Face Odyssey breaks pledge record
The Face Odyssey 2001 set an all-time new record for vertical feet skied at Heavenly Ski Resort, runs skied on the Face and up to $10,000 in pledges raised for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
On April 10, after being rescheduled twice due to weather, a group of 10 skiers ranging from 24 to 55 years of age, set out to ski more than one million vertical feed on Heavenly’s famous “Face.” With 18 inches of new snow the past three days and clear, sunny skies, conditions were perfect.
Participants in the Face Odyssey 2001 fund-raiser were Ron Smith, Joe Leavesley, Jim Bailey, Mike Belik, Janez Demsar, Pat Medau, Don Holloway, David Beronio, Regan Cole and Patricia Schneeberger.
“We were blessed with a great day and the conditions were fantastic. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete all 61 runs, but it wasn’t really that hard,” said Regan Cole, a new mom and one of the two women on the team. “We had a lot of support from the mountain and couldn’t have done it without all their help.”
The group began skiing at 7 a.m., completed their initial goal of 61 laps each by 1:30 p.m. and, at that point, kept skiing to see just how many runs on the Face could be completed in an eight-hour day. At the end of the day David Beronio, the youngest member of the team, had completed a total of 71 runs, following closely by several of his team mates who completed anywhere from 64 to 70 runs.
“The event was a lot of fun. We worked hard together as a team, cheering each other on for a good cause,” said Beronio, a former F.I.S. Alpine skier and Heavenly Ski Foundation coach. “The event went smoothly. We had no problems getting on the lift quickly. Skiing hard to MS made it all worth it.”
Heavenly’s Face is 1,650 vertical feet long with slope pitches as steep as 40 degrees. It is considered one of the top five runs at Tahoe, voted the locals’ favorite for the past five years. Prior to the Face Odyssey 2001 event the current unofficial record of runs skied on the Face in one day was 54. The average lap time ranged from just over one and half minutes to four minutes, excluding the four-minute plus lift ride.
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