This year marks the 26th anniversary of the Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon at Taos Ski Valley. We have all done our part to adjust, roll with the changing situation, and stay safe, all while having fun and making a difference in our community. The heart and soul of this event is Ben Myers and not even the ongoing global pandemic will stop us from doing what Ben loved the most, and raising money for community health in his name.
I think we can all agree that the past year has been a challenge. We certainly didn’t think that as we near March 2022, we would still be experiencing such turbulent times, or that we would all have learned so much and achieved so much together.
Last year, despite all the difficulties we faced, the Ridge-a-Thon raised over $27,000, an incredible amount and a testament to your hard work and generosity. Our grantee was Mountain Home Health Care in support of their palliative care program, improving quality of life for those suffering chronic illness in northern New Mexico. Please visit https://www.mtnhomehealth.com/home-health to learn more about the organization and their vital work in our community.
The Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon at Taos Ski Valley has for 25 years embodied the idea of coming together to work hard and have fun to provide health related services and support for members of our community in need. It is a pleasure to be able to write that this year, though we may not be quite out of the woods with regards to COVID -19, we are going full steam ahead and planning for a fun, fabulous, in person event at Taos Ski Valley on March 18th and 19th, with celebration following the two days of Ridge Running. We hope you will all join us!
We will of course have a Kahuna prize drawing this year, along with many other great prizes in honor of your efforts. As always, Ben is our focus, and we will be keeping his memory close to our hearts as we celebrate him together in the mountains we all love.
We welcome your involvement, whether as a participant, a volunteer, a donor, or if you have a prize to donate to reward others, we would be thrilled to know that!
We are looking forward to our 2022 event.
The 2021 event was held virtually and included 17 individual participants who set and met their own goals for exhausting themselves for Charity. Below are our event results for 2021.
2021 Fundraising Leaderboard
Asher Beck 44
David Linnett 44
Avery Beck 18
H Perl 19
Karlis Viceps 15
Jonathan Kushner 10
Ken Gallard 8
Cliff DuPree 4
John Meyer 1
Monica B 22
Dana Brienza 18
Dianne Smith 1
70 Runs March 1-March 31
56 Runs March 6-April 4
2 Days at Ski Santa Fe
1 Day at Taos
Kahuna Prize Distribution
Boot from Tecnica/Boot Dr Karlis Viceps
Boot Fit from Boot Doctors Dana Brienza
Boot Fit from Boot Doctors Jeff Mugleston
Ski of Choice from K2 David Linnett
Pret Helmet Cliff Dupree
Pret Helmet Avery Beck
Pret Helmet Monica B
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon at Taos Ski Valley. We’ve all done a heck of a lot of adjusting over the past 365 days, and now’s you chance to dig in and have a little fun again while making a difference in our community. The heart and shining soul of this event is Ben Myers and not even a global pandemic will stop us from doing what Ben loved the most, and raising money for community health in his name.
Going with the theme of adjusting, there are a lot of changes to this year’s event structure, however we still intend to exhaust ourselves for charity. We are now recruiting participants and they will begin requesting donations as usual and we will still be shredding the ridge to earn those donations. We will not be having a scheduled on mountain event or party which brings people together, and we will not be requesting the many small donations from local businesses who are doing their best to stay viable this season! We WILL be having a virtual event and counting runs and participation in alternate ways, we will be offering Kahuna prizes from our business and hard goods sponsors, and we will still promote the event outcomes and celebrate everyone’s hard work to the public.
We can’t wait. Honestly, even with all the necessary adjustments to the event format, the need and the reason to work hard have never been more critical since that first year where ben’s ski buddies put their efforts into supporting Ben’s family with hospice care expenses after finding out there would be no cure. This year, our efforts will support hundreds of individuals in our community in the time of COVID through Taos Community Foundation.
If you missed it: Read our recent newsletter to past participants and donors.
The 2020 Ridge-A-Thon Fundraising including donations and cash sponsorships totals $48,371.26. We had a beautiful event with a nice big turnout, a lightning delay Friday and a nice all around day Saturday. Below you can find a run-down of the fundraising totals, and run totals top performers, and a full list of stats.
Participant Fundraiser Totals
Full Run Totals
The 2019 Ridge-A-Thon Fundraising including donations and cash sponsorships totals $49,092.44. We had amazing weather and conditions, and were able to get the opportunity to hike the peak to wrap the event, bringing home 3 runs added to your two day total. Below you can find a run-down of the fundraising totals, and run totals top performers, and a full list of stats.
