2013-14 Epic Race


The race is on, and if you’ve ever seen Rat Race, that’s exactly what I envision when I think of the Epic Race. That combined with Planes, Trains and Automobiles, as well as the Amazing Race TV show, are the hijinks and shenanigans that, in my mind, the contestants endure and overcome on their quest to be one of the first 10 to ski all 26 mountains in the four countries where the Epic Pass is valid.

That, however, is not the scene unfolding. Instead, it is enthusiastic skiers and riders with thoughtfully mapped out itineraries and plans strategically checking in at mountains across the world, with most checking off the U.S. resorts first and then moving over to France, Switzerland and Austria. The 204 registered racers are encountering weather issues and altering travel plans, but these appear to be no rookies and people that are taking the time to truly appreciate each mountain and the experience it has to offer.

There are a few I’m especially rooting for…

Let me introduce you to Jessica and Dave Schnoll. This adorable Tahoe newlywed couple had to cancel their honeymoon because of a family illness and is using this Epic Race experience as their honeymoon. They’re taking advantage of airline points they’ve earned to cover most of their flights, and friends and family have pitched in with hotel gift cards and other donations to help cover the trip. They have family in Colorado they were able to stay with when there, and of course, the lodging in Tahoe is already covered.

Jessica’s grandfather is a die-hard skier that has a lifetime pass at Vail Resorts and continues to ski to this day. For her, winning this race would help keep that strong skiing tradition alive in her family. Now, when asked which resorts they were most looking forward to, Jessica’s answer had me laughing. She’s looking forward to skiing Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan the most. Why? Because the elevation there is about the same as their driveway here in Tahoe and she wants to see what that’s like. Dave, on the other hand, can’t wait to ski in Austria. No explanation needed there.

One of the most out-spoken and memorable contestants is Bryan Baecker. A social media guru, Bryan wrote his own press release announcing his participation in the Epic Race. He also has an elaborate website documenting every portion of his journey. This Sacramento resident has even made snow report videos to give you an insider’s look at current conditions at each resort. The Mt. Brighton update even gives you a glimpse into the traveling logistics these racers are maneuvering. All I have to say is: #GoBryanGo

The Epic Race leaderboard will help track each contestant as the race culminates on December 20 with the opening of the last of the 26 resorts in France, and you can use the hashtag #epicrace to follow the action live on social media. This Epic Race is going to be a finish for the record books and should be legen…dary!

– Sally Gunter,

Communications Manager, Heavenly



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