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Plenty of Easter weekend activities

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

Diamond Peak closed last weekend without much advance warning, but with the snow rapidly disappearing it was a wise move.

Other resorts will be shutting down soon as well so check before heading out. Squaw, Heavenly, Kirkwood and Alpine Meadows will probably be among the last to shutter. If you’re hanging it up for the season be sure to back off your bindings and add a little oil to the ski and board edges. Meanwhile, the beat goes on.

– Glen Plake will lead the charge at this Saturday’s Gunbarrel 25 event at Heavenly. Idea is to run 25 laps on the famed Gunbarrel bumps. The person who completes the most laps in a given time frame will have the name engraved on a Shotgun Trophy to be displayed at Heavenly’s California lodge. All finishers will receive a pin designed by Plake.

The event begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and lasts until 4 p.m. Cost to enter is $30 and includes the pin, special T-shirt and an all you-can eat spaghetti feed at the California lodge. Questions, call Heavenly at (775) 586-7000. Have fun.

– Sierra-at-Tahoe athlete Jamie Anderson, 13, cleaned house last weekend and brought home the title of “First Overall Girl” from the inaugural “Sports Illustrated for Kids Next Snow SEARCH,” held at Keystone, Colo. She competed against 139 athletes from 51 resorts representing the future of skiing and snowboarding.

This was the first all-mountain competition for boys and girls ages 9-14. The athletes represented 16 states and provinces from the U.S. and Canada. The three-day event consisted of 11 events, including moguls, big mountain riding, park, superpipe, rails and a race.

At the awards ceremony, Anderson received first place in the “overall girl” category and Sierra-at-Tahoe athlete Natasha Sagucka won the “Judges Favorite” award. They will both be photographed for Sports Illustrated as well as featured on the televised event. The event will be broadcast on NBC nationwide on Sunday.

– Join Northstar-at-Tahoe and Sierra-at-Tahoe for mountain-sized Easter Celebrations on Sunday. The resorts are the place to be for Easter bunnies, egg hunts, plenty of surprises and big family fun. The resort will host an on-snow obstacle course at 11 a.m., followed by an egg toss at 12:30 p.m.

Squaw Valley USA hosts a variety of fun family events for Easter, including the Billy Dutton Uphill, on-mountain religious services, egg hunts galore, and visits with the Easter Bunny. On Saturday get up and get out early for the 15th annual Billy Dutton Uphill. In this test of endurance, snowshoers, runners and skate skiers race 3.2 miles uphill from Squaw Valley’s base village to the finish at High Camp. The event is open to all and the $18 registration fee (which includes a t-shirt) helps raise money for local Nordic race scholarship programs.

For the kids, the Easter Bunny will be on hand at the Squaw Kids Children’s Center throughout the day to entertain Squaw Valley’s younger skiers and snowboarders, participate with lessons and help eager youngsters with a special egg hunt of their own.

The Hunt for the Golden Egg in the Village begins at 1 p.m. and kids of all ages are encouraged to come out and search for hidden goodies. It shouldn’t be hard to find one of the 1,000 eggs full of prizes that will be hidden throughout the Village. One lucky hunter will find the Golden Egg (a $100 value).

Northstar-at-Tahoe is also hosting its first Reggae Brewfest Saturday and is free to all skiers and snowboarders, $10 to mountain visitors without a lift ticket.

Northstar’s Reggae Brewfest will feature the sunny sounds of Jamaican band, Zion Roots, and plenty of beers by the local’s favorite, Lake Tahoe Brewing Company. Expect a wide variety of foods and drinks including rousing non-alcoholic smoothie creations by Zola Acia.

– Part terrain park action and part wacky fun, Spring Jam 7 this weekend is Squaw Valley’s seventh annual spring festival to include superpipe and slopestyle competitions, a swirlie rail jam, a 60 second ski or snowboard race, a ball blitz and ball bonanza and the second ever Undie 500.

The on-mountain Slopestyle competition takes place on today at 11 a.m. in the Mainline Terrain Park. Skiers and snowboarders take two runs each on a course of rails, jumps, boxes and features with the goal to throw their best tricks and stomp all the landings.

This afternoon at 3:30 p.m. action continues with the second-ever running of the Undie 500. In this exhibition of athletic prowess, teams of two don boxers and their undergarments as they relay race around Cushing Pond in their ski or snowboard boots. Registration is $10 and starts at 2 p.m. Participants must be 18 years of age to race.

The Swirlie/Corkscrew Rail Jam heats up the Mainline Terrain Park on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Competitors will be judged on style, flair and distance around the rail.

After the swirling, the racing moves to the lower mountain Exhibition race course for the 60 Second or Bust Race. In this game of strategy, racers try to get their times on two runs down the course to combine to one minute flat. The one who can get closest to ONE minute flat in two runs without going over wins.

Registration for the Superpipe, Slopestyle and Swirlie events takes place each morning by Dave’s Deli from 8-10 a.m. with registration for the 60 Seconds or Bust race taking place at the bottom of the Exhibition race course starting at noon. Helmets are mandatory for the Superpipe, Slopestyle and Rail events and all participants must sign a liability release (a legal guardian must accompany competitors under 18 years of age). The cost to enter the Superpipe and Slopestyle events is $25 each or $40 for both, participation in the Swirlie Jam is $10 and to race in the 60 Second or Bust event is $10 for two runs or $20 for five runs. The cost for the Undie 500 is $10 and includes a pair of boxer shorts. Entry fees do not include a lift ticket.

Sam Bauman is a Nevada Appeal Staff Writer. Contact him at sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.