Team skis 17 vertical Breckenridge miles to fight cancer |

Team skis 17 vertical Breckenridge miles to fight cancer

Robert Allen
Breckenridge, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” Skiers and riders bombed down Peaks 9 and 10 at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado on Saturday in a competition for vertical feet and support for cancer research.

“We’re going non-stop all day ” no lunch or pee break,” said skier P.J. Hoskinson, member of team “Leave it to Beaver,” as he and his teammates ascended the Quicksilver lift for the day’s first run.

The fourth annual Hope on the Slopes fundraiser accrued more than double last year’s donations, with about $41,000 raised for cancer research and support. Some 218 people participated, said resort spokesman Ryan Whaley.

“It’s the feel-good event of the year,” he said.

Hoskinson said his team raised about $4,000, mostly from local businesses. The team of Breckenridge ski and snowboard instructors aimed to hit about 40,000 vertical feet for its six members.

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“Basically higher than a jetliner flies, we’re gonna ski,” Hoskinson said.

But the goal was way off.

The team won the vertical-feet competition, accumulating a whopping 89,793 feet ” the equivalent of 17 vertical miles ” of skiing and riding.

Snowboarder Kim McCabe, also of “Leave it to Beaver,” won first in fundraising, at $1,756.

“I think everybody knows somebody who’s been affected,” she said of cancer.

Team “Serial Killers” won first for team fundraising, with $4,497.

Participants’ vertical feet were tracked through GPS devices provided by flaik, a company that launched the technology at Copper Mountain Resort in November.

The small, red devices strapped to participants’ arms on Saturday are capable of tracking speed, distance and elevation. They were tracked throughout the day via computer monitor.

Jessie Paige, Breckenridge Resort events manager, said that though participants were to stay on Peaks 9 and 10, some were tracked hiking to the Windows area between Peaks 8 and 9.

She said the it’s hopeful the Hope on the Slopes event will return to Breckenridge next year.

American Cancer Society event co-chair Darcie Allen said last year’s event, at Loveland Ski Area, raised about $17,000. It was also much colder.

Saturday was sunny with fresh snow.

Paige said extra ski patrol and lift-line support were brought in to ensure everyone was “having a good day and keeping safe.”

Most participants come from the Front Range, and about half own ski passes. Benefits for those participating included a more than 50 percent discount on lift tickets, lodging discounts and more.

Susan Scott, also of the cancer society, said about $5 million is raised in Colorado each year, though the state receives more than $11 million in research grants allocated from a national pool.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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