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April 13, 2014

Sunnyside Sliders Reunion

The decades have gone by faster than I could have imagined, but the friendships and stoke for skiing are as compelling as ever.

We did it again this weekend, rounding up the old Sunnyside Sliders crew along with new friends and family for a two day event at Crystal Mountain. Saturday featured mellow spring skiing under bluebird skies and ended up with an epic Raclette party (that's a cheese-oriented picnic if you're not French or Swiss) at the Eng cabin near Greenwater. The guest list for these events gets bigger each year, and the food and setting were perfect. The dinner culminated in a mass ski lantern launch in honor of the late Hunter Eng, which sent a train of shimmering candle-heated balloons into the night sky over Greenwater.

Sunday was the headliner ski day, again under cloudless skies, and our band of skiers took to the slopes of Crystal in droves. A full day of top-to-bottom corn runs with beer and German Chocolate cake breaks on the patio put some serious smiles on Slider faces. The highlight of the day was the presence of "oldest living Slider" Ben Muzzey, who at 93 years of age is no longer skiing (he only quit last year, after a bike accident). We got Ben to the summit in the gondola for a photo opportunity before lunch, and the Crystal Pro Patrol was kind enough to take him down the mountain in a sled so he could see the crowns of some of this season's huge avalanches. Still sliding in his ninth decade - that's dedication!

Joe and Wylie send a sky lantern aloft in honor of Mistah Natchul/Hunter Eng

Oldest Slider Ben Muzzey and Bob Boice prepare to board the gondola

Lifelong friends and ski enthusiasts frame one of the original Sunnyside Slider jackets

Crystal patrollers help Ben into a toboggan for the ride down the mountain

A swarm of Sliders in their natural habitat

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