The ultimate ski challenge comes to Heavenly, California, as Glen Plakeâ€™s Gunbarrel 25 makes its way to the resort on April 2, 2005. Heavenlyâ€™s Ski.E.O. and legendary freestyle skier, Glen Plake, will host the second annual Gunbarrel 25, an event in which skiers and riders challenge each other to see who can complete 25 laps on what Heavenly believe is North Americaâ€™s toughest black-diamond bump run â€“ Gunbarrel. Incorporating Plakeâ€™s passion for freestyle skiing with Heavenlyâ€™s legendary spring bumps, the event is designed for all types of skiers and riders, including competitive athletes, local â€œFace Ratsâ€, and even the weekend bump skier.
â€œThis is my favourite event of the whole year,â€ says Plake. â€œItâ€™s a chance for me to ski on the best bump run and have tons of fun with some old, and new, friends. Last year, we had almost a hundred participantsâ€¦including my seven year old niece who completed all 25 runs along with my dadâ€¦her grandfather.â€
As one of the most recognizable skiers in the world, Plake began skiing Heavenly in 1968 as a member of the resortâ€™s Blue Angels race team. At the same time, Heavenly became the epicenter for a new sport called â€œhotdoggingâ€â€¦ now referred to as freestyle skiing. The resort hosted several major freestyle events, including the Chevy Freestyle Tour, throughout the mid-1970â€™s.
It was while watching those competitions that Plake fell in love with the new sport and began building his path to stardom. Thanks to endless runs on the resortâ€™s famous Gunbarrel, he blossomed into a nationally recognized mogul skier and was invited to join the U.S. Ski Team in 1985. However, due to a lack of funding, his Olympic dreams were never realized. Plake instead returned to the free-spirited sport of â€œhotdogâ€ skiing, and has since become an international ski icon.
Participants of the Gunbarrel 25 will have the opportunity to ski with Plake, as well as compete for the first-place prize. The top male and female to complete 25 laps within the given time frame will have their names engraved on the shotgun trophy to be displayed inside Heavenlyâ€™s California Lodge. All participants completing 25 runs receive a commemorative pin designed by Glen himself and a Gunbarrel 25 participants will receive a Gunbarrel 25 t-shirt. Additionally, Glen will host an all-you-can-eat spaghetti feed inside the California Lodge following the event.
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