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The 16th Annual Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon

21 Mar
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This weekend, extreme skiers and boarders from around the Southwest will descend on the rugged slopes and ridges of Taos Ski Valley for the annual Ben Myers Ridge-a-Thon.

Now in its 16th year, this grueling event attracts winter athletes — including former Governor Gary Johnson — who compete in an intense two-day skiing / boarding marathon.  The event supports the Emergency Medicines Fund of the Taos Community Foundation.

This year The Blonde Bear Tavern will provide the food for the event’s awards party and celebration.

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The Event

Hiking Kachina Peak (click to enlarge)

Singles or two-man teams hike and ski the extreme terrain and ridges of Taos Ski Valley non-stop for five hours.  The object is to ski as many runs as possible within the time allotted.  The competition ends at 2:00 pm, at which time participants may choose to hike and ski Kachina Peak, which will count as three bonus runs.

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Taos Community Foundation’s Emergency Medicines Fund

The Fund provides vouchers for the purchase of prescription medications at wholesale cost from local pharmacies.  The result is free prescriptions to eligible individuals.  The Fund is an emergency alternative to more long-term assistance.  Emergency Medicines supports local nonprofit organizations within Taos and western Colfax counties that are currently engaged in emergency service activities and provide assistance to undeserved individuals.

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Ben Myers

Ben Myers

 

Ben Myers was a well-known local extreme skier who died at the age of 26 of a rare cancer.  His friends organized the Ridge-a-Thon in 1997 to collect money to pay his medical expenses.  Today, the event helps others in similar situations.

Ben’s legacy lives on — not only his enthusiasm for skiing and Taos Ski Valley — but through this important yearly event that allows us all to help our friends and neighbors.

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How You Can Help

Participants are currently soliciting donations, usually a set dollar amount for each run accomplished during the two days.  I’m sponsoring our own Kent Forté, who is participating for the sixth year.  Last year he completed 38 runs in the two days!

If you’re not familiar with a participant, please consider donating to this very worthy cause by visiting the Taos Community Foundation website.

Here’s a terrific video, which highlights Ben Myers, his dedicated friends and family, and the Ridge-A-Thon.  It also shows some beautiful shots of Taos Ski Valley:

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