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Super Bowl

[Brief] Ski Skins or Pigskins?
Published 12-31-2021 | Last updated 12-31-2021
60.743, -149.194

[Unofficial name, no GNIS Entry]

At some point in our lives, most of us have cursed the fact that we can only be in one place at a time. The backcountry ski zone ‘Super Bowl’ commemorates one such day on January 26, 1997. Although they might not describe themselves this way, a star-studded roster of local backcountry ski talent was taking the field near Turnagain Pass. In the words of Mark Norquist it was a “beautiful sunny Sunday” and he, plus Jim Cardwell, Eric ‘Viking’ Opland, Paul Lindemuth, and ‘Poacher’ Dave Pettry were “headed up the drainage between Taylor and Bertha creeks to ski that big ol' white thing back there.”[1] But a usual member of the line-up was missing.

One of their regular ski partners, Wisconsonite Steve O'Donnell, chose to stay home because shortly after 2 p.m. Alaska Time his Green Bay Packers were kicking off to the New England Patriots to start Superbowl XXXI.[2] That was too good to pass up for Steve and, for those who care about football, it was a great game. The game featured a first-quarter scoring record, a record distance touchdown pass, a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and ultimately a triumph for Wisconsin as the Packers won their first Super Bowl in twenty-nine years.[2]

Still, ski partners are duty-bound to tease their friends for missing out on a great day, and the group managed to do so in a way which has stuck for over two decades (talent, as mentioned). They “made it up, skied both sides and declared the back (south) side to be a ‘Super Bowl.’ And from thence forth, that is what it was called... the north side is ‘Super Bowl Peak’ run while the south side is the ‘Super Bowl’.”[1]


[1] Norquist, Mark, in discussion with the author. July 2021.

[2] “Super Bowl XXXI,” American Football Wiki. Accessed December 29, 2021.