By Luke Weir
As spring snowfall sprinkles Boone, the annual Meltdown Games at Appalachian Ski Mountain will bring an end to its 56th season this weekend. Cash and prizes from the mountain’s slope side Alpine Ski Shop will be awarded to winners of various snow-sport competitions, according to Appalachian Ski Mountain marketing director Drew Stanley.
Meltdown Games events include a cardboard box derby, downhill trash bag race, ski and snowboard big air competitions, and the crowd-favored pond skim costume contest, among others, Stanley said.
“It’s always a nice way to cap off a good season, wrap it up with some fun events like this,” Stanley said.
Appalachian Ski Mountain is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the end of the season Sunday. The Meltdown Games are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A full schedule of Meltdown Games events is available below.
“This weekend is going to be a fun one,” Stanley said. “We’ll have plenty of snow and a majority of the slopes open.”
Participation in the Meltdown Games is free with the purchase of a lift ticket. Those who wish to participate must first sign a waiver at the Alpine Ski Shop, Stanley said.
Spectators can watch the games for free from a roped-off area close to the action, Stanley said, or at a distance from the mountain’s observation deck.
“The pond skim is the crowd favorite, and probably my personal favorite,” Stanley said. “It’s a lot of fun to watch.”
Construction on the 80-foot skimming pond begins Friday night and will continue into Saturday night and Sunday morning prior to the event, Stanley said. Prizes will be awarded to the skier and the snowboarder who skim with the most style, and an additional prize goes out for best splash.
“We’ve had people ski the pond before with one ski, we’ve had people skim it backwards,” Stanley said. “The water comes right from the snowmaking reservoir, so given these cold temperatures lately it ought to feel pretty refreshing.”