wrong, if I do get a lesson I would be focused on that and think about the event later.”

I have been going with my family since I was about six, and we have always had a blast.”

— Carissa Phelps

In the 2012, Spring Fling was even more exciting for those who have a low tolerance to the cold with the strangely hot temperatures.

“My freshman year it was 80 degrees outside,” explained Phelps, “and even though there were only five runs open my friends and I had a blast skiing in t-shirts through the slush.”

Every year, hundred of people come solely to witness or participate in Spring Fling’s most cherished event, water skipping. Essentially, the skiers and snowboarders attempt to water ski on alpine skis. At the bottom of a 200 yard hill sits a four feet deep and 20 feet long pool of water. The skiers and snowboarders ski down the hill and skip across the water and try not to tip in, but make it all the way across. After everybody has made an attempt, those who make it across go again, but this time start closer to the water. They keep moving closer until a winner is redeemed.

“I participated in the water skipping last year,” explained senior Maggie Zeidel, “and I made it until the final round with about 10 other people before I fell in. Water skipping will always remain as my favorite part of Spring Fling.”

On Mar. 15, Afton Alps invites everyone to help spring into spring with their annual Spring Fling party on the slopes.