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Great run for ski resorts

Ski hills in the north and south Okanagan are wrapping up their skiing seasons this weekend (Apr 2-3) with fun events — while Big White near Kelowna and Sun Peaks near Kamloops will continue to operate.

To the north, Silver Star Resort is holding its first annual Slush Cup and Superhero Day on Saturday.

The event involves a puddle jump/pond skim where skiers and snowboarders compete to get across a large puddle of water. The winner gets to take home a new pair of K2 skis. Skiers can register for free outside town hall until 10 a.m. on Saturday.

“Superhero Day can be part of Slush Cup, or not,” said Erik Kalacis, sales and marketing director. “We are encouraging participants to jump the pond dressed as their favourite superhero, or they can simply let their inner vigilante out for the day and enjoy the fantastic spring skiing and snowboarding out on the mountain.”

Silver Star is offering a lift ticket special for the closing weekend.

“The conditions are amazing,” said Kalacis. “We’ve got an alpine base of almost 2.5 metres and a seasonal cumulative snowfall of 7.8 metres.”

On Sunday, Retro Day returns when skiers are encouraged to dust off old gear and ski or snowboard in their tightest and brightest old-school outfits. A fashion showdown takes place at 3 p.m. in the village.

As well, Silver Star is holding a free BBQ lunch for season pass holders.

To the south, Apex Mountain Resort holds its Downhill Dummy on Saturday when staff from the resort’s departments, including maintenance, patrol and lift operators, send dummies down the ski jump “where they crash into a million pieces,” laughed spokeswoman Michelle Rayner.

Apex is no stranger to the Slush Cup which will be held on the mountain Sunday.

“It is fun to watch,” said Rayner. “Whoever gets across without getting wet wins a prize.”

Big White and Sun Peaks resorts plan to remain open until April 10.

“We had a ton of fresh snow over (last) weekend and we’re expecting double digit temperatures,” said Bethan Wetheral of guest services at Big White. “I’d definitely call it spring skiing.”

Wetheral said there was lots of snow on the mountain and plenty of fresh skiing in ungroomed and tree runs.

The 2016 season has been the most successful year in Big White’s 53-year-history.

“It’s been an incredible year for Big White,” said Michael J. Ballingall, senior vice-president, sales and marketing. “Huge snowfall, more accessible flight routes, and the strong U.S. dollar have all contributed to record-breaking numbers of visitors this season.”

“They are spring conditions here with beautiful blue sky,” said Kyle Taylor of Sun Peaks. “All of our runs are open.”

Sun Peaks will have a fun end to its ski season with plans for a Slush Cup and a Top to Bottoms race that involves a dash from the top of the Burfield chairlift to Bottoms Bar & Grill. Details can be found online.

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