Participant Fundraiser Totals
Full Run Totals
The summit is a special place many of us go to connect – with our own earthly experience, with the surprising and heart-pounding edges of our own physical and mental power, and with the memory of loved ones who have had to leave us for another adventure. The summit is decorated, a wind-whipped memorial of prayer flags, mementos, and offerings – they mark a place, a physical location high up in the clouds overlooking valleys below, and also a resonant cosmic space; catching prayers, and dreams, accepting all confessions and all burdens, judging nothing.
The 23rd Annual Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon is dedicated to the memory of Matthew Zonghetti, 26, and Corey Borg-Massanari, 22, who lost their lives following an avalanche on Kachina Peak on January 17, 2019. This Peak, her chutes and departures, offer a beautiful, if extreme and unforgiving, paradise on snow. Most who love to ski it would agree that skiing and boarding at this level on this terrain is an act of living life to its fullest. And cause for joy.
We will remember the lives of these two young men in our community’s annual celebration of care of one another and love of the mountain, named for Ben Myers who exemplified both, and departed too soon.
2018 Fundraising Totals
|Rank||First Name||Last Name||Funds Raised|
2018 Ridge Runs
(All runs took place on a section of Highline Ridge in a year with the lowest total snowpack on record. The 2018 Ridge-A-Thon was essentially a miracle. West Basin and Kachina Peak were closed.)
|First Name||Last Name||RUNS|
|Jonathan||Kushner||0 (could not attend)|
‘Borracho’ Prize Winners
Borracho, literally, “the drunk”, is the unofficial icon of the Taos Ski Valley extreme skiing community, and at The Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon, it is the award for the individual who has demonstrated the most fortitude/insanity in the two categories combined.
Jessica Rone – 1st in Funds Raised ($1,312) and 1st in Runs (23)
Kent Forte – 1st in Funds Raised ($9,160) and 3rd in Runs (32)
Kahuna Prize Winners
Stay and Ski at The Blake – Millie Lekas
K2 Skis – John Meyer
Lange Boots – Mike Engelhardt
Never Summer Industries Snowboard – Jesse Reist
Taos Mesa Brewing Golden Ticket – Evan Blish
Volkl Skis – Matt Gorman
Leigh Quirk won the mother of all prizes, a 3 night stay at El Monte Sagrado, a pair of 3-day VIP festival passes to Music on the Mothership, and a 1/2 day raft trip for two from Los Rios River Runners
Maggie Evans Rael
So, it’s true that everyone needs to raise a minimum donation of $200 to hit the slopes for Ridge-A-Thon, and because we use peer-to-peer fundraising, you can start now by asking your family and social network to support this community cause. We make it easy to make a difference, just by spreading the word about the Emergency Medicines Fund and showing up to have some fun during Ridge-A-Thon!
Everyone wins something great from our prize table just for participating, and you get to take your pick based on the funds you raise in this event. Those who shred the most receive custom-designed medals for their valor on the Ridge. Everyone who participates in the event is entered automatically in two great drawings. The Big Kahuna Raffle includes industry gear – like Völkl Skis, Lange Boots, a Never Summer snowboard, Tecnica/Blizzard boots, K2 skis, or a Taos Ski Valley Season Value Pass. Participants also automatically receive one entry in the Booktaos.com Summer Vacation Raffle valued at $2,000.
You don’t even have to ski to win – if you enter the My Kinda Ridge category you can raise funds in support of your effort creating and completing your own challenge. We want to be inclusive of all people in this event, and recognize that not everyone wants to hike, shred, and repeat. If you think you can try every hot chocolate in the valley, or ski every blue run on the mountain, we invite you rise to the challenge.
If you want to participate and help us make a positive impact on health in the Taos area by supporting families and individuals in our area, you can register here and come out and play on March 16 and 17, 2018. if you want to make a donation in support of one of our participants do it here.
With just one month to go before we hit the slopes, it’s time to ramp up our event registration. Please consider joining us this year for the 21st Annual Ben Myers Ridge-A-Thon at Taos Ski Valley. Now is the time to register and begin your online fund raising – the better your fund raising outcomes, the more likely you are to get top picks from our prize table! We have amazing prizes rolling in all month long from local and national businesses, and we’ll tell you more about them as they arrive.
Our Big Kahuna prize drawing, with automatic entry to all participants, will again include K2 skis and bindings, Never Summer snowboard, Volkl Skis, Tecnica Blizzard Boots, Lange Boots, and MORE!
If you can’t participate but want to support the event, you can buy a raffle ticket for the annual BookTaos.com vacation package, valued at over $2000.