MARTOCK - Taking a dip in a freezing cold pool of water is a great way to ring in spring, right?
Well for 75 brave skiers and snowboarders, being a part of the Slush Cup at Ski Martock is worth the risk.
Greg Kerr and Kimberley Sutherland made history together at the annual event, being the first to ever make it across the pond at the Slush Cup – on one snowboard.
“Oh my God, it was the most intense thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Sutherland said, safely on dry land. “We were a bit concerned, but we had the best track record, this was the dream team.”
Greg Kerr admitted he was scared of taking a dip.
“I was surprised we made it across,” Kerr said.
Sutherland has been participating in the Slush Cup for 10 years and Greg has completed it 19 times.
“A lot of reputation on the line for us yeah,” he said. “It was pretty nerve-wracking.”
Sutherland said she thinks they’re the first to attempt a tandem snowboard run.
“We couldn’t find a thing online, so I was like ‘dude, we’ve been talking about it for a couple of years, lets do it,’” she said.
The pair did some practise runs before the real deal. They’re hoping to use the tandem board in the future for other activities at the ski hill.
Kerr and Sutherland said the key to operating a snowboard with another rider is good communication.
“Your instincts are telling you to kind of do one thing, but you have to make sure he other person’s doing the same thing,” she said. “Balance is key. Two beginners could not just jump on and do that.”
Andy MacLean, operations manager at Ski Martock said the Slush Cup always makes for a nice send-off to the season.
“Slush Cup went great, it always surprises us how many people turn out for it every year,” MacLean said. “It’s sort of like a rite of spring. The Slush Cup comes and you know you’re that much closer to your garden and your bicycle.”
MacLean said Ski Martock experienced a more “typical” Nova Scotia winter this year, compared to last year’s record snowfall.
“That’s the business we’re in, we’re used to snow making, we’re used to making it count,” he said. “The big thing with us was how happy our guests were with the conditions we were able to provide, despite the weather.”
Seventy-five people participated in the Slush Cup, some wearing colourful costumes, ranging in age from five to 41.
“There was a disproportionate number of people who made it across, and I don’t like that,” MacLean said with a grin. “We had some good slams, which I’m always happy to see, but we’re going to work on it.”
Canon Beazley, 6, gave the Slush Cup a try for the first time, but didn’t make it across this time.
“It was fun,” Beazley said. “I’m so cold, I feel like I weigh 165 pounds.”
He said he might try it again next year.