Fort McCoy News Feb. 10, 2017

Hundreds participate in Winter Extravaganza

A snowboarder competes in the rail-jam competition Jan. 28 during Winter Extravaganza at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area at Fort McCoy.
A snowboarder competes in the rail-jam competition Jan. 28 during
Winter Extravaganza at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area at Fort McCoy.
Photo by
Jobi Spolum


A snowboarder uses the new jump pillow, now available at the ski area.
A snowboarder uses the new jump pillow, now available at the ski area.
Photo by Jobi Spolum


Winter Extravaganza participants warm up at the fire pit next to the ski area lodge before heading out for more tubing, snowboarding, and skiing.
Winter Extravaganza participants warm up at the fire pit next to the ski
area lodge before heading out for more tubing, snowboarding, and skiing.

Photo by Jobi Spolum

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Hundreds of people made their way to the slopes of Whitetail Ridge Ski Area on Jan. 28 to take part in Fort McCoy's Winter Extravaganza 2017.

Cloudy skies and mild temperatures greeted the more than 450 visitors to the event, which is open to the public. Winter Extravaganza brought together people from surrounding communities, such as Tomah, Sparta, Onalaska, and La Crosse, with Fort McCoy to enjoy events from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

"This event brings people together because of the many activities available throughout the day — it creates a party environment that is fun for the whole Family," said Recreation Programming Manager Nick Sanjari with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation, or DFMWR. "The activities are designed to be Family-inclusive and allow people to show off their skills in skiing and snowboarding, for example.

"Another thing that brought people to Winter Extravaganza is the new jump pillow that debuted," Sanjari said. "All snowboarders and skiers were able to test the new jump pillow out for free. We have the only jump pillow in the area, so that definitely brought some interested people to event."

Other special events throughout the day included a children's obstacle course, parent-child relay race, a rail-jam competition, a big-air competition at the new jump pillow, slalom races, and raffle drawings throughout the day.

DFMWR Marketing Director Jobi Spolum said the event helps to foster effective community partnerships with local cities and towns and is a great way to highlight all that is available at the ski area.

"Whitetail Ridge Ski Area is one of three ski hills on Army installations," Spolum said. "It is a wonderful asset to our Outdoor Recreation program for providing quality-of-life programs to our Soldiers, Families, retirees and the public."

Event sponsors also helped make Winter Extravaganza possible.

"We partnered with many area businesses that provided cash or in-kind sponsorship to enhance the event," Spolum said. "The Commercial Sponsorship Program is an important Army program that enhances the events and facilities on Fort McCoy for our community to enjoy."

The ski area will remain open through March 11, when an end-of-season party will be held at the hill. The area is open 4:30-9 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Upcoming events at the ski area include the Chili Taste Off on 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 11 and a snow fort build-off from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 4.

"Another thing people might not know is the ski hill rents out snowshoes and cross-country skis to use on the trails around the ski area," Sanjari said. "Also, the jump pillow will be out for the rest of the season."

For more information about the ski area, go online to https://mccoy.armymwr.com/us/mccoy/programs/whitetail-ridge-ski-area, or by calling 608-388-4498. Groups also can make reservations to use the ski area by calling 608-388-3517 or 800-531-4703.